The Pumpkinization of America

A few days ago, I posted a little tidbit on Facebook that I feared might get me fired from the Internet. Or from living in America:

I ducked my head and waited for the backlash. I know that PSL Nation is a loyal bunch and they show little mercy.

When I came up for air and peeked online, I found that, interestingly, I’m not alone. That I have allies in this pumpkin overdose disdain. Allies who have some strong opinions. Turns out there are more of us out there than I imagined.

So here’s where this post gets divisive. I mean, you either embrace the pumpkin movement or you wish for its swift and thorough demise. Maybe we can all get along in the end, but first allow me to vent.


First of all, if you are Team Pumpkin, let me just say upfront that you win. I totally lose and you totally win beyond the shadow of a doubt. OK? And the truth is that I envy you at this time of year. It must be fucking awesome to be bombarded with a new food option in your flavor of choice every 12-16 seconds. I love chocolate like it’s my paid job and, at this time of year, my options are practically nil in comparison.

Don’t believe me? Let’s just take my Monday morning mid-September errands as a frame of reference:

–Stop #1, Starbucks: Yeah, this is where America’s Pumpkinpalooza started, and we all know it. It’s ground zero for pumpkin flavored treats. And I know by now that, come Labor Day through Christmas, I’m going to be ordering the sole drink in my Starbucks location served up by the barista that’s not a fucking PSL. In fact, I think they called out my beverage today by incredulously saying “Kim? Kim? Your grande NOT PSL is ready.” This was followed by stark silence and then a collective gasp of disbelief by the 39 PSL junkies ready to tackle each other for their seasonal crack with a side of pumpkin cake pops.


–Stop #2, Bagel Store:  It’s hard to fuck up a bagel, especially in the greater NYC metro area. And while I could pass on such common favorites as the Everything or the Cinnamon Raisin varieties, I think they’ve earned their place in the line-up over the years. But this morning, as I waited my turn to be served, I had to listen to this mother/daughter exchange:

“I think I want the pumpkin bagel with the plain cream cheese.”

“Or, you could get the plain, or the sesame bagel, with the pumpkin cream cheese.”

“Or I could get both.”

“Pumpkin bagel with pumpkin cream cheese? Do you think that will be too much?”

It was a real dilemma they were facing. Honestly, it was a good thing I had already obtained my Starbucks {non-PSL} caffeine fix so that I was able to tolerate this conversation without an inappropriate outburst. I mean, I don’t know what kind of options these two gals were facing for their remaining meals today, but I hope they pulled through.


–Stop #3, Trader Joe’s:  I love me some Trader Joe’s seasonal items — but — holy shit. Based on my rough calculations, the store’s inventory is currently 89.8256% pumpkin-based. Pumpkin Butter, Pumpkin Pancake Mix, Pumpkin Spice Country Granola, Pumpkin Ice Cream, Pumpkin Macaroons and — wait for it — Pumpkin Doggie Treats.

OMG, can we please fast forward to the holiday season with the peppermint overdose aisle? Because now, I can’t even enjoy any of the free samples at TJ’s — and that means I have to make my own breakfast at home. Which is bullshit.


–Stop #4, Doctor’s Office:  I swear I’m not making this up. I was in the waiting room, when the man next to me phoned his daughter to tell her he had indeed found the Pumpkin Spiced M&Ms at the grocery store. I honestly thought I was being Punk’d at this point. Who messes with something as pure and good and right as M&Ms, for fuck’s sake? Free the M&Ms!


–Stop #5, Internet:  By this point, my morning errands were completed, it was clear that it was me against the Pumpkinsphere. I arrived home and set about my urgent tasks {aka firing up the computer}, only to have my senses attacked by an email from Pinterest pointing me to their suggested seasonal boards. Among them, of course: EVERYTHING PUMPKIN.

Like a moth to the flame of defeat, I clicked on over to see what inspirational culinary treats awaited me from the Church of Pumpkin Disciples:

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Crepes
  • Pumpkin Crisp
  • Boozy Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate {With key words like “boozy” and “chocolate,” I’ll admit it gave me pause — but, still, no.}
  • Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
  • Pumpkin French Toast Bake! {exclamation point is theirs, not mine — clearly}
  • Pumpkin Pie Martinis {Hmmmm. Yeah, still no.}

It goes on and on and on. And beats the issue to death. As Pinterest tends to do.

Anyway. It’s no use. Operation Pumpkin Domination just getting worse every year and it’s apparently the new world order {fall edition}.

But don’t feel bad for me. Because you know who I feel bad for? Apples and their fan base. Apples were the perennial darling of autumn. But that shit’s over. Yeah, sure, many of us go apple picking and we eat apple pie and a few similarly flavored items. But, if we’re being honest, apples got screwed over by pumpkins. Big time. And their day is done.

