Unfortunately, this idyllic picture is only that. A dream. A white, suburban girl’s dream.
A more realistic depiction is this: No apple pie because there’s too much traffic in Apple Hill, piles of brown leaves all over your lawn, and literally flaming leaves, clouding your perfect fall day with an asthma-inducing layer of smoke.
In the hot summer months leading up to fall, the internet is flooded with images of Autumn, positing it as the most magical, perfect time of the year (well, right behind Christmas-time. But that’s a whole different can of worms).
I’m here to debunk this myth and expose the truth about fall. The truths we’ve all been longing to admit, but have been afraid to for fear of losing followers on Pinterest and Instagram.
1. Summer’s over
Oh so you like scratchy sweater weather, 5-dollar lattes and pumpkin-flavored pot-roast? How about sun, beaches, long days, warm nights, no school, and absolute freedom? No? Ok. We’re done here.
2. -60 temps
It’s all fun and games until you realize that it’s actually freezing because you’ve been living in 85+ temps for the last 6 months. It’s kind of like running a topical counterplan: Great in theory, but terrible in practice.
3. Rain, rain, rain
Expectation: Crisp fall days with a clear blue sky, the leaves turning miscellaneous shades of red, hot chocolate, sweaters, and Birkenstocks.
Reality: 50 degrees, 10 inches of torrential rain per day for 2 weeks straight. Rain laughs at your flimsy sweaters and meticulously crafted “messy” bun.
If you manage to get lucky enough to avoid a rainy fall, California is 100% guaranteed to flame up unto an inferno hotter and more furious than the deepest circles of hell. So goodbye gorgeous, vivid fall vistas, hello pea-soup smoke. At least the firefighters will be happy…
It’s exciting for the first day. Then you have to buy the books (and do the homework, and goodbye freedom).
6. No swimming
No more lazy outings on the lake, no more weekend trips to the beach, no more last minute rafting trips. All you’re left with are longing gazes out of your car window as you drive past the frozen, forbidding face of every body of water in existence.
The prospect of bringing out all your jeans that have been mothballed for the last 6 months is always exciting. Then you try them on. Here’s the hideous paradox of jeans. You have to wear them tight enough to avoid looking like your saggy Aunt Bertha, but also loose enough that they don’t look and feel like denim sausage casings. Oh and they cost roughly twice as much as your car.
I give up already. Aunt Bertha it is.
8. No more skirts
Thought you’d bypass the circulation-destroying jean paradox by wearing all of those cute skirts and dresses you have in your closet? Good luck wearing a skirt in all that gusty wind.
9. Wood floors
Colder than the inside of an Eskimo’s freezer.
10. No more tank tops
Unless you live in San Diego.
11. Fading Tans
…and there’s NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.
You actually have to put real shoes on to go outside. No more flip-flops, cute summer sandals, or toms. Unless you want to get soaked to the bone and/or frostbitten. Instead, you’re stuck with sneakers and boots. Really? I have to tie my shoes every time I put them on? I give up. Bring on the Velcro.
13. No skiing, but also no water sports
That basically leaves hiking. Which is great if you’re a 56-year-old vegan that lives off of seeds and nuts and nature and being ridiculously fit. But for the rest of us, let’s be real and admit that while we talk about going on an awesome hike in Tahoe, it’s never going to happen because food is delicious and hiking is hard.
See, here’s the thing about leaves. You think that they’re just going to be pretty and lie there on your lawn looking gorgeous and colorful forever, and the occasional pile will magically appear for you to jump into in a flurry of autumn-colored bliss. But the reality is this: Leaves in the air, leaves in your hair, leaves, leaves, EVERYWHERE. Leaves that you have to rake for hours and hours a day.
15. Time Changes
Days getting shorter and shorter with relentless regularity, reminding you that your life, too, is pitifully waning. On a less existential note, it ruins all opportunities for sports and fun outdoor activities. Booooo.
I realize that I am in the minority on this one. However, the proliferation of bandwagon fans, nauseating amounts of coverage, and the fact that football absolutely makes no sense unless you spend hours pouring over theory and strategy make football season the most obnoxious time of year.
Why do white girls religiously follow the new trends dictated to them each season by Forever 21 and H&M, discarding last season’s like a wheelbarrow full of composted leaves, but cling to their MySpace-era Uggs like Republicans cling to their guns and religion?
I’m not going to lie, the candy is fantastic. But unless you’re a 6-year-old suburban kid or a drunken frat boy/sorority girl, this holiday is the worst.
19. No more BBQ
Oh we’re having gingered pumpkin bisque for the 4th time this week? Awesome.
Which leads me to…
20. Pumpkin everything
Come on white girls, you can admit that pumpkin tastes like wood shavings and burnt sugar. It’s ok to jump off the bandwagon now. After all, now you have Cotton Candy Frappes to fill the void! Or you could just wait until winter when the Peppermint stuff comes in. Now THAT is something worth fangirling over.
However, since basketball season and debate start in the fall, I guess I’ll survive this one, just like all the others. Because really, it’s just another season, with its pros and cons just like everything else in life.
…But seriously, white girls, lay off the pumpkin. It’s like you’re wearing a giant orange target on your sweater-clad back.