As if 2020 wasn’t crazy enough, pumpkin spice season starts next week

Alma L. Figueroa

America may run on Dunkin’, but I’m running out of patience.

I let it slide when you dropped the “Donuts” from your name in 2018. I tried your breakfast bowls, and they were criminally gross. And now you’re kicking off your fall menu on… August 19?

The fall menu features a “new” signature pumpkin spice latte, chai latte, pumpkin-flavored coffees, apple cider donuts and Munchkins, pumpkin donuts, Munchkins and muffins and maple sugar bacon breakfast sandwiches.

Honestly? A lot of that sounds delicious. I’m a sucker for apple cider donuts, even though I much rather get them fresh from a Garden State orchard than a donut chain. But my gripe isn’t with taste as much as it is with timing.

Saying hello to fall means saying goodbye to summer. And summer is summer, even in surreal 2020. I want to squeeze every last sweet sandy, sun-soaked minute out of it that I can. This summer feels especially truncated, as we’ve spent much of it in our homes as we continue to fight the spread of coronavirus in New Jersey.

I don’t even want to start thinking about autumn until the middle of September, not the middle of August. I imagine Dunkin’ is hurting like every other business because of COVID-19, and sees this is a chance to stoke business. But I know I’m not the only one who will find the premature autumnal offerings depressing, not enticing.

This also goes beyond just this summer. I’m not just concerned with PSLs (Pumpkin Spice Lattes), I’m also concerned with PSC — Pumpkin Spice Creep. It feels like every August we’re saying goodbye to summer and hello to fall sooner and sooner. Two years ago Starbucks started serving its Pumpkin Spice Lattes on Aug. 28. Now Dunkin is rolling it out near the halfway point of August. By 2021, I fully expect pumpkin spice cold brew to be released in July. Shoot, maybe Starbucks will start making pumpkin spice hard seltzer for us to drink on the beach for July 4! If fall starts sooner, that mean winter starts sooner too — Christmas directions were already up at Macy’s in September last year. A win for Pumpkin Spice Creep is a win for Christmas Creep!

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love fall. It’s the best season — I’m willing to die on this hill covered in crunchy leaf piles. If there’s a chill in the air, I might be found imbibing the occasional pumpkin-flavored coffee. I prefer Rook’s pumpkin cold brew, but a saccharine Starbucks PSL will probably find its way into my hands at least once.

But its still hot and humid throughout New Jersey, and temperatures in the 90s are more suited for the Asbury Park boardwalk than apple-picking. So wake me up when September um, starts, Dunkin’, and until then? Fall back.

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