Thursday, June 23, 2022
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A Millennial’s Guide to Pumpkin Spice and Dignity

It’s happening again. Fall is here, leaves are falling, and sweaters are on our shoulders along with midterms and allergies. The pumpkin market is booming, and leading its charge is The Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Who knew a drink could be so good? It’s sweet, it has caffeine, and is that a hint of cinnamon I taste? The problem is you have found yourself being labeled unfairly by sipping this hot commodity. Being a Basic White Girl has never hurt so bad and has frankly become so generalized that the term just doesn’t make you feel special anymore. You don’t even need to be white. You just need to be a dedicated lover of the PSL.

Although some would suggest “taking the high road,” you just can’t afford it when you think about walking into class and having 100 pairs of eyes condescendingly narrow as you prance in with your Starbucks cup blatantly labeled, “PSL <3”. You can’t take it anymore, and thanks to the following advice, you don’t have to.

1. Go bootless: I know, it’s almost cold out. Your sequined Uggs are the only thing that sounds right in the world, but sometimes you need to sacrifice and find balance. If you know you will be ordering a PSL this morning, opt for something slightly less muted and highly more comfortable. I personally recommend sporting some arch support with Asics.

2. Act indecisive when ordering: You need to tone it down when it comes with your confidence in ordering a PSL. Your lab partner, Frank, may just happen to be behind you in line. Who knows what will pop up on the Yik-Yak? Instead, when approaching the barista, distractedly give her or him a head nod and then resume your frantic eye-scan of the menu above. Then proceed carefully with the following statement, “I’ll have a ummm… latte… the spiced latte? Oh, the pumpkin spiced latte. Sure.” And then when prompted for size, “*Exaggerated Yawn* I guess the venti.”

3. Do NOT give your real name: Okay, you’ve fooled the barista, but now it’s time to fool the rest of Starbucks. When asked for your name, confidently say that your name is “One-tall-black-coffee”. Hopefully, when they call your drink out for you they will only say your “name”.

4. Bring a shaker bottle to Starbucks: Congratulations, One-tall-black-coffee. The patrons of Starbucks are applauding your astute menu choice, but now it’s time for lab with Frank. You’re getting the coffee shakes just thinking about Frank’s inevitable eye-roll as he sneeringly asks, “Pumpkin Spice Latte again?” and righteously slurps down his second Musclepharm Masochist Wreckage Pre-Post-Over-Under Protein Shake. Not today, Frank. After you accept your well-deserved PSL, take out that handy kitchen funnel and pour your drink into your shaker bottle.

5. Don your new identity in class: With shaker-bottle-disguised-PSL in hand, hold your head up as you walk into class. Don’t walk too fast though. In fact, maybe do a few walking quad stretches as you enter class (if Fred is skipping class this day, this movement is optional) with a slightly suffering grimace. Retie your worn in Asics and then guzzle your PSL with the air of someone who just completed a semi-routine half-marathon. The past 20 minutes of preparation and restraint have been hard enough, and your body will thank you for finally providing it with The Elixir.

Persecution is hard, and it is real. It comes in many forms. Today it’s Frank, and tomorrow it’s your little brother. Although I would normally suggest letting the haters hate, I also know that Frank can only be tolerated to a certain extent before you slip some 5M Hydrochloric Acid into his Musclepharm Masochist Wreckage Pre-Post-Over-Under Protein Shake. Doing that would not only expose a few lab safety violations, but it also might stall the renovations of the Spencer Chemistry Building when the Hydrochloric Acid and the high testosterone content in Frank’s protein drink react violently.

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