ATHENA - the Smart One Who Never Got The Guys Until She Got Contacts (March 21-April 19)
How can it be 2009, Athena wonders, since she just got used to writing 2008 on her checks and letters in mid-November? Why, she wonders, must the years be relabeled every 365 days? Sure it has to do with the rotation of the earth, yeah, she gets that, but what's the big deal? Your 5 year old can spin (and in fact, there he goes again; catch him before he hits the coffee table!) and he doesn't gain a year when he's all done and wobbles delightedly like your ex-husband after an evening at "O'Hurley's". Years should only be relabeled when we've progressed enough to warrant it. Based on the news of the day, this year should either be named 1929 or 1967, since it appears civilization is moving backwards. Also, if it was 1967, Athena would be 8 and could rethink that sweater with the pom-poms which feature prominently in her class portrait.
JUNO - the One Who Says She's Happily Married (April 20-May 20) As it turns out (and as wise Juno thought all along), the galaxy Andromeda is not the biggest galaxy after all! In reality, it's Juno's own galaxy, the Milky Way! This re-assessment and subsequent redistricting means that the Milky Way will be getting new, better and bigger planets! Planets with names like ChubbyBaby and L'il Kim; Dave the Planet and Booboocitus. Unfortunately, this will result in turf wars between the old guys (Venus and Saturn) and their new neighbors (Brangelina and Mr. Shapiro), for supremacy in the skies and influence over your horoscope. Juno celebrates this new cosmic promotion, even though it means ending up on a cusp between Pustule and The Great Bunion.
APHRODITE - the Impossibly Thin-Thighed (May 21-June 21) Like the Milky Way (new biggest galaxy in these parts), most of Andromeda's mass is in the form of invisible dark matter, at least when she's wearing Spanx, but not necessarily when she pulls on those low-rise Levi's her sister-in-law convinced her to buy. The term "muffin-top" doesn't begin to convey the over-flowing puddle of waist-matter suspended precariously above her belt-line. It's one thing to be a huge galaxy; like some cultures in Africa and the Hawaiian Islands, girth in the Known Universe is respected and encouraged. But Andromeda has got to cut off the Rice Krispies Treat pipeline. A few more pounds and she'll be asking the heroic constellation Orion if she can borrow his belt.
DIANA - the Bargain Hunter (June 22-July 22)
January is the month to reassess and repair your credit score in preparation for some big purchases you want to make later this year. Seriously, less than 300 was all well and good when it was on your college boards, but 2009 it's time to get serious. Yes, the stars understand all about Christmas spending and that trip to the Ashram in July you "needed" (still trying to figure out how a spiritual retreat centered around a philosophy of self-deprivation ended up costing $4200, but, whatever), but find it hard to ignore the $250 ankle boots and the $70 pair of stockings (stockings?) that you bought because they looked so sexy on the upside-down, dismembered lower-torso-of-a tiny-mannequin-person in the Danskin store. I mean, what wouldn't? However, restraint is the new mantra and that means in 2009 buying all your food, electronics and underwear out of gas station vending machines. Pick up a (free) book of matches on your way out!
DEMETER - the Condom Bearer (July 23-August 22)Happy New Year, Demeter! Hope you had fun New Year's Eve, because all the other signs certainly enjoyed watching you! Do you remember anything? The funny comments you made to the hostess's husband about the way his shirt fit so nicely across his back? Knocking the heirloom snow globe off the mantle? Nearly closing Kibbles, the cat, into the refrigerator when you were searching for another Rolling Rock? Everyone particularly enjoyed when you led the group in a raucous Karaoke rendition of "Stairway to Heaven" even though there was no Karaoke machine and the music you were singing along with was Frank Sinatra's version of "New York, New York". But you really outdid yourself when you led the New Year's countdown so joyously from atop the coats in the guest bedroom around 2:30am. Fortunately, most people had left by then. You may just be able to live it down by Dec. 31, 2009.
VESTA - the Lover of Laundry (August 23-September 22) Vesta can look forward to some hot new romances in 2009! 2008 left you kind of high and dry, with sort of a persistent itch now that you think of it, but this year will be different! The man of your dreams will appear when you least expect him, from a circle of acquaintances you never imagined would supply your newest lover. It's not that you hadn't considered the doormen at your building before; a couple of them are cute after all, and with their military garb you could almost pretend they were weary soldiers, back from the Great War, looking for a Red Cross nurse (and you have that outfit, we think). So when Seymour opens the door for you this month, and offers you his jaunty wink, linger a bit. He may be the one we're talking about. It might also be Maurice, but we're not getting a clear reading on this; best to just hang around in the lobby until we get a better signal or until the Super requests that you please, please, leave the doormen alone and go back to your apartment.
PERSEPHONE - the One Who Never Wears White After Labor Day (September 23-October 23) The New Year means a great new job opportunity for you! This is what everyone says when someone they know gets laid off! "It's a great opportunity for you!" they keep saying and they think if they yell enthusiastically, you will begin to believe them! "This is what you've secretly wanted all along!" they say, projecting their own naïve wishes onto you, now that you don't have a reason to wake up in the morning and they still have to get into work by 8:30am! "Everything will turn out great!" they suggest, even though you were having trouble paying your mortgage before this happened and now there's a real chance you'll end up living in your brother's basement! Exclamation points really help! But if everyone keeps yelling encouragement to you, you will not be able to put together your new resume without a bunch of typos!!
