Sure, I try very hard to let myself be seduced by foliage, by all things pumpkin flavored, apple cider donuts, new scarves and sweaters, Oktoberfest parties, and excuses to drink more hot tea, but when it comes down to it, I am not an autumn person. I am convinced that while Thanksgiving is probably the greatest holiday of the calendar year (because it revolves entirely around eating and family), it was probably invented to keep us all from killing ourselves once the remaining leaves have fallen off the trees and it’s dark at 5:30 pm. I alarmed a co-worker the other day when I referred to fall as that “symbolic death just before winter hibernation.” She agreed with me that it’s not her favorite season, but she just hadn’t heard it put quite that way before.
To add to this, living in Boston in the fall means everyone watches football every weekend. I did not grow up doing this. My family watches tennis and college basketball exclusively. (Let's be real though: I also have never watched a spectator sport of my own volition.) Football games in particular though, are mind-numbing to me, not to mention long-winded. I feel like every time I make a concerted effort to look at the screen during a game, someone is being evaluated for an injury. (If this isn’t a deterrent enough from playing such a game, I don’t know what is.) Even Tom Brady, while nice to look at, just becomes one of the many imperceptible dots running back and forth in seeming anarchy on TV. I must admit that the very sound of a football game in the background automatically makes me want to retreat and slink into another room.
Football is certainly not the cause of my dread at the return of fall. It only exacerbated a sentiment that always existed. As a kid, I can't say I remember absolutely loving fall, but I did look forward to Halloween and I did like jumping into a pile of leaves. I didn't have the allergies I have now though. After Halloween was over, in the midst of shorter days, I usually consoled myself with the fact that I had my birthday to look forward to in November, and while I still look forward to birthdays, in a few years/decades, that may not still be the case. Yes, I am a disgrace to people born in the fall. I desperately need an attitude adjustment when it comes to this annual season change.
So, the husband tries to watch every Sunday game possible during this season, but with our busy schedules, that's not terribly many. This year, I have discovered that if I choose not to shut myself in the office/music room and weep while listening to Joni Mitchell during football, (although the ritual can be quite cathartic at least once a year), I can actually be extremely productive during said hours of the week! I can practice, read, cook, or write all while basking in the glow of pumpkin-scented candlelight. And if we go somewhere to watch football with friends, there is usually at least one delicious dip to be had and good company to enjoy. My autumnal mind frame is a work in progress, but the prospect of buffalo chicken dip with friends is comforting.