Awkwardness of the Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spiced Latte. It’s more than a drink. It’s a movement. It has it’s own spirit. It’s a shared spirit. For a season each year, the masses jump on the bandwagon–much like fans join together in enthusiasm for a successful sports team in spring or the devoted pilgrimage to Christmas tree lots for their holiday firs in winter. In the fall, people journey forth to fine coffee establishments for the seasonal taste of pumpkin spice. It’s a bonding experience.

“Want to come out for a PSL?”

Manly man

On guard against the PSL

“How’s that PSL? Better than the one I got at Starbucks?”

Some have yet to receive the Spirit. We’ve come to the doorstep. We’ve smelled the fragrance. We’ve witnessed the Spirit’s affect on the dispositions of others. We’ve heard the steady stream of testimonies regarding the wonders of the PSL. But we haven’t imbibed. We haven’t given in to the movement. We’ve hardened our hearts against the pleasure and camaraderie of the PSL Spirit.

“I’m happy the way I am, thank you very much,” I might reply—as if the PSL could change me. As if I could get caught in the movement that would sweep me away from the safe confines of preference for coffee-flavored coffee.

“I’m not looking for a change. I don’t want to do it just because every one else is. What if I don’t like what it does to me? What if the PSL demands too much of me (it does cost $4, you know). What if one of my hard-core coffee-drinkin’ pals sees me sipping a sweet drink like the PSL? Won’t he laugh?”

I can forecast the outcome. I am sitting on a Starbucks patio underneath an umbrella, reading a men’s fitness magazine… Leisurely sipping a PSL. A bit of foam clings to my mustache. Jimmy from the running group spots me as he heads in to get a double-shot Americano. He doesn’t say anything… But his thoughts are evident on his bemused face.

“Yup. He’s one of them now…” He’s thinking. “We’ve lost him. He’s given himself over to that Spirit. He’ll probably want to talk about it the next time we get together. He’ll probably tell me I should drink it, too.”

The Spirit makes things awkward.


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