LEDA - the Wearer of Tu Tus (October 24-November 21)
This month brings a firm resolution to renew the pursuit of a hobby you left behind when you got married and started spitting out children. In fact, that hobby was cooking, and some would say you never stopped pursuing it what with all the mac and cheese you've made the last few years, but that's like saying swinging a sledge hammer on a chain gang is Pilates. Now that the kids are older, you can get back to that row of cookbooks you've been collecting; perusing those pages of recipes with their color photos of final dishes as if they were the most erotically stimulating porn, while your husband is in the upstairs bathroom, pursuing his own hobby. 2009 brings you and your husband together in the mutual pursuit of both your special interests. Don't forget to turn off the stove!
ECHO - the One With All the Good Gossip (November 22-December 21)
This year is the year for renovations! 2009 means a new kitchen, a carpeted basement and possibly cheek implants! It's not that you want or need cheek implants, it's just that Mickey Rourke is giving his old ones away in anticipation of the Oscars and having the cameras pan his way when they announce the nominations. There's nothing to be done about his orange, oatmeal skin, but he figures the little Indian burial mounds in his face have got to go. Mickey's loss is your gain! You discover that used cheeks implants can double as little mint dishes as long as they're rinsed out and disinfected. They'll look great in the new basement playroom, along with Lisa Rinna's lips from 2008 which you're using as throw pillows.
PANDORA - the One Who Always Overpacks (December 22-January 19) old Happy Birthday Pandora! It's not going to be "just another year" for you, no this year is going to be different! You are one of the only people you know who never had the common sense of a doorknob to put her money in stocks, and look at you now! You came out ahead of all those "smarty pants" who wasted the last 10 years of their lives investing in loser stocks like Goldman Sachs and Washington Mutual! Ha ha! Now you have twice as much money in your checking account as all those "geniuses" have in their IRAs! Who's the smart one now? Now you're the wealthy one in your social circle! Unfortunately that only means that if everyone pools all their savings, you can buy two tickets to see "Yes Man" which we're pretty sure isn't worth it.
PSYCHE - the Headcase (January 20-February 18)
2009 is the year Psyche is determined to find out who Heidi and Spencer are! Are they one person? Is the first name Heidi and the last name Spencer? Are they both girls? Where did they come from? Why is there news coverage of them? What did they do? Is this the same world that brought us Verdi's Requiem and Tolstoy's "War and Peace"? Do they have anything to do with the fall of the American Empire? Yes? Psyche knew it! Are they the reason that print newspapers are dying throughout the world? Were they the ones behind the bail-out package that's managed to plummet the world into an economic tailspin? Were Heidi and Spencer advising Karl Rove and Dick Cheney? That would explain why the U.S. seems so incredibly stupid to the rest of the world! It will be such a relief to get Heidi and Spencer out of office on January 20th!
PHOEBE - the Unlikely Sit-Com Star (February 19-March 20)This year brings a new start! Time to learn new things, like how to make a lean-to, how to cook off the hood of a car, and how to discreetly bathe in the bathroom at the Public Library! These are things you selfishly assumed you would never have to learn because you trusted your money to Bernie Madoff who seemed to know exactly what he was doing, when in fact, yes, he knew exactly what he was doing. This means that not only will you not be buying a new Lear Jet, but in fact you will be selling everything you own just so you can buy dental floss upon which you will hang your clothes after you wash them in the sink (at the Public Library). Hopefully, you will come out of this with compassion for your fellow man, empathy for the plight of those less fortunate than you, and a coupon for 50 cents off a breakfast burrito at Taco Bell.
Bonus Horoscope (for those who didn't like their own sign)
THALIA - the Upper West Side Theater (aka the Leonard Nimoy)
2009 marks the beginning of the reign of Barack Obama, that brilliant, compassionate, moral, cutie pie who is about to become the new president of the United States, which so badly needs a new everything, having been raped so rudely by the previous administration! No more pretending you're Canadian (if you're American) when you travel overseas, or even within your own country! No more doubting your sanity as the U.S. President (Yale graduate) tries to wrap his mouth around the word "nuclear" and other two and three syllable words that your 4 year old has grasped since he was 2! It's the beginning of a new era of liking the American President, nay, loving him; even having a little crush on him, because he's… um, not a fucking moron! And on top of this, a cute guy will tell you he likes your smile! All this, because of Barack Obama!! (well, maybe not everything)
©2009 Debra Victoroff
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Debra Victoroff's humor essays have appeared in Penthouse, Cosmopolitan and The Village Voice as well as broadcast on National Public Radio. Her one-act comedy, "Table for Two" was recently published in "The Best Plays of the Strawberry Festival" and her drama "Letter From A Soldier" was a hit at the 2008 Walking Fish play festival in Vancouver.(http://www.straight.com/article-148353/walking-fish-festival) and won Debra second place in the NEW WORKS OF MERIT PLAYWRITING CONTEST. She honed her humor skills on the TV series "Sex and the City", entertaining the music crew with her constant complaints about working in the wrong department.