Pumpkin Spice Latte 🎃☕️ ⏤ Vol 27
Boots with the fur, a European holiday and the new millennium.
Welcome to September. It’s been three weeks since we’ve last chatted with each other. What’s been going on with you? How has the end of summer been treating you?
The first half of my summer was quite interesting and rough, to say the least, but that story I will save for another day. The latter part of the season was much more exciting and enjoyable.
But we are entering my favorite time of the year, FALL! Granted, 80 degrees will hang around in South Carolina until November, I still love this season the most.
Seasonal menus and drinks at restaurants are the best. Fall TV shows are immaculate. I love cozy sweaters and boots—the ability to wear leggings every single day returns. Dark lipstick and nail polish make their fashion debut. In certain parts of the country, the leaves turn beautiful autumn colors for endless picturesque scenery.
While fall doesn't hasn’t made its official appearance, most people mark today, Labor Day, the official end of summer and the beginning of the next season. But really, Fall runs from Sept 22 - Dec 21!
What are you looking forward to the most this Fall? Reply or respond in the comments. I love knowing what’s going on with you.
Let’s get into today’s topics:
Introducing the 2000s
When you google “what is a basic bitch” many renditions of the phrase will return in the search results.
But one thing that will ALWAYS show up in any explanation of a basic bitch — Pumpkin Spice Latte.
So, of course, I had to go down my research rabbit hole to find out why ordering a Pumpkin Spice Latte makes me a basic bitch this time of year.
Since its inception in 2003, the pumpkin spice latte has become a popular discussion topic around capitalism, seasonal creep, and the meaning of “basic,” which results in so much hate for an otherwise innocuous beverage.
PSLs picked up their popularity and steam right around the explosion of Instagram in the early 2010s when women would pose in leggings as the season broke with a cup of coffee hashtagging #PumpkinSpiceLatte or something similar in fall-like fashion.
From there, the PSL craze, whether you love it or hate it, took off. The basicness really evolved around white women, mostly, and still does. If you search PSL on Twitter or any social media site, you will see a slight trend.
What makes it funnier now is that many men have stepped into the basicness of the drink and embody what a stereotypical PSL drinker would look like. Black folk have also joined the comedic banter yet celebration.
The phrase basic bitch was coined from hip-hop, and it started white-girl-on-white-girl insults. Making Uggs, North Face, and leggings the easiest way to spot a basic b. Then walks in the PSL, which adds kerosene to the fire. Now there is a uniform and beverage to go along with the phrase.
From there, it takes off. The list of “how to spot a basic bitch” is endless:
She only does cardio at the gym
She relentlessly uses Pinterest
She never misses a Bath & Body Works [candle] sale
Bravo is one of her top watched channels
The puppy dog filter was (or still is) her favorite
She’s done a booty boot camp
At least one of her iPhones have been all white
Selfies will always be her favorite type of photo
She [still] makes wishes at 11:11
She orders prosecco at bars
She loves vacationing in Las Vegas or Miami
She uses quotes from Mean Girls
How many of these do you fall into? The number is 8 for me, 9 if you include the given PSL drink order.
If enjoying pumpkin-spiced anything makes a Sis basic, well, bring it on because I will never stop ordering my grande pumpkin spice latte, with only 2 pumps, light drizzle, no whip, extra hot drink from Starbucks.
In Vol 24 and 25, I talk about the need to take a break from my passion projects - @BlackWifeLife and a social media newsletter.
Since I decided to take time away from one and completely end the other, I have been enjoying the HELL out of my free time. Like seriously. I’ve been doing something creative non-stop since 2018 that had a once-a-week commitment attached to it.
I’ve been sitting still with what seems like unlimited free time on my hands for the first time in a while.
In the beginning, I had the initial shock of “what the fuck did I just do.” I’m so used to my days being consumed with creative tasks that I didn’t know what to do with myself for the first week. I would catch myself scrolling on BWL IG page, saving pictures to reshare upon my return, and still interacting in DMs and comments.
I had to check myself because that is NOT time away. Just because I am not pressing post doesn’t mean it still can’t consume my time and energy.
So I took the profile off my phone, made it private, and changed the bio to say I am taking a break, be back soon.
We signup and commit to so much in our lives that it’s hard for us to understand and know what it’s like to say no and sit back with nothing on our calendars.
I used to think an empty calendar was a waste of time. Now, an empty calendar screams endless possibilities for me to sit back and enjoy whatever life decides to throw me on any given day.
If revisited past-time hobbies:
playing plants vs. zombies on my iPad — this is my favorite game of all time behind crazy taxi
afternoon bubble baths
And even picked up some new ones:
digital planning using my iPad — I’m no longer stickering and writing in real life. I’ve officially converted
This free time gave me the headspace to sit in the quiet and understand what I really want to do next. Without the consistent empty space, I wouldn’t be as clearheaded as I am right now. Sometimes we think we can take a weekend or week to step away, and we will be good as new. But really, it takes much longer.
What made this time away even better is that the diversity & inclusion firm I consult with made a beautiful executive decision to adopt a piece of the European work culture and close the doors for a 2-week holiday from August 16 - 27.
I never thought I would ever work for a company that shuts completely down and survives for more than a day. Every single person was off, without it deducting from their PTO, to recharge and enjoy the last weeks of summer.
Not only did I have time away from my creative career, but my professional gig was on a slight hiatus too. Whew, I was LIVING the dream.
My husband and I took a trip to Michigan to see family and drove to Chicago to enjoy the best time of year in the city and link up with friends. I took the 3 1/2 hour drive to Atlanta to visit my old stomping grounds. Had a wave pool day at Carowinds with my bestie. And I started binging Manifest on Netflix - a MUST watch.
I have really really enjoyed this time away. And if you haven’t taken time away from life to sit back and do nothing, or the things that bring only YOU joy, then you are not doing it right.
Introducing the 2000s
Don’t get mistaken, Monday Lunch will always and forever be a stan for the greatest decade this world will ever see, IMO, the 90s. The first year of Monday Lunch, I dedicated solely to the best of the 90s and will continue to do that.
But as we enter year two of this newsletter, I want to show my utmost love to the beginning of the new millennium. In Vol 20, I share how I spent the last day of the 90s. And when the clock struck midnight, at the age of 14, I was turning the corner on what would be some of the best and worst years of my teenage years. It’s a good story. Go back and read it if you missed it.
The 2000s brought us a surge in technology, an explosion of social networking, and fashion trends that I never want us to revisit ever again in life.
During year two of Monday Lunch, expect stories, gossip, and personal memories from 2000 - 2010. But trust me, the 90s will always be here.
If you love the 2000s, you do NOT want to miss any of our upcoming lunch dates.
#binge: Manifest (Netflix)
#watch: Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu); White Lotus (HBOmax)
#read: Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme by Mary Wilson
This book, written in 1986, was a SUPERB read if you want to know what life was like from another POV. Diana Ross has been the main attraction of the Supremes for decades and the only living original member left. She has controlled the narrative for such a long time. While our parents and grandparents might recall some of the stories Mary tells in her memoir, most of us will be in SHOCK, but not really because we know the diva known as Diana was a handful back then.
Note: You can find this book used as low as $3 on Amazon. I purchased a used version from a Goodwill store via Amazon, and it arrived in great condition.
That’s it friends! I hope you enjoyed lunch with me today. Don’t miss our next lunch date on September 20; it’s going to be full of surprises. Plus, it’s one of my favorite volumes to write — Our wedding anniversary. Check out last year’s wedding anniversary edition if you’ve missed it.
P.S. - if you have a topic you want to talk about during lunch, feel free to reply to this email or contact me at email@example.com!