Who am I kidding? It's just a drink.
After a couple years of friends raving about the famed "Pumpkin Spice Latte" at Starbucks, I decided that once and for all, I had to try it. I too wanted to feel the essence of fall run down my throat, to feel myself wrapped in the warm, spicy aroma of... well, spice.
I ordered the drink: a tall, warm, pumpkin spice latte with no added pumps or shots of anything, and no sweetener (which I'd normally pile on for a caramel macchiato... am I sounding too white yet?). I was skeptical about paying $4.25 for 440 calories and 14 grams of pumpkin flavored fat, but I told myself that maybe the experience would be worth it. I told them my name (knowing they'd misspell it anyway) and waited. After about 2 minutes or so, the warm cup landed in my hand and I took a moment. Taking off the lid, I saw the (somewhat astonishing) vibrancy of the orange, which smelled of nutmeg, and cinnamon, and ever so faintly, pumpkin. Finally, I tasted it. The notes of cinnamon and nutmeg came through, along with the distorted taste of coffee through a rather aggressively sweet pumpkin-pie lens (I'm sure glad I didn't add any additional sweetener!) As the cup sits, empty and stained with the orange dye that escaped the lid, I think about how the PSL is not a perfect metaphor for life--it's a weak one.
Like life, the PSL is startlingly orange. By this, I mean sometimes events hit us head on and we do that little gasp (like I did when I took off the lid) because we don't know what hit us, and then we try to dissect why it's so startlingly "orange". This can also be taken literally, however. Sometimes our very beings become alarmingly orange. *coughSnookiecough* *coughacertainRepublicancandidatecough*
Sometimes, it's a mistake. We may not notice it at first, because we're so infatuated with the idea of something, that we go out on a limb and think it, or buy it, or do it. Later, when hindsight is 20/20 we think, "Wow, $4.25 wasn't worth what I thought it'd be".
It's gone too fast. Time flies, and before we can fully realize where we are, who we're with, and why we're here, the cup is empty. So enjoy every single gulp.
It's too hot. Sometimes we jump in too fast, and sometimes we get burned, but we learn for next time... to take our time, ease into things, and take a cup sleeve.
It's about what's inside the cup, metaphorical or otherwise. Recently I stumbled across this video while writing this article that emphasized the importance of what's INSIDE the coffee cup, and not what's holding the coffee cup. Sure, we tend to go for the sleek, tall, white cylinder with the emerald green mermaid on it, but in reality, all we want is the coffee. If we try more often to focus on what we really want... the container it comes in shouldn't matter.
It's all about choices. Tall, grande, double shot, whipped cream, now, later... Most often, we get to choose what we "order". Sometimes the order is messed up, but how we deal with those mess ups is ultimately what makes us better people (be nice to those baristas, by the way, their job harder than you think).
Just some thoughts to sip on.