I don’t believe in astrology (except for when I’m confused or bored, which is actually quite often) but if I did, I’d be worried. I was flipping through the South Philly Review last week, trawling the events pages for possible date nights, when I stumbled upon the astrology page.
“Horoscopes by Mystic Sherry, Psychic Reader” it read. Mystic Sherry? Seriously, Sherry? I may not know a tea leaf from a tarot card but I do know that I’m not going to believe anything written by a psychic called Sherry. It’s not that I have anything against the name Sherry, it’s just that “Sherry” has a certain Jersey Girl ring to it, and last I checked, Jersey Girls were not exactly known for their deep, prophetic, communing with the universe personalities (sorry ladies, we’re just not).
I’d be more apt to believe what Mystic Sherry has to say if her name was Esmeralda or something a bit more obviously gypsy. But then I read my horoscope.
“A romance could be gaining more speed than you are comfortable with. A forceful suitor plays on your vulnerabilities to take control. Talk to a good friend about putting a halt to it. Lucky number: 892.”
Now wait a minute here, Sherry. I’m not sure that I like your tone. “A forceful suitor?” More “speed” that I’m “comfortable with?” A man who is going to play on my “vulnerabilities?” Sherry, are you implying, in your Jersey Girl wisdom, that I’d be stupid enough to let somebody do that?
…Says the girl who’s reading her horoscope in the South Philly Review, which brings me to my next point: what am I doing reading my horoscope in the first place?
I’m so glad you asked. Generally speaking, I never bother to read my horoscope until my current relationship has already entered The Danger Zone (and by then, the fact that I’m a Leo— and that Leo’s are self-centered, egomaniacal little spitfires— doesn’t matter anymore. Mystic Sherry can’t save you or your celestially misaligned match).
During an afternoon of lollygagging around my old flat in London last year, I found myself faced with a familiar question: To break up or not to break up? The sensible thing to do in this situation would have been to talk to the bloke in question, and I did, time and time again. Said bloke was completely lovely about it (he even replenished my stock of “loo rolls” after I’d spent an entire evening crying—and blowing my nose—on every scrap of toilet paper the flat contained) but I remained unconvinced. I needed help, and so I turned to Mystic Sherry, or rather her online equivalent.
After a bit of googling, I found that a Leo and Pisces match can work well and ours did, until that fateful afternoon a few months later when I decided our relationship had run its course (oddly enough, one of the horoscope compatibility websites I stumbled upon stated, “Leo is playing the game of life with higher stakes than Pisces may realize. To score points, Pisces can treat Leo to a most excellent piece of gold jewelry.” I’m not such a fan of gold jewelry, nor do I consider myself particularly “high stakes,” but in this particular case, the advice of Mystic Whoever might have saved the Pisces in question).
But let’s get back to Mystic Sherry’s rather grim prognosis: “Talk to a good friend about putting a halt to it.” It just so happened that my good friend and college roommate was sitting across the table from me as I read.
“Maybe Mystic Sherry is talking about Date #4!” she exclaimed.
Date #4, brave man that he is, had stopped by Vango Lounge on birthday to buy me and my friends a round of drinks. Having been the first of my First Dates to garner a second audience with Yours Truly, he was the most obvious candidate for Mystic Sherry’s censure.
“But what ‘vulnerabilities’ is he playing upon?” I wondered. “Surely the fact that I like his cufflinks doesn’t make me vulnerable!” I’m touchy about all the usual things that most novel-writing, aspiring expatriates are touchy about (feelings of displacement, student loans, driving—and attempting to board buses— on the wrong side of the road, etc.) but these hardly seem like vulnerabilities of the worrisome variety. Except as far as my drivers license is concerned.
Instead, I chose to concentrate upon the last line of my horoscope (because horoscopes, I believe, should be approached in the same way that you approach the All You Can Eat Dinner Special at Phillip’s Seafood Buffet in Ocean City, Maryland. You need to pick and choose. If you arrive empty and “running on fumes” as my father does, you’re going to load up on steamers, hush puppies and Alaskan king crab legs and by the end of the meal you’re going to feel awful. Similarly, if you happen upon the astrology page of the South Philly Review “hungry” for enlightenment of the celestial variety, you’re going to end up with the hush puppies of relationship advice, and these, I can assure you, amount to a load of bullocks).
So I pick and choose: Lucky number 892. 892? Hmmm… in this case I’m going to pick and choose and give myself a bit of interpretive leeway because if Mystic Sherry wants me to go on 892 first dates before I find The One, she’s got another thing coming. I’m wiped out after four! But speaking of the number four, I’m going on my second date with Date #4 this afternoon. And no, I have no idea, nor the slightest inclination to find out, whether or not our signs are compatible.