October 22, 2020

Pumpkin spice and everything (not so) nice

Tuesday, Aug. 28 was a day that changed the world. It was a day that a dark cloud left the sky and the bright fire of a thousand suns overtook the population. Everyone was changed. It was the day that the Pumpkin Spice Latte came back into the world.

But here’s the problem with the (in)famous PSL: you either love it or you hate it. Personally, I think it’s one of the best sugary coffee drinks to ever grace this earth that we live on. It’s the perfect blend of coffee and the sweet, blissful taste of pumpkin spice. It gets you ready for fall, and you can’t help but feel like your life is a little bit more put together with that beautiful creation in your hand, sipping from that iconic green straw. Not to mention it’s hot, iced, and in frappuccino form.

Social media was popping: GIFs of the dancing pumpkin-headed man (you know exactly what I’m talking about) were everywhere. Skeletons were rattling their bones and people were going crazy.

But here’s the frustrating aspect of the festive fall season: everyone who continuously makes fun of others for ordering the PSL. Immediately upon logging into Twitter Tuesday, my timeline was overflowing with people mocking others for being excited about the popular fall drink.

Everyone was throwing mad shade — it was people calling other people basic and annoying — the whole nine yards of typical Twitter-crazed cyberbullying.

User @mdalakas was a little bit passive aggressive in his social media hatred of the drink. “It’s 90 degrees out, but I bet someone will be wearing Uggs drinking a #PumpkinSpiceLatte today,” he wrote.

Other users didn’t necessarily go for the attack on those drinking the PSL, but rather for the drink itself. @FrMatthewLC wrote, “I had a #PumpkinSpiceLatte once. I will never repeat. It was an overpriced, overly sweet drink that barely resembled coffee or pumpkins.”

But this goes deeper than my own personal love for the PSL (and all things pumpkin, for that matter). It goes into the issue of people not letting people enjoy things because they’re too mainstream (or “basic,” as the kids say). It seems that every time there’s a hot new fad out in the world, there’s one group of people super against it. Whether it’s a new Netflix show or something more tangible like a piercing trend, people complain. 

Everyone is so ready to make people feel bad about something that that makes them feel good, or that they enjoy, and for what? For their own satisfaction? The fact that something as simple as a seasonal drink from Starbucks is such a big deal to so many people in such a negative way is astounding. As a society, we should make an attempt to work on it.

Coffee drinkers everywhere are ashamed to walk into Starbucks and order their Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I was in the cafe ordering mine and found myself talking to the barista a little quieter than I normally would — I didn’t want anyone around me to hear.

But I’m not embarrassed. Here I am, writing an article for my school’s newspaper, about my love and affection for the PSL. So why was I embarrassed?

Let people drink the coffee what they want. Let them get a peppermint mocha near Christmas or a mango dragon fruit refresher during summer and a dang PSL in the fall.

  • Sydney is the managing editor at the Chimes and a senior professional writing and journalism major at Capital University pursuing a career arts and entertainment writing. Some of her favorite things are cold brew, books about dragons, horror films, and her cat, Sterling.

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