I was raking leaves the other day, and that's not as whimsical as I feel like I thought it was as a kid, and that's probably because there are a lot more trees out east. I haven't done the math, but if I had to guess I'd say there are one hundred gazillion trillion deciduous trees on the East Coast and maybe 10 in Utah. If you love trees, you should move here. If you love streets that make sense and friendly cashiers, you should stay in Utah.
Anyway, I was raking leaves and that took hours, so I didn't really have time to bag them up because I actually have other things I need to do besides raking leaves (despite what our tree thinks), but I couldn't leave my huge piles unattended because I knew -- I knew -- that some small child would come along, or some adorable little puppy or a teenager would come along and mess up my pile of leaves. So I strapped the baby onto me and sat down and put the leaves in one handful at a time (because it's actually quite hard to grab piles of leaves with a baby on you) because I knew -- I knew -- that if I didn't do it right away, someone was going to come along and Instagram my piles of wet leaves and mess them up. Darn kids.
And I was reminded, once again, that I'm quite the fall Scrooge.
It's not that I hate fall, I really don't. I like apple cider. The leaves sure look pretty as their chlorophyll breaks down and they slowly starve to death. We find giant gourds and give our kids knives to disfigure them and that's fun, I guess. And Halloween is the only time where you can see bloody zombies and pretty princesses unite together to grab a massive handful of candy out of my bowl, even after I asked them to take just one.
I really don't hate fall. Like I said, I'm quite fond of apple cider.
But despite how I feel about fall, I have to say, I'm pretty impressed by it. You see, fall has done a really good job at marketing itself. Think about the other seasons. Winter knows how to market itself, because winter is like "LOOK, I'M CHRISTMAS!!!" And while everyone is like, "Yay, winter is Christmas," winter quietly whispers the disclosure that nobody hears -- that Christmas is actually four days after winter starts and that there are three more months of darkness and frigid temperatures and they happen to be the farthest away from next Christmas that you can possibly be.
Spring doesn't do a great job at marketing. People are just like, "Oh, spring is so crazy. Make up your mind on the weather, Spring!" And I think spring just sits back and takes that, when really, it should be like, "I am vanquishing winter and bringing you Cadbury Eggs. I DO WHAT I WANT."
Summer doesn't spend any money on marketing because it knows it's awesome. Summer is like the cool kid in the school elections. It knows that people like it, so it doesn't really work hard on its campaign.
Fall, on the other hand, is a marketing genius. Fall really knows how to sell itself. Everyone likes fall, and if there are any other people like me who are rotten to the core and don't really like fall, they at least pretend to like fall. I pretended to like fall for years. I used to say it was my favorite season when I was little, which is ludicrous, because I was spent my early childhood in central Alaska and they don't have fall there.
But I wanted to love fall, I really did. Fall feels like the most intellectual season. The moment fall starts, social media is full of people posting literary quotes about fall's golden hues. Nobody does that for other seasons. No Walt Whitman quotes pop up in spring, no Robert Frost on dark, snowy evenings. I always feel the need to buy books in fall, because fall feels like book time. "Ah, take a walk in the crisp air and read a book because it's fall, and also, apple picking sounds like a great idea, right? We can talk about philosophy on the hay ride over." Give it a rest, Fall! We know you think you're smarter than us and maybe you are, but you need to just sit back and admit that hay is actually a weird combination of poky and itchy and not really suited for riding on at all.
And fall is golden. People always talk about how golden it is. I feel like they might be confused, because the sun is always shining directly in your eyes during fall, so that could just be the temporary effects of fall sun-blindness. The sun starts setting about about 11 AM, I swear, and just high-tails it out by 5, but fall conveniently forgets to mention that part.
Fall's weather gets a lot of praise, but I think there are some significant holes in that argument because fall is either freezing or too hot and search your feelings, you know it to be true. (Somewhere, poor spring is nodding her head in agreement.) Fall makes me want to wear boots, but I actually look pretty bad in boots because they don't go well with giant t-shirts. Fall wants me to be higher maintenance and maybe that's why I resent it so. Also, fall keeps trying to tell me that I need to buy expensive English rain boots. ("Rain boots were supposed to be my thing!" cries poor spring.) And I totally would, but I'm not sure they'd look good with giant t-shirts either. I need a season that can respect my inner hobo and despite the impressive amount of flannel, I'm not sure that fall is the season who can fulfill that need.
And the way that you can really tell that fall knows what it is doing is that the minute fall gets slightly unappealing, when the leaves all fall and when the phrase "crisp" sounds stupid, fall starts shouting, "BY THE WAY, I'M CHRISTMAS TOO!" And we all just sit back and smile and say, "Fall, you little genius, you ARE Christmas. Well done." And fall just does a little victory lap and drops the mic because fall knows what's up. Everyone adores fall.
But fall, I'm onto you. We'll pass each other with narrowed eyes. Yeah, I'll carve the gourds and make the soups and drink the ciders, but I've got my eye on you. And it's a narrowed eye.
Because the fall sun is blinding it again.
FALL: 1, SARAH: 0
|The tree in our backyard a few weeks ago. It's bright red now and really pretty, but I'm not going to post a picture because I don't want to disrespect the dead.|