As you may have noticed from the crisp air or the recent deluge of pumpkin patch and apple orchard pictures on your Facebook and Instagram feeds, it is now fall. Something else you can learn about the season from Instagram is how “basic” people celebrate the season.
“Basic,” as defined by Urban Dictionary, is an adjective “used to describe someone devoid of defining characteristics that might make a person interesting, extraordinary, or just simply worth devoting time or attention to.”
For example, the classic basic fall person would be a female in furry boots, leggings and a North Face jacket carrying a pumpkin spiced latte while taking pictures of herself in a pile of leaves that she is sitting in for no apparent reason other than that she wants her followers to know it’s fall. We all know this person, and despite all of our best efforts, we all have a little bit of this person inside of us.
Females get the short end of the stick when it comes to being basic because the word came into popular vernacular to describe typical females. However, there is also a different type of basic on the other end of the gender spectrum: the basic fall male.
Author’s note: just as anyone regardless of assigned gender can play the role of basic fall female, basic fall male is not restricted to those who identify as male.
The attire: sports shirts
Although there is a wide array of sports shirts at the disposal of basic fall males, the ones selected are usually restricted to a jersey or the T-shirt bought on the tails of the most recent championship the wearer’s favorite team won. As hockey season starts up, Chicagoans can be on the lookout for Stanley Cup T-shirts from this past June, and on basic fall males of a certain age, a Bears shirt from 1986.
Bonus points if he is wearing a backward hat.
The location: tailgates
The basic fall male equivalent of a pumpkin patch is a tailgate. It has all the elements upon which basic fall males survive: beer, snacks, competition and sports.
The boys of fall wake up at the plumber’s crack of dawn to drive to the parking lot outside and set up the cornhole boards, the mini-grill, the Bloody Mary bar, the chili bar, the actual drink bar, the mimosa for the one guy in the group who refuses to jump on the Bloody Mary bandwagon, the 15 or more bags of chips, the salsa dip, the queso dip, the French onion dip, the seven-layer dip, the bean dip and the six other dips of which no one is really sure of the contents. The same people that can barely get to work on time on a regular basis show up bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and fully prepared to spend the day completing a triathlon of eating, drinking and sporting.
The hobby: social media
More than Instagram, Twitter is the weapon of choice for basic fall males. Instead of adorable candids, though, it’s updates. Constant updates. Following even just a few such people makes actually watching games unnecessary because every big play and update can be read on the Internet. Our founding fathers granted us free speech when they founded this great country, but I’m not sure what they had in mind was 30 tweets in the span of one hour that detail exactly how much one individual truly believes in the Cubs this season.
Facebook is another monster of its own, because when basic fall males aren’t composing their own prose in the form of 140-character snippets, they are sharing others’ commentary on sports. While basic fall females tend to overshare articles such as Buzzfeed’s “In Defense of Pumpkin Spice” and “What Basic Fall Activity Should You Do With Your S.O.?” the basic males of fall will share articles such as Bleacher Report’s “Of Course J.R. Got Mid-Game Cotton Candy” with an emphatic “lol he totally would” or ESPN’s “Chip Kelly as USC’s next coach? Not so fast” accompanied by a lengthy, mostly-informed thesis on the pros and cons of Chip Kelly and his impact on USC’s football program.
Fall is a wonderful time. It’s a time for pumpkins and a time for sports. Being basic is nothing to be ashamed of, whether you identify as a basic fall male or a basic fall female. Embrace yourself and embrace the season. It only comes once a year, and it really is magical.