ATHENA - the Smart One Who Never Got The Guys Until She Got Contacts (March 21-April 19)
Athena is deep into the TV doldrums, still unable to find a new version of a single show in the Law and Order canon. Although she can find one of the shows playing any time of day and night, she feels like this series stop producing new episodes in the late 90s and now just keeps people placated by making sure some version of the show appears whenever they turn on the TV. This causes her to consider turning off the TV and going outside, at the very least to see what this “weather” is that people keep talking about on the news. She has windows to be sure but she mostly uses them to look across at her neighbors who are also watching TV, except for when they stand up and stretch and look out their windows at her. Athena becomes convinced that Vincent D’Onofrio lives in the building across the way.
JUNO - the One Who Says She's Happily Married (April 20-May 20) From the 5th to the 25th, Juno is plagued by a rash of “parallel walkers” – those people who happen to get on the sidewalk as the same time as Juno, and happen to walk at the same speed, next to her, so that she either has to walk with this complete stranger, or slow down (perhaps making herself late for an appointment) or speed up (causing hyperventilation and a contorted facial expression) in order to regain her place on the public walkway. She’s tried looking both ways before she joins a stream of pedestrian traffic to make sure that no one’s coming who might walk at her pace, and she’s tried stopping and fake tying her shoes (clogs). These tactics inevitably back fire as once she starts moving, some dork merges into her lane and starts shadowing her. The answer to why full-grown adults can be found riding razor scooters dawns on Juno.
APHRODITE - the Impossibly Thin-Thighed (May 21-June 21) The Oscars are over and as she does every year, Aphrodite fell asleep during the final, best and most interesting awards. She wishes she could sleep through the first half and wake up in time to see Demi Moore shuffle onstage like a shrink-wrapped piece of chicken, or Sean Penn rail at the injustice of no one believing or caring when he quits the acting profession again, or even a drunk Mariah Carey get up to thank everyone for the Grammy. The problem is that Aphie likes to watch the pre-show, trying to guess which stars have had ribs removed to accommodate their dresses, which means she’s worn down by the time the show starts. Next year she vows to take a nap until 9pm, waking just in time to see the winner for Best Documentary being played off the stage in the middle of his/her heartfelt speech.
DIANA - the Bargain Hunter (June 22-July 22) The 13th through the 21st brings spring break, and the thought of putting on a bathing suit. Not actually putting one on; just thinking about it, which is enough to send Diana straight to the M&M bowl. This tendency is something Diana hopes to get a grip on in the next few months. Why is it, she wonders, that she has this same argument with herself every year at this time, between the virtues of strict dieting and the pleasures of stuffing her face with every edible item within arm’s length (one year she tried to eat a marble and almost cracked a tooth, so the non-edible items are off the list). Diana and herself have had quite a few disagreements over the years, starting with the one over whether Mindy Simon left her teddy bear at Diana’s house as a gift, or a loan, Diana finally winning that one and keeping the teddy bear. Recent altercations have involved Diana and herself arguing over whether to leave the dinner party with the $40 bottle of wine that she brought that never got opened; whether that blouse is too slutty to wear to on a first date; and whether to sleep with a guy or just give him a hand job. The stars suggest Diana and herself get couples counseling so the neighbors don’t have to listen to all the bickering.
DEMETER - the Condom Bearer (July 23-August 22 Demeter is so sensitive she finds she has to turn off the TV when that commercial for anti-depressants with that dog that no one will walk comes on! Please, she thinks, I know you feel shitty and maybe like sleeping all day or watching TV with an expression steeped in sadness, but please, will someone walk that poor dog? That thing hasn’t been out for 3 weeks and is looking pretty depressed himself. Demeter understands depression; she once tried to wallpaper her bedroom and if that doesn’t drive a person to despair, we don’t know what does. But these commercials with the poignant music and the sad people looking out the window make Demeter want to shout: “Stop looking out the window! The answer lies within and also, here’s some Windex; make yourself useful. And when you’re finished with the window, walk the damn dog!” Demeter should not be a psychotherapist.
VESTA - the Lover of Laundry (August 23-September 22) As much as Vesta loves laundry (it being her sign and all), she reaches a breaking point on the 23rd, when her husband and kids come back from another weekend camping trip and throw all the muddy t-shirts, socks, jeans, and underwear on the laundry room floor where they are, for some reason, attracting fruit flies. It was Vesta’s choice not to go along, deciding that it would be great for “the boys” to bond, and also because she hates anything to do with tents, dirt, and peeing outside. But “the boys’” idea of bonding has apparently been to turn into rabid wolverines, with all the manners that implies, and also somehow they’ve all come back with beards, even the 7 year old. Vesta decides to shrink all their camping gear by washing it in hot water and drying it on “melt”. The 24th through the 30th the family plans a yard sale to sell all the teeny tiny camping clothes.
