by Alex Hentschel
On Friday, Sept. 22, the greatest season began.
I love flannels. I love caramel. I love warm sweaters, bonfires, and apple-picking. I love all the discounted candy I get after I celebrate Reformation Day — it’s nice of stores to celebrate the downfall of the Catholic Church by offering the indulgence of 50-percent-off Reese’s.
And yes — I’m going to say it — I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes. What I don’t love is all of the judgmental stares when I order one — as though I’d said, “I’ll have one cup of roadside mud, with a shot of children’s tears.” She’s so “basic,” they snicker. Not me. I’m going to order coffee beans that were hand-brewed by a Yugoslavian yak herder and pretend to like it.
For some reason I can’t fathom, people are more and more concerned with being “basic” these days. If you like something that everyone likes – if you like something that is likable – you deserve eternal shame and judgment. So I figured I’d provide a guide, for those of you looking to be hip this fall. If you enjoy these things, you might be basic:
1. Carving pumpkins. If you even deign to touch a pumpkin, you’re too basic. Think of the millions of people having a really good time decorating their porches with pumpkins. Millions. You can’t be like them. You’re too special.
2. Oversized sweaters. Look at all those comfy, cozy sweaters in your drawers. Have a moment of silence for your bank account, then take them outside and burn them.
3. Bonfires. Just kidding, you can’t burn your sweaters. Nice, warm bonfires – especially the s’more-roasting kind – are just too basic.
4. Yankee Candles in the following scents: Salted Caramel, Apple Spice, Autumn Gathering, or anything that smells vaguely like cinnamon. Not only is this against Cedarville dorm rules – it’s mainstream. Pleasing scents that remind you of the one time you baked snickerdoodles at your Grandma’s house are forbidden.
5. Corn Mazes. Why would you even want to go to a pre-made corn maze? Don’t be like everyone else – walk down the street and start hacking your own all-natural, antioxidant-rich, probiotic, vegan, allergen-free, home-grown, environmentally-friendly, authentic, organic, non-GMO corn maze. It’s the only way to avoid being basic.
6. Pumpkin Spice anything. I don’t even need to explain why. It’s a nice flavor and a lot of people like it – so obviously you can’t.
7. Photo-shoots in the fall leaves. If you want nice pictures of yourself in the beauty of God’s creation, you’re out of luck – it’s too basic. Try a photoshoot at an abandoned Salvation Army or a retirement home or Stinger’s. You get the idea – somewhere edgy and unique.
8. The following Halloween – pardon, Reformation Day – Costumes: any superhero; a ghost/skeleton/zombie/witch/cat/pirate/ninja; a Disney princess; anyone from Star Wars. Like a favorite character and want to dress up as them to celebrate the nailing of the 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg? Unacceptable.
9. Plaid and flannel. Scrub the pattern from your mind and heart. In order to be hip, you will #FallFlannelFriday no longer.
If you enjoy things that are enjoyable, you need to feel shame about it. “Basic”-ness is a chronic illness with no cure. We must take action against things like apple cider, warm scarves, football games, leaf-jumping, beanies, and cozying up to the fireplace while roasting marshmallows.
These things are blasphemous. Obscenely unoriginal. Never mind how wonderful they are, or how happy they make you — your self-image comes first. This is a call to action. Join the fight against … having a great autumn.
Alexandria Hentschel is a sophomore International Studies and Spanish double major and the Off-Campus news editor for Cedars. She enjoys old books, strong coffee, honest debate…and Pumpkin Spice Lattes.