Tuesday, August 27, 2019 has come and passed, and I am so ashamed of my guilty pleasuring that I wish to take a power drill through my cerebellum until I finally pass through this monotonous revolving door that is this life.
That’s right, you guessed it; pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks, and I am a man.
Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin… all absolutely gorgeous flavor notes yet… so… so very feminine. It’s not that my masculinity is fragile, it’s just that I only buy my son things that are blue and don’t listen to Maggie Rogers. I also think Nikki Glaser talks about sex too much on stage yet yearn for her to engage in intercourse with me behind my wife’s back. You know, typical man stuff.
How might I know the taste of a sweet, sweet, really fuckin’ sweetened pumpkin spice latte if it’s so unmanly, you might ask? Because I am weak, my father never hugged me, and I liked some of Hillary’s pantsuits.
Many years ago (two), I ordered a pumpkin spice latte for the first time out of sheer desperation. I was half-asleep on the way to work after being up til 11 p.m. because my wife wanted “to spend some time with me for once,” and I needed a pick me up before I crashed and ruined my 2015 Dodge Ram. I stopped at the nearest Starbucks and looked up at all the display signs, wondering if the cocaine adjacent combination of caffeine and sugar would wake me up to safely make it to sports journalism job.
Embarrassed and embattled, I refused eye contact with the barista and quietly mumbled “pumpkin spice latte.” She asked what size and I whispered “tall,” because it’s much more manly to say than “venti” or “big” in Spanish. She then asked my name; I lied and said Kevin.
I began my sipping the beverage in my car, its molten quality burning my tongue, but it’s sweet, Yankee candle-esque taste lighting up a spark inside of me. This is delicious, I thought to myself, before being overcome with guilt and shame.
I am a man and everyone knows it is man code to respond “a nice bold dark roast, no cream or sugar,” when asked what about what coffee you enjoy, before immediately disparaging dark juice you procure at cafe’s and asserting that the real good stuff is what you buy at Harris Teeter’s and then grind in the comfort of your own home. And it costs less that way — just putting that out there in case any millennials didn’t know that! Maybe you can now buy a house.
Under the anonymity of hiding behind the screen and just referring to myself as a man who is not named Kevin, I will admit that I very much enjoy this dastardly drink and order it frequently during the fall.
I am not proud of it.
Which is why you are not allowed to look at or acknowledge me while I drink it. Please maintain a safe distance of 100 ft from me, do not attempt to make eye contact, and say “Wow, I’m so impressed by that man drinking his coffee BLACK!” to anyone that you may be standing next to.
But if you ever see me order one iced, please feel free to shoot me.