You know how I can tell it’s fall?
Not by the weather app, which is about as reliable as the F train on weekends.
Not by the calendar, because it’s October and I can barely turn the block from my apartment before wanting to collapse into a sweaty heap on the ground. I would, too, were it not for the fact that the ground is permanently peppered with gum, pee (hopefully of canine origin, but I live in Midtown so who really knows), and cigarettes.
By Instagram. Or more specifically, the fall-related Instagrams. The app runs amok with every fall cliché imaginable, and rather than condemn Cathy for her passion for pumpkin spiced goods, let’s analyze, shall we?
The meaning behind this cliché is twofold. One, you’re obviously in possession of your collective shit, because you either know how to bake or have enough of a refined palate to appreciate the difference ground cloves can make in a dish. Two, you live your life according to meals. The clock doesn’t dictate your days, your midday pilgrimage to Whole Foods does, and I respect that.
You’ve been plotting your Halloween costume since November 1 of last year, and started watching Halloween films as soon as the sun set on Labour Day. At one point or another, your cover photo has probably been a screengrab from Hocus Pocus. You’re the typa bitch to DIY a leaf garland and sharpie little ghosts onto each individual piece of foliage. You have definitely watched YouTube tutorials on how to carve the perfect pumpkin.
A Gripping Interest in Foliage, and Other Fall-Related Natural Phenomena
And speaking of foliage, the person whose choice fall cliché is a leaf is also probably the type of person who considers hiking a mountain “a leisurely afternoon activity”. If this is you, you own several pairs of hiking boots, a Patagonia, and have enough heavy duty thermoses/water canteens (as water bottles are for amateurs, duh) to make Bear Grylls shed tears of joy.
Flannel. Lots and Lots of Flannel
Your commitment to fall is extremely low-key, as are you because you bought those flannels for $5 from Goodwill. Do people understand how chill this makes you? Do they?? The answer is probably yes, because chances are you answer every compliment you get on your fall attire with “oh this? I picked it up from some discount bin. It’s whatever. Let me tell you about my second-hand brogues.”
Afternoons Picking Apples or Pumpkins (or Both)
You strive to live your most photogenic life in every way possible, because let’s face it—you are 90% in it for the photo opp. Why TF else would you spend $10 on a bag of apples when you can get them for $3 at Trader Joe’s (lack of friendly residential worm essentially guaranteed)? You get anxiety whenever your phone has 2% battery because you’re not sure if that’s enough to upload a Snapchat story, and you’ve never met a sunset or avocado toast you didn’t ’gram.
You were hygge-ing before the Swedes. You have a “signature cookie recipe” and worship at the church of Martha Stewart. Your passion for making your home as comfortable as possible is matched potentially only by your passion for couponing, and while your driver’s license says your age is 22, you know your soul is 62.
You completely, and unashamedly, live life in the #basic lane. People regularly come to you for advice on where to find the best cafes because you spend most of your time there, ordering overpriced lattes and talking to your friend Kathy about your Tinder dates (the last one was a disaster—he took you to an Olive Garden despite knowing you don’t eat carbs!). You use the pretty filter on Snapchat and have dabbled in the puppy filter. You have alerts on your phone for Lily Pulitzer sales. Your spirit animal is Lily Van Der Woodsen. Also, you’re the type of person who uses the phrase “spirit animal”.