Sunday, January 29, 2006

It used to be a great pickup line

I think I was in the 3rd or 4th grade when I found out what my astrological sign was. My youngers sister and I were briefly allowed to occupy the same airspace with the girl across the street. CP was easily three or four years older than me. She was a zaftig teenager with wild hair like Jerry Garcia's "Mountain Girl", but her feet and elbows were forever dirty.

CP had an old clawfoot bathtub in her bedroom with one side cut out and she had a red cushion and patterned pillows piled in it so it looked like a loveseat. Her older brother had painted two walls of his bedroom black and two of them dark purple, which was something I couldn't quite wrap my head around at the time. She liked to make a lot of beaded necklaces and make references to music that was only vaguely familiar to my young ears. She also revealed to me that I was an Aries.

I was grateful for this information and would have wanted to enlighten my parents with it, except that CP was also the person who had showed me and the sister how to fold all our fingers down except for the middle one and wave, after which she shooed us off to "show our parents". Any new skills learned at CP's house were, therefore, understandably suspect in our parents' book. I was momentarily crushed that Aries didn't sound as exotic or as important as CP's sign which was Aquarius. Futhermore, a Ram was just a barnyard animal as far as I was concerned and the personality traits that defined me as having been born under a fire sign meant little.

Fortunately for me, interest in the signs of the zodiac were part of the pop culture of the time, and I was brought up to speed pretty quickly. Posters, patches on our jeans, leather embossed zodiac bracelets were everywhere. In the 5th grade, I got a penpal who lived in Columbus, Ohio. Her birthday, March 21st, was three days before mine and we exhanged zodiac pens and lime green stationary (with the sign of the Ram on it) upon which we wrote numerous letters to each other. We enjoyed making constant reference to our "sign" but I still knew very little about what it meant. It was a game, in a way, and an opportunity to belong to one of 12 "clubs" that didn't require dues, or auditions or uniforms or practice.

Occasionally now I read the astrology predictions in the paper...just for entertainment purposes. Some days they're dead on, and others...not so much. I don't think that reading necessarily constitues belief. Sure, you can throw out general descriptions for anyone and probably half the time you'd be right. Still, my father and my youngest sister are definitely Virgos. My husband is the perfect Aquarius. My oldest son is a Pisces. We live in a house that is dominated by fire signs...and it shows...regardless whether you think that signs contain grains of truth or whether it's a bunch of junk. Those are things I can't explain, and the qualities that define an Aries are some I also find interesting. Independent. Competitive. Impulsive. Intolerant. Hasty. Loyal. Easily irritated by slowness. Yup! All of that is me. I wish it mentioned intellectual brilliance and a flawless body, but those are the breaks. It makes me wonder if everyone else thinks their sign is mostly right or mostly wrong.

So....what is your sign and do you think it means anything?

22 Comments:

Anonymous jess said...

Great story! I am a libra and it has always meant very little to me. My husband is a virgo and has used the line "it's because i'm a virgo" many times. Sounds kind of mysterious and sexy. But Libra? I'm balanced - not so sexy.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

Today is my birthday. I'm an Aquarian. This is what I'm supposed to be like:

Creative, innovative, original, progressive thinkers – visionaries. They have a keen intellect and an ability to think “out of the box”. Creative, original and non-conformist, they are sometimes considered eccentric. While broadminded, Aquarians are quite fixed in their opinions (consistent with the Fixed energy) and can be impatient with those who disagree with them. Aquarians tend to have many friends and acquaintances."

A lot of this hits the mark but I don't think I'm non-conformist or eccentric at all. I'm an Episcopalian! I live in clothes from Eddie Bauer! I have a healthy respect for tradition.

1:14 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Sagitarrius. Honest to a fault. Smart but tactless. Freedom loving yet careless. Yup.

I had a penpal too. She lived in New Jersey and her birthday was March 3rd. Why do I still remember that??? Wordgirl, you and I are very strange people.

4:42 AM  
Blogger The Gradual Gardener said...

When I was a teenager my sisters and I made a point of buying Cosmo every January for the "Bedside Astrologer." I'm Pisces, or as Cosmo would refer to me, a "Fanciful Fish Girl." The description of a Pisces doesn't fit me at all, but we had a great time with the astrologer. It would give you month by month horoscopes, and list things like "Your best feature" and "Erogenous zone", which was usually your left elbow or some other weird body part. It had a "match" section, where you could tell if your current crush was a good match for you based on his sign. My parents were supposed to be incompatable (they later divorced), and Hubby & I were considered a good match (we're going on 19 years now). Don't know if that means anything, but boy was it fun to specualte about. Of course, that was nearly 20 years ago...I wonder if Cosmo still does the Bedside Astrologer? I did consider buying an issue, just for the blogger fodder, but I already bought Glamour this month for Dooce's article, and that fills my beauty magazine quota for the year...or the decade.

5:02 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

I'm a gemini and most of the descriptors fit me to a T. It's a little bit weird. Here's a sample:

'I THINK' is the motto for Gemini. You're intelligent, with a quick mind so you learn fast. You're always studying something, because you're curious about everything. Words trip off your tongue, in a quicksilver flow that makes you good at languages, marketing and anything that calls for the gift of the gab.

You can turn your hand to writing almost anything, whether a novel, play, speech or advertising copy. You like to know what's going on, hence your penchant for gossip. You're also witty and have a sense of mischief.

