(Note: This post is dedicated to my Pumpkin Spice Ladies who are anything but basic. You know who you are.)
I had a Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) this morning. I’ve been good this year at managing to restrict my order to the tall size instead of the venti I have ordered nearly every fall previous. The size change isn’t commentary on the drink; I’ve simply lost weight and want to keep my size from changing. Smaller drink, fewer calories. I’ve also acquired pumpkin spice bagels, pumpkin-scented candles (from Bath and Body Works,) and started digging out my leggings. It’s fall. It’s also the time of year when I start hearing people start calling the things I like “basic.” I’ve even been called a “basic bitch” this year.
I have almost-magenta hair, drive a minivan whilst blasting the Ramones, and wore a Captain America shirt to the last “brunch” I went to sometime two years ago. Basic? Bitch, please. I play life on advanced setting.
I used to think that the term “basic bitch” was kind of humorous. We all kind of know the type of person who comes to mind with that term and with my luck on the one time I go to Starbucks instead of the local coffee shop around the corner it’s that person I get stuck behind in line. Or usually it’s a group of those people, wearing Uggs with yoga leggings, carrying little Vera Bradley pouches, trying to get everything sugar and fat free. I totally understand the frustration. I want to scream “leggings are not pants!” and “why don’t you just drink a can of air freshener for all the chemicals!” And I’m not (usually) the pretentious type who judges people’s pant and chemical choices. (But let’s be real, I am judging your eyebrows. Get it together, people.) There is just something kind of irritating about how homogeneous people seem when you’re standing in line waiting for your own caffeine delivery system. Basic Bitches, the boring people who are keeping me from my more colorful life by taking up space with their bland ones.
Except no on is bland. No one is boring. Each and every so-called Basic Bitch has something unique going on. Just by looking at a woman’s drink and pant choices we can’t possibly know what is going on in their life. Maybe they’re stopping in for that sweet coffee drink on their way home from spending a lot of time with a sick relative at the hospital and those leggings and Uggs were comfort clothes in a time of great stress. Maybe they’re a generic sartorial and taste choice because the rest of their life is full of color and boldness as a designer or a writer or even a student studying physics. Or maybe they’re a young woman just trying to fit in because they feel so out of place in this world.
Maybe it’s none of our business what makes a person special and maybe we need to stop looking at each other as a collection of consumption and instead see each other as people with lives and stories. Maybe we need to see each others for the characters we are.
Kind of like that magenta-haired bitch in the too-loud minivan who is about to roll through the Starbucks’ drive through because it’s Monday and she needs another PSL.
Think about it.