it happened.

I remember quite vividly my first excursion to the Limited Too with my mom to buy a back to school outfit for my first day of fifth grade. The goal, of course, was to look as much like Cher Horowitz as possible while still abiding by the Jefferson Elementary School dress code. As I tried on several combinations of bright. bold plaids with stripes that decidedly matched, my mom regaled me with her astonishment that this style that she had worn as a teenager had been resurrected. She, of course, didn’t keep any of her clothes from high school– plus, I’m pretty sure the Limited Too tag in my velour shirt was just as valuable as the look itself. But I remember being so astonished that fashion behaved this way — that clothes could remain unchanged, but morph from radical, to the thing everyone has to have, to so-last-season, to Goodwill piles, and then somehow return to the spotlight decades later. Who calls the shots? Who decides this? And if we know the cycles exist, then why do we ever throw anything away? I racked my brain to imagine which trends I attributed to my own generation would ever make a comeback. I couldn’t even decide which styles were ours — everything seemed recycled all of a sudden. I didn’t mind this, of course, because I had a new royal blue plaid mini skirt and a velour green and blue and black striped shirt and lime green knee socks to wear with my clunky pilgrim-esque Steve Madden shoes and I was on top of the damn world. As if.

My current wardrobe, while expansive due to a mild problem with online flash sales, is not terribly trendy. I lean toward more classic pieces– lots of basics. I do practice a halfhearted routine of getting rid of things I don’t want or the semi-trendy items that have cycled out. I’m not intentionally holding onto iconic 2010s couture  (ha, like I even know what that is) to pass on to my hypothetical child. I do not anticipate the resurrection of anything from my closet.

But it happened. And after a quick google search to confirm what I already suspected due the time at work that I spend with high school girls (and these are high school girls who simply don’t experience the physical awkwardness that I understood to be mandatorily linked to this age), it’s true. Birkenstocks are back. Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.17.24 AM

These bad boys are actually my second pair of this exact style of Birks. I burned through one pair of the Jesus sandals in high school and replaced them, but didn’t wear them much after the first pair wore out. I think I probably moved onto the trendier Rainbow flip flop (currently on pair #3 of those too). Because they were fairly new though, and because shoes are not often part of the purge, I kept them. So this morning, I went to my closet, spotted these long-neglected, patient friends, and slid my feet into them. And I could be totally off about this, and I might look like Joan Baez, but I am gonna rock the hell out of these cork and leather creations today because sometimes things fade out of view and come back around and we’re ready for them and this is one of those times. IMG_6234

shut up about pumpkins and listen to my thing about fall

It’s no longer cool to bemoan the over-commercialization of Christmas. Charlie Brown beat us to it long ago and we’re still hammering it into the ground, some methods more effectively implemented than others (for instance, those who actually participate in alternative giving rather than complaining about all the materialism and then dropping a few Gs at the mall). I’ve enjoyed offering my share of complaints about a number of capitalism-fueled versions of special and often liturgical holidays. It’s all white noise, though. Everybody wants to talk about the true meaning of Christmas or remind us that Thanksgiving is more than football, turkey, and “The One Where Ross Got High” (arguably the best Friends Thanksgiving episode, toward which we can direct our due thanks for Rachel’s traditional English trifle, Phoebe’s dreams about Jacques Cousteau, and a cyclonic unearthing of Gellar family secrets). But this is the first year that I’ve felt some support around my favorite rant on seasonal behavior– and it all can be summed up in three little letters: PSL.

Sure, the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks is delicious. But you are fooling yourself if you think the world cared half as much about pumpkins and all this “OMG fall is right around the corner! #leggings #pumpkins #scarves #ilovefall #xoxoflannel” malarky before Starbucks dropped this bomb on us 10 years ago. Let’s just back up a minute. A pumpkin… is just a weird gourd that people buy to ruin and let rot on their front stoops in October. That’s always been the deal. All of a sudden, they’re the coolest things in the world and everybody can’t shut up about them. I’ve spent much of the last 5 autumns complaining about the trendiness of pumpkins and I’m here to admit that this trend may not pass. I’ve also been told by many a close friend that, for example, his mom has been making pumpkin mini-muffins his entire life. Good on you, though, Starbucks — hope you’re getting thank-you notes from all the other pumpkin-adjacent industries that are benefitting from this surge of enthusiasm about “fall things”. We should really be doing a lot of nutmeg-praising while we’re at it… sort of a horse and carriage situation.  And finally, the Internet joins me in making fun of the mania surrounding this season and all its autumnal byproducts. Here are a few of my favorites:

psl mirrorpumpkin-spice-girl

I’ve even seen some Facebook posts about the ridiculously early opening dates of pumpkin patches — What? Your pumpkin will be totally rotten before Halloween EVEN gets here. Then you’ll have to go buy another one, I guess. You win again, capitalism. And you win too, Internet! Thanks for joining me here on the cranky train. The Holiday Police is a tough line of work, but it’s worth it if you have no need to feel vindicated or heard.

People love seasons and, obviously, fall is my favorite time of year too because it’s amazing (to no credit of the pumpkin or any of its subsidiaries). Having grown up in the South, I always yearn for that first cool morning when I can throw on my very worn-out Vanderbilt hoodie for the first time (did it this morning- BOOM) and go out of my way to step on a crunchy leaf. And I’m no Scrooge.  I’ve got a ton of favorite things about the fall — the Avett Brothers’ album “I and Love and You”, the aforementioned Vandy sweatshirt, high school football (okay, college football, too = TAILGATES), hearing the echo of a drumline (preferably off in the distance, rendering me too far away to be participating in the surrounding rehearsal or performance), the first time it’s chilly enough to turn on the heated seats, but still keep the windows or sunroof open. It’s a lovely, sentimental time of year.  And who am I to judge? Maybe pumpkin products are here to stay because they are particularly meaningful and personally significant to each individual who can’t shut up about them. But I’m pretty convinced it’s all because of Starbucks and that, my friends, is why I’ll only be drinking one (maybe two) tall, nonfat, with whip (YUP), PSLs this season.  Not unlike Lucy’s preference of January snow, I’ll be saving my pennies for a Peppermint Mocha (but heavens– NOT until after Thanksgiving).