Variety is the spice of life for you - you like to be in two places at once and have more than one thing on the go.

Your nervous energy and restlessness can give you a reputation for being unreliable and a bit of a butterfly. You can also appear glib.

You are the communicators of the zodiac.

6:16 AM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

I'm a Virgo, and I've always felt like the characteristics, for the most part, are accurate. I've never really given it much thought, or used it as an excuse, LOL, but it is pretty bang-on for me.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

I'm an Aries, too. Some of my supposed characteristics are right on target and others aren't. It's fun to read horoscopes, though.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

I'm a Leo. I boss people around and always think I'm right. Do you still want to be my friend? Actually, it doesn't matter. I'll treat you as if you are, whether you like it or not, and soon my obnoxious personality will browbeat you into submission.

Are there any other Leos out there, because this comment thread's only big enough for one of us, you know??

(Actually, all of my moons and all that other stuff are Leo, as well, but I'm pretty tame, considering...)

8:49 AM  
Blogger theyellowwallpaper said...

Yeah, I'm a libra, as is my brother and father as well. I tended not to put much stock in astrology because the three of us are soooooo different.

But, my hubby is an Aries much like yourself.

10:48 AM  
Blogger reading said...

I'm a Libra, too. Never put much stock in the characteristics although I can certainly see aspects of them in me.

11:14 AM  
Blogger jess said...

I'm inbetween Leo & Virgo and boy, does that sometimes feel like an odd combination. I don't put much stock in it, but it is interesting when it matches up.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

ROAR, Mignon, I'm a Leo too. Forever fussing over my 'mane' too. I do mostly fit the Leo description, however my horoscopes are always dead wrong, so I don't put any stock in them anymore.

1:00 PM  
Blogger The Queen Mama said...

I'm a Cancer. I always thought that was a horrible sign...great! I'm a disease! And a nasty one people fear, at that.

When I was in my early 20s, I went through a phase where I was into reading horoscopes and thought I completely fit my profile. These days, I'm not so sure.

6:46 PM  
Blogger mE said...

I'm a Libra in the cusp of Virgo - which means I'm a slob, but I nag at myself about it all the time...

~Eileen

8:11 PM  
Blogger Melanhead said...

I'm an Aries too. Aries rule! They rock my face off!

8:49 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

Ahh, I am a Capricorn and so, so stubborn.

You know, I don't even know what sign my children are? I had better look it up.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

I'm with V-grrrl. Long live Aquarians! I'm attracted to Leos. Not that it's something I LOOK for. "Excuse me. Are you a Leo? No? Good-bye." Almost all the friends I've ever had... Leos. Almost all the people I've ever dated... Leos. Evidently I like being the air that ignites their fires. hehe

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Heidi said...

I am an astrologer, here to tell you that there is SO much more to your chart than your "sign"! The Sun sign is based on where the Sun was at the time that you were born. If you are looking for Great Truths from magazine horoscopes, well, good luck with that. "Only" 1/12 of the world's population will share the same prediction; you'll have the same adventures as a 75 year-old man in China who shares your sign! Not likely.

The Sun sign is kinda like the tip of an enormous iceburg. Two other biggies are the Moon, which is your emotional make-up (big part of who we are!) and the rising sign, also called the Ascendant. This is how you appear to other people. (Really? You're an Aries? I woulda guessed Libra!)

And it goes on and on from there: All of the remaining planets and the signs their in, what houses those planets fall in, and the aspects formed between the planets.

Astrology: It's not just for Sun signs, kids!

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Daxohol said...

My sign is Taurus, and alot of it is a pretty good description of me. Stubborn, earthy, sensual and patient with a facination for luxury. However, like Heidi mentioned, there is lots more involved, but I have yet to explore that more...

12:04 PM  
Blogger Nessa said...

I'm an Aries too - every. single. bit of it. Much to my husband's dismay most of the time (he's a Cancer).

2:57 PM  
Blogger Foo said...

I'm a Sagittarius. I've never bothered to read up on precisely what that's supposed to mean. However, back in the days when I was catting around, looking for The One, it was explained to me that I was entirely unsuitable for dating because I was a "Sadge".

None of these women was particularly forthcoming as to major flaw. I took this to mean one of a few possible things:

• It was so awful that they couldn't bear to crush my spirit by telling me that I was doomed.

• It didn't really mean anything, but they needed an exit strategy.

• Being a Sagittarius is such a good thing that they knew they'd never gain the high ground in any relationship we might have.

Eventually, I found The One. Quite frankly, I don't think either of us knows what the other's sign is.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Rock said...

Better late than never I say.

Yes, even some of those closest to me know that I am every bit a Taurus - and damn proud of it too - I think. Loyal, stubborn, grounded and well, oral. And yes I read up on it a bit but I think it is just a wonderful pastoral happenstance that is fun tht linked up quite nicely to my astrnomical whimsies. However, the part that really quite gets me is how fiery and true this Taurus's relationships with Aries have been - and its all there to see in the dogma (ever read the tome "Love Signs"? - intense, brimstone, hell hath seen nor fury type of stuff with actually several individual Aries in all shapes and forms and times. And then I eventually wind up with another Taurus, but she is very close to the Aries cusp so....

...and what is really amazing - almost anybody I have ever been close to has been born in that same 45 day span. A Leo? Fughedaboutit.

2:53 PM  

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