Autumn is here and if that doesn’t excite you, you might be the literal worst. Autumn is, hands down, my favorite time of year. Having grown up in the subtropical clime of New Orleans and making my home now in the almost-equally subtropical metropolis of Houston, I can assure you it isn’t because of the prismatic hues of the leaves changing colors, the pumpkin-spiced anything, or even the gentle fall breezes. We don’t get much of that down here.
Sheepishly, I have to admit that it’s for a number of reasons that are all pretty egocentric. First, my birthday is October 20th. Prime autumn territory and yet, my entire life I’ve had the option of comfortably hosting a pool party if it tickled my fancy. The last time my birthday was a genuinely exciting affair was when I turned 13. My birthday fell on a Saturday, my parents let me sleep in (which was totally normal, actually… but still worth noting), and when I did get up, my pop gave me $130 and took me shopping at the mall. When I got home, my mom had a custom-made cake for me (with yellow and red icing, for some reason). My pop had created a birthday card for me on the computer and printed it out; I remember it had a car on the front and on the inside it said something along the lines of “Chill out, you’re only 13.” It was a pretty good day. (Honorable mention goes to my boyfriend when we celebrated my birthday for the first time together and he totally surprised me with an iPad, complete with AppleCare and everything.) I’ve spent two birthdays in the past five years pregnant, which was kind of cool, but definitely not conducive to the level of inebriation I’m fond of now. Fast-forward almost 14 years and here I am, a mere 11 days away from my 27th. Every year, I just hope that I’ll get another simple, but heartfelt birthday celebration tailor-made for ya girl.
Second on my list of reasons autumn is the absolute best: Halloween is, by far, the best holiday in the entire world. Halloween is the perfect holiday and it totally gets the purpose of being a holiday in the first place. Halloween makes no grandiose excuses for its existence; there’s no deity to honor or supernatural occurrence worth venerating (see: Christmas & every other Christian holiday). It’s family-friendly without being too saccharine to genuinely appeal to adults (see: Easter). Halloween is there to get down to the business of having fun, but its existence hasn’t lost all meaning beyond wanton inebriation (see: St. Patrick’s Day). While costumes can veer into pretty offensive territory (I’m looking at you, Native American headdress-wearers and every person in blackface, ever), the holiday itself doesn’t barge in and Deebo another ethnic group’s significant dates in history while having absolutely no concern for actually learning about said group (see: Cinco de Mayo). It doesn’t hype itself up all year and consistently disappoint because of rampant commercialization and impossibly lofty expectations (see: New Year’s Eve). It isn’t an obvious ploy by the Hallmark card conglomeration disguised as an important day of the year that actually wreaks havoc on otherwise decent relationships and untitled romantic affiliations (see: Valentine’s Day). Its origins as a holiday, if you want to get all historical about it, were rooted in warding off spirits and venerating saints and other good people. It is, in short, the perfect holiday.
Decorations. Candy. Literally running the streets. Cute kids. The rightful acceptance and appreciation owed to the horror genre. Puns. Skulls everywhere. Costumes ranging from funny, clever, topical, or smart to sexy, scary, realistic, or downright lazy (be grateful you got into the party, sheet ghost). It’s totally acceptable to stay in if you’re not the “going out” type. Halloween gives you the opportunity to make a statement about yourself, if you want. You get to flex your creative muscle in ways no other holiday facilitates. You inadvertently keep the Tooth Fairy myth alive, which is probably my favorite lie to tell my children because it’s harmless fun for all. It’s a win for everyone. Yep, Halloween is straight up the actual best. But enough about my love for the spookiest day of the year.
Third, autumn is the most temperate time of year. Even when I lived in New York, the fall season afforded the opportunity to get outside and enjoy it without any caveats. Even up North, summer can get uncomfortably warm. Even more than that, winters are prohibitively cold. Autumn was that sweet spot in the year where you could wear shorts with a chunky knit sweater and hit the streets for frolicking and whatnot. Here in the South (western-ish South? what is Houston considered anyway?), autumn is pretty much the one time of year (other than the month of March, which is pretty much the entirely of spring for us) when it’s cool enough to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the region. I mean, honestly, what’s the point of all the green space and rivers and hills and stuff if you can’t slide down them on a cardboard box without sweating profusely?
Fourth, my daughter’s birthday is November 19th, right on the cusp of the transition to winter (which, in the South means little to nothing until you’re well into January). We’re able to have her party coinciding with Thanksgiving, when family members can travel into town and I can play hostess for a nice, big dinner party at my house. It’s a great time.
Fifth, and this may be my favorite reason of all, autumn fashion is totally my favorite clothing-related thing in the world. Luxurious knits, chunky sweaters, comically large scarves, boots of all height and heel, saturated colors in neutral and darker tones (a.k.a. my year-round color palette), floppy hats and slouchy beanies, jackets, and LEATHER- everything about fall fashion is the best. I cannot wait to break out my fall clothes and, of course, buy more.
Those are the things I love about the fall season. Did I miss anything?
(note: photos that aren’t mine can be clicked on for original source)