The whole thing is fascinating, really. I should just be grateful that another member of the gourd or squash family didn’t obtain this level of stardom. Can you imagine?

So, I guess I’ll conclude my rant with a thin and insincere congratulations to Team Pumpkin. Enjoy your season in the spotlight, folks. Because, before you know it, PSL and all its culinary cousins will be a distant memory.

And I will be all hopped up on peppermint bark and lattes.




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  1. Kizz says:

    The only thing I can endorse here are the pumpkin dog treats and that’s because the pumpkin does help cure some truly disgusting dog digestion issues. Just for medicinal purposes! I’m not team PSL! I promise!

  2. Eileen says:

    Oh no…I miss the apples :(. I mean, I like the pumpkin stuff, but no where as much as I LOOOOOVE apple goodies. Crap…I need to make an apple pie just to remedy this fear…

  3. Elisa says:

    This is hysterical! I am so not on team pumpkin and I join you in your misery. Can’t wait for Valentines Day when chocolate is everywhere. We always have Halloween!

  4. Anna says:

    This is so funny, also so true. Thankfully I’m semi Team Pumpkin, but pumpkin M&Ms, even the marketing geniuses should admit that is going tooo far.

  5. The only thing I like about Pumpkin Mania is that people on the internet actually shut the fuck up about bacon for a minute. OOH! That’s it! I’m buying the domain rights for and selling it for a million dollars. Later, suckers.

  6. Do dogs even like pumpkin? Cause that’s just mean if they don’t. And I totally agree about the pumpkins M&M’s. No, no, no, no, just no.

  7. Jessica says:

    Yes! This, exactly this, I’m right there with you being pummeled by pumpkins. I don’t like pumpkin anything but the rest of the planet does. I’m actually debating on leaving this comment anonymously because I might be blacklisted from the internet.

  8. Kelley says:

    I’m cracking up about the guy and the pumpkin M&M’s! You are so right, though. I saw “PSL” written out for the first time this week. When it has it’s own acronym, IT’S GONE TOO FAR.

  9. This was so freakin’ funny! And it’s about time someone pointed out the injustice apples have been facing. I think their usurpation began with the whole razor blade scandal of the 70’s. I’m pretty sure now that the gourds plotted it. Bastards.


  10. I’ve never understood this whole phenomenon – I’m only interested in pumpkin-flavored pumpkin pie, and even then, only on Thanksgiving. Apples forevahhhhhh!

  11. This made me laugh out loud: “I can’t even enjoy any of the free samples at TJ’s — and that means I have to make my own breakfast at home. Which is bullshit.”

    I love pumpkin, but, now I want to hate it because you made your point so well that I want to defect. Can I do that? Can I first grab a pumpkin whoopie pie? One last hit, man.

  12. RachRiot says:

    This, my dear, is perfection and I too can now come out of the closet and say I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS ABOUT PUMPKIN ANYTHING. Even Pumpkin Pie. I’m total Team Apple. Pumpkins are nice to look at on my porch. Eating them? Blecchh..

  13. I thought I was the only one! I hate pumpkin everything! Frankly, I don’t even like the smell of coffee but the pumpkin spice latte countdown was killing me!

  14. Cheryl Kain says:

    Your blog link was forwarded to me by my hilarious/snarky friend. I love it! And I must confess to doing something so shameful….I was baking banana bread this morning and wanted something extra, like chocolate chips, to put in. I did add walnuts but guess what else? Pumpkin pie spice. I’ve been brainwashed w/out knowing it! I feel horrible…

  15. Leah says:

    This is a great post! I have always been a big pumpkin fan, but of the gourds variety, not the abundance of pumpkin-flavored eats and drinks. I’m completely with you on the overdoing of pumpkin (M&M pumpkin spice latte – really?!). And I’ve always hated the PSL! It’s just nasty.

  16. Kadie says:

    I love the flavor of pumpkin pretty much anything in baked good formats. Don’t love it in a smoothie, can’t get down with it in M&M’s, and just can’t even with the coffee. For reals. I’m all about the SCM this time of year (Salted Caramel Mocha), which is the most perfectest thing Starbucks has ever given this world. I have campaigned to make it non-seasonal – I think it could be a #1 best seller if not for the competition from the PSL. And the SCM is about the only thing that would get me in the door at a Starbucks … I’m a Caribou Coffee loyalist (MN pride!).

  17. Anne says:

    I like pumpkin – I enjoy my PSL and even a few pumpkin spice cookies. But some of this is just beyond ridiculous. I’m Team Apple. BRING ME THE APPLE SPICE!

  18. Laurie says:

    It’s as if I’ve been waiting for you my whole life. You have no idea the pumpkin memes I was bullied with a few years ago when I admitted I don’t care for pumpkin. If you start a cult, I am your first ever faithful member.

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