My two oldest daughters have worked at the same restaurant off and on for about six years and often comment on how many times they get asked to bring an extra side of ranch dressing. I always feel their silent server scorn when I ask for extra ranch or, sometimes their scowls keep me from even asking. I don’t want to be “that person.”
But what if I like ranch dressing? I mean, what’s not to like about it? There’s got to be some reason it’s replaced all other dressings as the most popular.
I think this time of year we begin to feel the same way about ordering pumpkin spice anything. I saw the first sign of fall back in late August with a pumpkin spice baking mix display at the store and thought, please, not yet! It’s the same feeling we all have when we see Christmas decorations out before Halloween (which I just saw earlier this week).
Pumpkin Spice has become the Hallmark Channel of food - apparently lots of people love it, but no one wants to admit it. Hating on pumpkin spice is an autumn ritual, up there with corn mazes and fall festivals. It seems to be in our human nature to love something to death, to smother it with our affections until everyone else is resentful of its success.
All this being said, pumpkin spice is not my guilty pleasure. Mine is ranch. Put ranch on anything fried and I am likely to choose it for my last meal as a condemned woman. I am determined not to be embarrassed by this affection anymore and to go ahead and order it on my salad at restaurants (except maybe fancy Italian restaurants where I still feel like I should enjoy their house-made Italian), or ask for extra ranch for my fried mozzarella sticks instead of marinara.
If there’s one life lesson I’ve learned in my fifties, it’s to fill your life with what you love, even if others don’t understand or even sneer. So if you love pumpkin spice, burn that candle, drink the latte, and even try the ice cream. Embrace your trendiness, even if it has become untrendy. Own your delights and let those choices make the house of your life a home. And enjoy your salad days with an extra side of ranch.