16 Ways Southern California Just Doesn't Understand How To Do Fall

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When I was a kid, I lived in Minnesota. I’m thankful for my 10 years in a state that busts out all four seasons, because it meant I got to experience autumn, the beautiful prelude to winter, and the darling of all the seasons. The air becomes dry and crisp as our moms take us to Target for back-to-school supplies. While we’re there, we get to pick out the perfect autumnal hat, and a light jacket to suit our quasi-chilled needs. The 65 degree weather slowly turns into 50 degree weather, and by Thanksgiving, it is well below freezing and miserable. But we never forgot about mid-September, the perfect time to really relish and celebrate autumn in all its glory.

I moved to San Diego just in time for fourth grade. School started in late August, which was bizarre, and seemed a little cruel to me. I wasn’t used to starting school during a time I still very much considered summer vacay. But whatever, I did my fourth-grade thing and put this issue behind me. But then September rolled around, and it was still in the upper-70s, and it still felt like summer. I knew California was all sunshine, but how could there be this much sunshine? I waited and waited, but I still resorted to wearing shorts to class. It disturbed me.

Now, 14 years later, I’m still kind of upset about Southern California’s lack of respect for fall. There is practically no fall. Sure, we drink PSLs and wear cable-knit sweaters, and we shoot for “cozy.” But inside, we are sweating and dying. We are faking it until we make autumn happen, but it’s just not happening. Here are 16 more reasons California autumn is not really autumn:

1. Pumpkin Spice Lattes all around, but they’re iced

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They’re still delicious, but isn’t the whole sensationalized point supposed to be that we get to feel warm and cozy, like we’re drinking a liquefied version of pumpkin pie? When it’s over ice, it just feels like a glorified chai tea latte. AKA not very special.

2. It’s hot until November, so no #sweaterweather for you

Go ahead. Buy all the sweaters. Buy those soft, plaid button-ups from Urban Outfitters that feel like fabric heaven. But you’re not wearing those during the day, because you will die of heat stroke.

3. In fact, you’re still wearing all your summer dresses up until Thanksgiving

All the maxis. All the flowy, flowy skirts. Why are you still here.

4. You can paint your nails autumn-y, but it feels like a lie

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All those little orange pumpkins and red leaves you ask the nail salon to design are really just overcompensating for the fact that it’s, like, 75 degrees out, and you might as well be wearing highlighter pinks and oranges.

5. It’s usually about 80 degrees on Halloween, so be ready for wilted pumpkins

Only carve the night before, and don’t let them sit out for too long, because the amount of mold that manifests inside a pumpkin is enough to make penicillin for every pharmacy in California.

6. Oh, and don’t actually leave a candle in your pumpkin, because it’s fire season

In California, it’s all about the plastic pumpkins that need an outlet to light up. Every child’s dream.

7. And hopefully your costume doesn’t involve all black or a cloak, because you will be miserable

So if you’ve always wanted to dress up like The Little Mermaid, California has given you that chance to live out your mer-dreams.

8. It never really gets “crisp”

Just… slightly not boiling.

9. It either rains for two weeks straight or not at all

Be prepared for either/or.

10. If you want to go apple picking, you’re stuck driving 2-3 hours into the mountains

The orchards in Julian are the best place for sweet, juicy apples that don’t taste like the red sponges you buy at Ralph’s, so I highly recommend visiting.

11. There is no real reason to wear boots

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Like, no girl. Put those flip-flops back on.

12. Or cute hats

Because your head will be a sopping, sweaty mess if you even think about it.

13. However, all the malls sell boots and hats anyway, so

Every H&M, Target, Forever 21, Zara, and Gap will be selling cute scarves and sweaters in burnt sienna and olive green, but you can’t even wear those things. Why taunt us like that? Oh, cruel, cruel world.

14. If you want to make yourself some mulled cider, you'd best turn the AC on

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Or else your house will turn into an apple-scented sauna.

15. The leaves are kind of bad at turning colors. This happens in late November.

Love jumping on crunchy, red and orange leaves? That’s too bad, because leaves are basically a California myth until Thanksgiving.

16. So having a chimney is basically useless.

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