A bubbly news anchor’s voice bounces through my living room and into my kitchen, oh-so-excited to announce that today is the first day of fall.​

I am scarcely aware of it, as my air conditioner has been working overtime all summer and today is no exception. It’s cool, but by the afternoon it will be close to ninety degrees (again. yawn.) I make sure that the thermostat is appropriately set to brace for the blistering afternoon heat before sitting down to breakfast.

A plate of warm egg whites and cheese, turkey sausage and an oversize mug of black coffee await me. I reach for the grocery store ads to peruse for the week’s BOGO and ‘ten for ten’ sales so as to stock the pantry for the winter months looming on the horizon. I turn the page to find an entire brown and orange page dedicated to the season’s most overdone and over-marketed favorite: pumpkin. The ad has all of the usual suspects, pumpkin gobs, pumpkin drop cookies, pumpkin coffee. I flash my best Kristen Wiig ‘Target face’ as I behold the most disgusting attempt to cash in on the pumpkin craze—pumpkin chicken sausage. I slam the ad onto the table with unusual emphasis. I’ve had it. First they made Christmas into a commercialized mess, and now they are trying to ruin fall by giving it a big, orange gourd-of-a-mascot.

Guess what, self-proclaimed “basics” and pumpkin aficionados?

You don’t really like pumpkin.

Almost everything that claims to be pumpkin flavored, scented, or infused (ooh la la!) has no pumpkin in it. Get this…(and I’m about to blow your punkin chunkin’ mind) your beloved Starbucks Pumpkin Latte has absolutely ZERO pumpkin in it. None. Not a one. Not a molecule of pumpkin. In fact, very few of the seasonably marketed food/beverages contain any pumpkin.

It’s not pumpkin that you like–it’s spices. Our old pals cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger get no respect–as soon as someone spots the first summer leaf falling from a tree at the end of August, they throw on a nubby sweater and spark up the ‘pumpkin’ candle (cinnamon, clove, applewood.)

It’s unfair that the great pumpkin gets to be the poster girl for all things autumn. I don’t care how unattractive my beloved spices look; they too can and should be permitted the opportunity to be stickered onto jarred candles and emblazoned on the side of every food/home decor packaging.

The cinnamon stick is a distant second to pumpkin, with her slim, tall silhouette and her capable, stand-alone scent. Nutmeg is a plus-sized, wrinkly seed with one of the coolest histories and potencies of the spice world. Cloves resemble elvish wooden torches while ginger root curls up with a good book in knotted, gnarled wonderment.

Remember when Milli Vanilli won a Grammy for Best New Artist of the Year and then we found out that they were lip syncing songs sung by a group of ‘unmarketable’ singers?

Deja vu.