PERSEPHONE - the One Who Never Wears White After Labor Day (September 23-October 23) This month Persephone expands her cultural horizons and gets tickets to the Opera! Opera has never been her thing; she always got the feeling that Opera singers were just showing off, and that people fooling around pretending to be opera singers sounded just the same as actual opera singers: booming, screeching, a beat behind the music, slightly flat. But she is always willing to try something once and has tickets to a new opera: “Die Humungous Lumpen Berger”, about an overweight town crier who goes on “Biggest Loser” and meets a producer who falls in love with him as he is, but later, when she fills his prescription for insulin, she realizes that he’s her father. By sheer coincidence, her long lost mother (who disappeared 10 years prior in the cheese section of Trader Joe’s), is another contestant on the show, but she’s gained so much weight herself that her own husband doesn’t recognize her and ends up poisoning her morning grapefruit in an attempt to win the title. Everyone dies but the show gets its highest ratings ever. Persephone gives up Opera forever.
LEDA - the Wearer of Tu Tus (October 24-November 21) Leda’s new boyfriend is Irish and is planning on spending St. Patrick’s Day drunk. This is not a complete surprise to Leda: even though her last boyfriend was German, he also spent St. Patrick’s Day drunk, as did, in years past, her French lover, her American boyfriend, her Russian ex-husband and the Thai businessman with whom, last March 17 th, she happened to have a fling. So it’s basically just an excuse for men to get drunk, ask women to take their shirts off, and puke green beer in the street. Leda has to make sure she doesn’t get swept up in the madness; as much as she loves this guy, St. Patrick’s Day is a day for intimate partners to go their separate ways. No one wants to see the man (or woman) they love in a little green derby, yelling “Erin Go Braless!”, or the female equivalent: “Is Colin Farrell Single?” The 18 th through the 21 st are good days to stay in bed with a wastebasket nearby.
ECHO - the One With All the Good Gossip (November 22-December 21) Echo is looking and feeling especially great this month! Her diet is going great, she’s been faithful to her exercise program, her clothes fit better and men are starting to make comments as she walks by on the street. The last is more of a problem than she thought; some of these guys say really inappropriate things like, “I’d like some o’ that!”, and “Oh baby, come to daddy!” and also “Someone tell that lady she’s about to walk into an open manhole!” At any rate, Echo has to take the good with the bad, and if the rude, sexist, degrading comments of a few construction workers disturbs her, perhaps she’ll simply have to stop walking through that construction site.
PANDORA - the One Who Always Overpacks (December 22-January 19) The 9th through the 27th brings a test for Pandora of both will and character, when a person she dislikes intensely and has done her wrong in the past is in a vulnerable position and comes to Pandora for help. A lesser person might kick this seeker to the curb and tell them, “Next time you tell someone they should confine their singing to the shower, think of this!” or “So now my ‘weird eyebrows’ aren’t so much of an issue, eh?” but that would just be immature and vindictive and no one wants to be accused of either of those things, even if they don’t mind actually being those things. So Pandora will rise above her inner demons and will extend a hand to this person. But when Pandora is pulling this person up, it’s ok if she says, “Gosh, I didn’t expect you to be so heavy - is it just me, or have you put on a few since last year?” She’s human, after all.
PSYCHE - the Headcase (January 20-February 18) After months of flirting, a long distance romance turns serious. This is not what Psyche expected from the guy she met on a bicycle trip last year, especially since her short stop caused a pileup of all the riders right outside a quaint Tuscan vineyard, sending him to the hospital. Of course he had to miss the rest of the trip, but once he came out of the coma, he and Psyche picked up right where they’d left off – the moment before the crash when they were talking about their “burning loins”, and how the hell they were going to climb on these bikes again tomorrow. This is the first time in a long time Psyche has had a conversation with anyone to whom she’s mentioned her “burning loins”; the last person was her gynecologist who gave her a prescription. In this particular case, the fire in Psyche’s crotch may be the key to her heart. As long as she continues to use the cream.
PHOEBE - the Unlikely Sit-Com Star (February 19-March 20) Another birthday for Phoebe! When the hell are these things going to stop coming? Of course we keep telling Phoebe that it’s better than the alternative, but she still doesn’t like the idea of getting older. Attitude is everything, Phoebe. And there’s always Botox. Just don’t do that weird lip enhancement thing where you end up looking like the Octo mom with a marked inability to close your mouth fully or eat without food items bumping into the fleshy pads on the way into your mouth. We mean, seriously, does anyone think that’s attractive? Your stars above think it’s scary-looking. Let’s leave heavenly bodies to the heavenly bodies. It’s just not realistic for the rest of us.
Bonus Horoscope (for those who didn't like their own sign)
THALIA - the Upper West Side Theater (aka the Leonard Nimoy)
Thalia is moving! It would be even more exciting if she had a place to move to! But she has been told by her landlord that her apartment is being converted to a walk in closet by the rich people next door and so she has little choice (unless she wants the top shelf next to the snorkeling gear). Packing all that stuff is daunting at the very least and she considers the invitation the creepy guy on match.com offered to let her stay with him since he has a double out there on Riker’s Island. Jupiter says he can help with the packing but has a bad back and so can’t pick up any boxes. Saturn says he’s busy that week (“it doesn’t matter which week – I’m busy”) but Mars is game as long as there’s free beer and pizza. The planets align to make sure that wherever Thalia ends up, she will be under their guidance and direction, and also they have an arrangement with U-Haul for clients with a good astrology rating.
©2010 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.