You know what?
I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes.
I totally thought I did.
In September, I spent all kinds of time thinking about how I was going to go to the states in October and I was going to stop at the very first Starbucks I saw and I was going to indulge in a grande non-fat pumpkin spice latte for the first time in 4 years and it was gonna be sooo goood.
And then I went to the states in October and I did all that. But it wasn’t good. Like, at all.
Because pumpkin spice lattes taste like sh…chemicals.
I don’t know what kind of chemicals one must use to make things that aren’t pumpkin taste like pumpkin, but I’m pretty sure it’s unnatural. And offensive to pumpkins.
And that’s exactly how my pumpkin spice latte tasted. It tasted unnatural and offensive, like a desperate melding of flavors that really don’t belong together but which someone forced together because they knew that some dumb sucker, like me, would come along and buy it.
It tasted like clever marketing.
And it tasted like a waste of $4.
I blame myself. I mean, come on! Pumpkin in coffee? What is that?! When did we decide this was a thing? And did I really enjoy this monstrosity 4 years ago?… And why don’t I like it now?…
I’ve been away from all those big coffee conglomerates for some time now. It’s possible that I’ve grown unaccustomed to the magic they use to make a simple cup of steamed milk and espresso taste like pie and ice-cream with sprinkles on top. To me, it doesn’t taste like magic anymore, it tastes like… fraud.
I bought that icky pumpkin spice latte in the airport and I sat down to await my next flight. I was thinking about all these things as I slowly sipped and scanned my email. That’s when I read a letter from a guy who goes to a big fancy church in the big fancy suburbs.
He said “I don’t know why I’m telling you this”, (I get a crap-ton of mail that starts like that!),”but I want to get it off my chest, and I think you’ll understand.”
And then he went on to tell me how his experience at church feels hollow, how he’s weirded out by the rock-concert he attends every Sunday, and how he feels like his church is masking the Gospel with all kinds of other things just to get people in the door, which is working, but he feels bad because the people are buying into this false idea of who Jesus is and what He’s going to ask of them if they follow him. Then he called the whole business of Church “creepy Jesus-VooDoo”, and said something about how “marketing magic” can fill our pews, but our hearts will remain empty if we keep inviting people to meet their Savior under false pretense.
I thought it was a really good letter.
And it made me wonder about what Jesus would think… ya know, of my latte.
…. …. ….
Seriously though. Does anyone know how they make it taste like pumpkin?!… I’m so curious.