Not quite ready to ‘fall’ into season

I will concede that we celebrated the first day of fall this week, and so, if you simply can’t stand it any longer, you have my permission to break out the gourds, berries, leaves and wheat sheaves.
But if you buy a pumpkin, you have stepped over the line. It doesn’t matter that they are gourds. They are jack-o-lanterns waiting to happen. They are the essential symbol of Halloween, carved or not. Just keep those eyes straight ahead as you enter the supermarket.
Rushing the holidays is as tacky as wearing white after Labor Day. (Well, it is for those of us who wish to continue having insignificant reasons to feel superior to others.) I don’t care if the merchants need to extend their impulse-buy window. I don’t care if the stacks of fat, orange pumpkins look thoroughly fetching. Even though the nights have been noticeably cooler, I have not completely relinquished summer. I might still barbecue. I’m still wearing sandals and short-sleeved shirts. Once I purchase a pumpkin, it means pantyhose and closed shoes. It means summer is truly gone.
I don’t even care if the Halloween cards I spot are hilarious, or that the aisles are filled with inexpensive but cute Halloween doodads, and that giant bags of candy are everywhere. I am impervious, oblivious and just a little annoyed. The whole push just rubs my nose in the fact that there are actually women who do prepare for each holiday six weeks in advance. Even if I try, I forget what I bought and where I stashed it.
Never mind that the Halloween superstores have opened already and the rest have set aside at least six aisles for masks, signs, costumes and a thousand other adorable decorations. Never mind that the haunted houses are already being put together. If we begin indulging now, by the time the real Halloween gets here, we will be so weary of it, we won’t even enjoy stealing our children’s chocolate bars.
While I insist on holding out on my pumpkin purchase, I do rather love the fact that people are getting more and more into the holiday of Halloween. The front-yard decorations have become amazing and great fun. I can only presume the selection of goodies has escalated, as well. I don’t really know anymore, since my children are beyond the trick-or-treating stage.
That’s right. I’m not just boycotting the pumpkin for myself anymore. Oh no. I am doing it for every mother of a child under 15. They know what happens when the kids start planning their Halloween costume too soon. Heaven forbid you take them seriously and actually purchase or make something this far in advance. If you don’t already know, I will tell you that your child is going to change his or her mind at least three more times, possibly right up until midnight Oct. 30. I’ve seen it happen more than once, and I believe I got my first gray hairs that way.
So fine, decorate for fall, but do it at your own risk. If you break down and buy a pumpkin, you are just asking for trouble — with a capital P.

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