Hissy Fit - November 2022 - Hey Pumpkin: Spice it Up

...because everyone needs one every once in awhile


November 2022 Issue
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen

I know it’s that time of year to be extra thankful, but it seems like the humbug is already trying to take root in my holiday happiness, and it’s all due to pumpkin spice haters.

I don’t care if you don’t like pumpkin spice. All I ask is that you don’t care if I do. But that seems to be a problem for a lot of people. They can’t seem to enjoy their flavors, and live with the fact that some people choose pumpkin spice.

I happen to be a lover of pretty much anything pumpkin, especially when it comes to pie, bread, cookies, coffee or general desserts. Those pumpkin rolls, constructed of pumpkin bread rolled up with a thick layer of cream cheese, are so insanely delicious they should be against the law. And pumpkin cheesecake, O.M.G. thank you Cheesecake Factory for not listening to “those people” who say abhorrent things like “it’s too early for pumpkin spice.”

For all you pumpkin lovers, when someone says it’s too soon for pumpkin spice, make a mental note that you do not need that kind of negativity in your life. Thankfully though, it is finally November, the official month of the pumpkin, and we no longer have to be clandestine and whisper our pumpkin spice latte orders to the barista.

I don’t understand why pumpkin lovers are made to feel intimidated because of our affinity for an innocuous  squash? Why are we made to feel like the orange-headed step children? No one has a word to say or gets angry when someone orders a white-chocolate mocha latte in November, even though they should clearly be ordering pumpkin spice. Do they not realize that pumpkin spice takes everything awesome about autumn, like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice, adds a touch of yummy pumpkin, and results in deliciousness that makes you think of happy autumn school days and holidays of yore. It’s a total transformational flavor that whisks you away like falling autumn leaves on a crisp, breezy day.

For the outspoken society of pumpkin haters you may want to note that Starbucks sales alone average more than 31 million pumpkin spice lattes each season, which is literally just a few months long. Pumpkin Spice is wildly popular whether you like it or not. As in popular to the tune of creeping toward a billion dollars in sales across the giant retail board. In other words, there’s a lot of people who adore pumpkin spice!

I have to admit I have also turned my dog, Henry, onto pumpkin, and he loves it. First of all, his veterinarian instructed me to add pumpkin puree to his dog food when he was having an upset stomach. I did; it helped! (Must I add that you should talk to your vet before feeding your animal pumpkin?) Then, Henry’s brand of treats came out in pumpkin flavor, and of course, I bought them for him. I mean, it’s basically his chance at pumpkin spice, given he doesn’t drink lattes or eat cheesecake. In case you were wondering, I did not taste them. Enjoying pumpkin spice does not equate to being off-your-rocker.

I don’t really find it my place to apologize, as I’m not in charge of changing the seasons, but I’m sorry if you’re one of the ones who just can’t let pumpkin lovers love. Please understand, I don’t want to have to fight for my right to enjoy my pumpkin in the fall—even if it does start near the end of August. I realize pumpkin haters may be upset or sad because it means summer is drawing nigh, beach days are behind us, and smells of coconut and pineapple are fading into apple, cinnamon…and lots of pumpkin. I feel for you,  but you have been given extensions, too, and most pumpkin lovers are okay with it. You get to wear both white jeans and white shoes after labor day now. We don’t even give you the eye or anything when you’re wearing boots with white jeans. We don’t grab our computers and hurriedly start creating memes to put you down for your taste. (Albeit in fashion; at least our latte goes inside our bodies, just sayin’.) You also now put lit-up palm trees in your yard in December. Just so you know, that is not a Christmas tree, but we let it slide. Everyone knows those are summer trees, but you don’t get ugly memes about it. We just want to spread the love for all things pumpkin spice and everything nice. Thanks a latte for understanding.

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