Hello, it is August 30, and in 2022 that means it’s pumpkin spice latte time. Starbucks’ annual announcement that you can now, if you wish, buy this drink typically prompts a bunch of crankiness on the internet.
Personally, I welcome the PSL’s arrival, as well as the appearance of pumpkin beer in shops for one reason—and it’s not because I drink either beverage often. For me the PSL’s seasonal emergence means one important thing: the end of the godawful and relentless Washington, DC, summer is finally in sight.
Soon, it may be possible to walk a mile without feeling like there’s an inch of WD-40 swimming between your skin and your clothes. Soon, you might be able to open a window for longer than ten minutes. Soon, you might not step outside your door and involuntarily exclaim “Ugggggghhhh.”
Okay, maybe “soon” is relative. Labor Day is not really when fall starts around here. Temperatures typically don’t give us a break until the clocks go back an hour. All we have to remind us that summer’s tyranny will end are these somewhat basic libations. Let us welcome them instead of complaining, because they are a signal that at some point in the imaginable near future we may be dry.
Perhaps we could even drink PSLs with a little local pride? After all, Washington—a city whose lack of a culinary identity is arguably a strength—is sort of responsible for the pumpkin spice latte.