We've been in denial for a few days here at the office. Slowly, boxes have arrived. Some of them are timely, relevant, and exciting. Back to school supplies! Backpacks! Lunch boxes! The nerds in us squeaked with glee.

Then we got the box, the one with the distinct smell: Pumpkin Spice.


Mark it down: During the third week of August, in the year of our faux flavoring Lord, Pumpkin Spice was born into 2016. Some call the delivery premature. Some rejoice in the early (and earlier) arrival. One thought and one thought alone coursed through our minds.

Calm the hell down. It's not even Labor Day yet.

We beg for summer all winter long as we curse our slow cooker stews and fifth batch of chili, then we rush it out the door like some terrible morning after mistake. The only thing that sets apart the early arrival of Pumpkin Spice everything and a just-won't-end bad date is that you have no choice: the Pumpkin Spice lingers for breakfast.

Before you get your coffee sleeve all in a wad, hear us out. It's too damn early for Pumpkin Spice to boot out pickling salts, and let me tell you why:

  1. It's 95 degrees with 100% humidity and 110% chance of me dying near the rack of Halloween costumes at Sam's while a fake witch cackles at me. If I still crave Sonic slushes, it's too hot for Pumpkin Spice.
  2. Wait your turn! It's back to school season, the time of new backpacks, old calculators, and fun lunch ideas. Kids in North Carolina (and elsewhere) aren't even in school yet, but clearly Pumpkin Spice needs a refresher in preschool rules: Wait. Your. Turn.
  3. Football is coming. I already have something to look forward to, and it's gorging on insane amounts of savory appetizers and badass craft beers while pretending to care about who wins the NFL game. I'm looking forward to holding cold beers, not hot lattes.
  4. Fall is long, so so long. The slog from Labor Day to Halloween is long and the only thing to look forward to is exams (if you're in school), Christmas (if you work), or summer (if you work in retail). I need a hit of something happy on October 1 to break up the too-hot-now-too-cold layering insanity that is fall in Alabama, and Pumpkin Spice is it. Or at least, it should be.
  5. It's overwhelming. So far, we've received samples of candy, bagels, English muffins, mugs, and more. I've seen it in drinks, cookies, Oreos (surely, right?), yogurt, toothpaste, vodka, Jello, Peeps, Pop-Tarts, creamer, Kisses, gum, tea, and Twinkies. If everything is Pumpkin Spice, then everything is basically plain and tasteless. Maybe it's not too soon; maybe it's just over.
By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel