The most special things are the things that don't really belong anywhere but here.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Now that Halloween is over, the fall season is starting to wind down. I have mixed feelings about this, because as crazy as I am for Christmas, fall is my favorite season. It didn't used to be, but then in my mid-twenties, something happened. I feel like it happens to most white girls-- maybe it's the pumpkin spice lattes-- but suddenly, I loved fall. I loved it more than anything. I loved it more than I loved certain people.

I don't want this post to be about the obvious. I could go on and on about the cozy scarves, the pretty colors, the just right temperature, and the yummy beverages, but I want to write about the weird-ass things that happen in my brain come fall, because that's more interesting, right?

#1) Happy New Year

I miss that windbreaker too.
Since I teach, I've never really been off the school calendar for more than a year, so the new year for me is not January-- it's September. As soon as the back to school commercials start, I drool at the Mead Five Star First Gear. I walk past the folder and pencil aisle at Target and fight back tears. I want to buy ALL the Lisa Frank things. ALL OF THEM. I guess I technically could. Who would stop me? Who would ever know?

Cut to ten years from now. My husband keeps pestering me about a room that I always keep locked in our mansion. What's in the room? Why won't I ever let him in? One day, while I'm at a speaking engagement with The Queen, he picks open the lock with a butter knife. Thousands of Lisa Frank pencils, book bags, and folders fall out. They never find his body.

The thing is, new school supplies carry a sense of possibility. The colorful folders reflect the emotions you hope to feel throughout the year. You imagine how fun it will be taking notes with metallic gel pens. These days sit in the pocket of "new," far away from January, when you're freezing and tired and hate life. Maybe you'll love winter this year! I mean, you won't. But in the fall, there's the feeling that you could. Fall means "this is the year life could be perfect," because most of it hasn't happened yet to prove to you otherwise.

#2) Associations & Reactions

This was a big deal for me.
Every fall, I get flashbacks of other people's houses from childhood-- my friends' houses and people my parents knew. My mom's friend Mary Beth-- I think of her blue brick kitchen. My friend Sarah-- I think of the mud room at her parent's house. I see fall decorations these family friends used to have. I remember coming inside rosy-cheeked after playing outside.

Years ago, when I had my first apartment, the most exciting thing was decorating. I decided that I would be one of those people who had fall decore. So I bought this door hanger, and you would've thought I was on something. I just stared at it all day, feeling the greatest sense of satisfaction. My space was now like the "other people's" space. I don't even know what that means. It's not like we didn't decorate at my own family's home, but that's what went through my head.

At some point, because decorations are reusable, you stop buying them, but it's harder to stop buying clothes. Every fall, I seem to forget my lack of money and closet space. I get an insatiable urge to buy navy and cranberry colored sweaters-- ivory sweaters are okay too. A few weeks ago, to keep myself from shopping, I watched footage of dead malls on YouTube for like, an hour. I guess it fulfilled my shopping urge and my nostalgia at the same time? This is so weird. Why am I fascinated by this? I COULD WATCH IT ALL DAY.

See the Justin Bieber-The Office connection

#3) The Yearnings

Before I wasted time looking at the dead mall stuff, I Googled "clothing catalogue 1994." It's true that I crave nice new sweaters every fall, but I crave the old school stuff too, which is dangerous. It seems deeper than nostalgia though, more like my brain is grabs onto this canon "adult" image and says, "Remember how the grown ups were on commercials? Your turn!" I want to wear oversized purple and turquoise coats and giant cable-knit sweaters from Mervyn's. I long for stretch pants that perfectly match the color of my shirt. I want to cut my bangs straight across my forehead, curl them, and say things like, "I just LOVE my Chevy Lumina! With AT&T's long distance family plan, I know exactly what to bake for Grandma Sue this Thanksgiving!" Very dangerous indeed.

Luckily, my other yearnings won't affect my social life quite as much: Hot beverages must be consumed at all times; if The Lawrence Welk Show is on, I need to watch it; I don't understand football or care about it, but dozing on the couch while it's on is a must; Double Double Toil and Trouble staring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and The Worst Witch need to be on rotation, but I already wrote about Halloween movies here, so, moving on.

The pretty leaves are almost gone, and the air is getting chillier, but the greatest thing about fall is that it  always comes back. Next year, once again, the intense flame will ignite in my brain where I long to wear bad 90's clothes, drink something hot, and remember other people's houses. I can't wait!

What is YOUR favorite season? Don't tell me the obvious reasons why-- tell me the weird ones.  What's it all about? Have you ever bought something REALLY ugly because you were confused about what decade it was? Do you have a secret room full of Lisa Frank paraphernalia? Let me know! I won't judge.

No comments:

Post a Comment