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Fall Foliage

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Hey, you there. The one pretending not to be combing through the October issue of Real Simple. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that today is the first day of fall, and the pressure is on to have the coziest and most envy-inducing fall season of all time. You already missed your chance with summer and you regret not posting enough Instagrams of your donut floatie and homemade flag cakes, so it's damn time that you redeem yourself.

It may seem like summer is peak jealousy season, what with the opportunity to flaunt the bikini body that you spent all spring working on, but fall is where the real opportunity lies. Anybody can can cut out carbs for four to five months, but only the truly special can embody autumn in every sense of the word. You're probably well-versed in what it takes to celebrate the season, but you're probably not well-versed in what it takes to celebrate the season better than everybody else you know. 

That's what I'm here for. If the following sounds familiar, you're well on your way.

First comes your wardrobe. The second September 1st came around you went directly to your nearest J.Crew and bought a fisherman's sweater in every shade of beige they offered. You wear leather boots that make your calves sweat because it's only September and it's still above 80 degrees most days. But that's the price of being a fall warrior. You can switch up the sweaters if the temperature is unbearable, but keep your color palette to autumn shades only; you should blend in like camouflage with the foliage that doesn't exist yet.

Next, your home decor. Make that décor; go ahead and be French about it, you pretentious boob. There shouldn't be one adornment that isn't seasonal; chances are good that you've already gone to Pier 1 and blindly purchased everything in the front section. Even that potpourri that oddly doesn't have a scent.

There are horn-shaped wicker baskets full of gourds in every room (I shouldn't even have to mention that the gourds should come in varying shapes and sizes). Dried leaves are spread expertly on all non-eating surfaces. A plethora of apple-cinnamon candles and pumpkins in colors that would never be found in nature, so much so that your guests find themselves wondering if they accidentally walked into a bakery from Martha Stewart magazine. If you have a tablescape full of maize consider yourself exempt from the aforementioned potpourri.   

Your daily diet, now that Starbucks removed those pesky chemicals, begins with one Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte at promptly the busiest hour of your local shop—for maximum sightings of your fisherman's sweater, obviously. All lunches and dinners should be prepared in a crock pot, dessert being the exception. You occasionally throw in a freshly-baked apple pie—that you prepare, take a picture of, and promptly throw away. You've also taught yourself to make leaf-shaped latte art because you're a f--king boss.

Your fall activities have been gel-penned into your planner for weeks now, but here's a refresher nonetheless. Any kind of picking is preferable; whether it's of the pumpkin variety, or apple or wildflower, who cares. Just wear plaid and take pictures of your boyfriend lifting you in the air. If you're a drinker you no doubt have a few Oktoberfest celebrations penned in, but you'll be ordering pumpkin beer because who actually drinks Oktoberfest? But a word to the wise: If the festival doesn't take place in a rural setting during peak foliage, don't even bother.

If you must be indoors (acceptable excuses include thunderstorms and pumpkin beer-induced hangovers), try to work on your gourd displays or at the very least burn one of your apple cinnamon candles. You already have your crackling fire and faux fur throw at the ready or we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Now, the true fall warrior knows that social media is the very most important aspect. You dedicate the necessary time to Instagram because otherwise none of your hard work matters. But as excited as you are to show off your seasonal prowess, you do not clog the feed. That's what Snapchat is for. When you do grace the 'Gram with your presence, you alternate between photos of yourself in your burnt orange clothing with your leaf latte in one hand and your gourd creations in the other, and landscape shots of all the beautiful scenery and activities you are #blessed with.

And that's how it's done.