By: MaryKhon

We’re already in November, queeridos. Soon, we will be stuffing our faces with lots of food during Thanksgiving weekend and then emptying our savings accounts because of the holiday season. And you know I’m not making this up because it has happened every year, and this year, since there is “no pandemic,” it will be the same, or perhaps worse since there will be more “freedom” to celebrate, travel and shop. But that is how our society functions so I guess there is nothing new here to discuss.

This month, in this particular year, is very important. And depending on whether you are reading this article before Tuesday, Nov. 8, or after, the effect of reading this paragraph is different because we as citizens (if you happen to be a documented citizen of this country) have a responsibility as members of society: TO VOTE. And I don’t want to get into all the details of why vote and the right to vote, and the importance of exercising that right. But if you are reading this before the elections, and you are a person who can exercise the right to vote, I hope you do. And if you’ve done that, good. If you are reading this after Big Tuesday and you didn’t vote even though you could, well, then, do not complain when things get harder (if they do) for you as a gay citizen of this nation because if you are someone who can vote and don’t exercise that right, then you can’t complain when rights are taking away and other forms of oppression affect you as a gay person. In short: Don’t come crying. I said, what I said.

But I digress.

November marks the beginning of the fall season, and with it, the wind, the rain, the cold morning and nights, and for many of us in the San Francisco Bay Area, the foggy mornings and afternoons. And what does all this mean? Sweaters, jackets, scarves, coats, hats, and more things to wear during the upcoming months. But for the most part, California is not a “snow and/or ice” territory. And even if it were, climate change and the drought has really made it “less cold” for our state in the last few years. So I see myself and others wearing layers instead of winter coats, and even with the layers, I see us wearing them less frequently. And all because of climate change. Yes, it may get cold but it isn’t as cold as it used to be.

But I digress once again.

So, what are the fall colors to wear? Before we do that, we need to look at the actual colors that identify the fall season. These colors are orange, red, yellow, and brown. But these colors aren’t bright colors, they are more “muted” and darker. The orange is less brighter than a pumpkin color, the red is more of red wine color, the yellow is actually opaque and the brown is, well brown. The colors are mostly based on nature than anything else, mainly based in foliage. That said, every year the fashion industry uses the fall colors and gives them a spin. This year, for example, the official fall fashion colors are Amazon Green, Rose Violet, Nosegay, Caramel Café, Samoan Sun, Orange Tiger, Waterspout, Artic Wolf, Polar Night, and Lava Falls. Despite the fancy names, they are simply a combination of the official fall colors and the spin is that they are either metallic or have a shine to them. Colors are one thing but what really matters in fashion is the style of the clothing. And that is all whole new ball that my gayness is not ready to discuss or care for.

And I digress one last time.

For some people like me, the fall season and consequently the winter season, are very difficult seasons to go through. One is the weather changing from warmer to colder and two, and the most important factor is that many of us suffer from Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year, and it occurs where there is less sunlight at certain times of the year. For me, the symptoms of SAD start to occur sometime during the first two weeks of November and they last pretty much through the fall and winter seasons. The symptoms include fatigue, depression, hopelessness, and social withdrawal. Depression and social withdrawal are the two main symptoms I experience every year. SAD can be treated with light therapy, also known as phototherapy, talk therapy, and medications. I treat my disorder with light therapy and writing.

Well, queeridos! There you have it. Four different topics packed into one single article. Sometimes I surprise myself with the things I can do. Most of the time, though, I pay too much attention to the things I wish I could do but can’t. Irregardless, “Life is just a bowl of Cherries,” and no, it doesn’t mean that it is bad, but rather that life is pleasant, and despite the downs, life is wonderful.

Hasta next time, queeridos!