For some, the stars are a guide. They gaze up at the vast and endless sea of bright, shining lights and they believe they can find every answer. Love, careers, finance, and success— there are those who believe that all of the signs exist in the sky. But I guess I’ve just never been that kind of guy.
The path I’ve always followed has been the one every always set out for me. If the stars did have a plan for me, I did everything needed to play right into it and somehow it still was all for nothing. Fate, destiny— as the years went by, I started to realize it was all a load of crap. Some twinkly ball of gas far away in the galaxy wasn’t going to tell me when I was going to meet the girl of my dreams. And that was made abundantly clear to me time after time.
Horoscopes were no different than fortune-tellers in my eyes. How was some blurb in the newspaper going to have all of the answers to my future? Everyone acted like it was some great mystery. Meanwhile, I only ever saw it as a marketing gimmick and a way to sell more papers.
Why should I care you might be saying? Why get all bent out of shape? If I don’t like it, why don’t I just ignore the twelve signs and all of their predictions and be well on my way? If it were that easy, it’d be my first choice. But somehow, no matter how often I tried to avoid it, it had always been a thorn in my side.
It started with my parents and siblings fighting over the daily paper to read their horoscope. They, and just about everyone I seemed to meet, put way too much stock into the system. And the world’s biggest mystery was always my sign because, as everyone seemed to put it, ‘you just don’t act like an Aries’.
Those words meant little to me at first, but they eventually came to be the bane of my existence. Whatever it all meant, I never understood. How was my birthday any indication of who I’d be as a person? Shouldn’t that have been the deciding factor— what I actually did?
I played it all by the books. I went to the fancy school to get the fancy job to buy the fancy car to park in front of my fancy house. But wouldn’t you know people still kept up their constant questions:
“You’re just too laid-back for an Aries.”
“Pushing papers at an insurance firm? Where is that ram-like ambition?”
“Don’t you want to compete? What kind of Aries are you?”
Maybe it would’ve been easy to ignore if it had only been my friends and family harping on about it. But my biggest problem was the dating scene. When I went out to the bar, it seemed the first and only question on every girl’s mind was my sign. And the moment I spoke the dreaded words, “I don’t believe in that garbage,” all dating prospects went south.
The local club had even declared me a lunatic after a whisky-induced rant to the bartender ruffled a few feathers. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t care what other people choose to put their faith in. And at the same time, I don’t want them telling me how I should act and behave.
Maybe I have gotten a bit resentful as the years have gone by. Astrology started as a mystery to me and it’s now become my immortal enemy. There’s hoards of foolish followers championing its cause and for what? So they have read what they think is a message about their future? And so they can act exactly like their sign is supposed to?
In my mind, they were all wasting their time. But with the amount of effort I spent stewing over and hating horoscopes with a burning passion. I wondered if I, too, was falling into the same trap. If I didn’t believe in it, it shouldn’t have been on my mind… and yet it’s something I thought about for hours on end every day.
My job at the insurance firm, my beach-side townhouse, and my sporty two-door sedan— none of them seemed to solve the biggest crisis in my life. And it wasn’t like I hadn’t worked on improving myself from within as well. I was a habitual gym-nut and ate well to maintain a strong build. I updated my wardrobe for the season and without tooting my own horn, I’d say I was a decent-looking guy.
Regardless of any of that, finding a girl always seemed like the one challenge I couldn’t overcome. And I blamed it all on the horoscopes— or at least —everyone’s fascination with them.
Don’t think I didn’t try to at least feign some interest in the topic. I even feigned interest in myself. When I read the daily paper, I indulged in those pointless blurbs, hoping that they’d tell me something of meaning. I thought that maybe— just maybe —they’d give me the hidden wisdom I needed to discover the romance I was after.
I remember the first time I read that I was going to be ‘lucky in love’. That whole day, I was giddy like a fool. I put on my best suit and went down to the local club thinking I was some kind of panther on the prowl. And wouldn’t you know that was the night the girl I had been talking to for weeks told me she’d rather we see other people.
Being the fool that I was, I tried to plead with her. I tried to tell her that she was going against fate itself. If everyone else could tell me that I was an oddball for ignoring the stars then I’d pull that same attitude right back on them. But as the universe works in the strangest of ways, it turned out that she had a horoscope that read:
Don’t trust a pushy guy in a pinstriped suit.
Now, you bet I asked for a copy of whatever paper she pulled that out of. I was fairly certain that she was making the whole thing up just to let me down easy. But sure enough they had that day’s paper behind the bar. And even surer enough, whoever wrote the horoscope for Libra’s that day had a vendetta against my taste in fashion.
I wish that had been the only time I had to deal with that kind of nightmare. But wouldn’t you know I gave my horoscope a second chance to lead me to victory. There was no way I could’ve had the same bad luck two times in a row, right? Heh… and people wonder why this stuff keeps me up at night.
I’d say the second time was even more frustrating than the first. Sure, I may have gotten my hopes up when I went out to that bar, but at least I wasn’t filled with un-ending regret. When the newspaper told me: “Take it easy and spend the night at home,” I thought I’d be having a grand ol’ time catching up on some movies I always wanted to watch. Instead, that was the night I missed out on getting a drink with the girl of my dreams.
Ever since secondary school, I couldn’t get her off of my mind. Eugenia— those warm green eyes were about the only thing that got me through my maths class every day. And my acceptance letter into university lost some of its appeal when I learned that she’d be staying behind in my hometown.
It wasn’t until the morning after I binged just about every cheesy action flick in my backlog that I heard that she had been in Barcelona for her birthday. I could’ve locked eyes with her, laughed over a few drinks, and reminisced over our days passing notes at the back of the class. Instead, I waded that newspaper up into a ball and ate it.
What’s a guy to do though? When I follow the stars, they slap me in the face. And when I follow my own path, everyone thinks I’m a stick in the mud. If there’s an answer to my problems, I’d love to find it. But I don’t think big balls of light are going to get me any closer.
Well, in any case, there was no waiting around for love to find me. With my 30th birthday coming up soon, I had to admit I was getting desperate. The holidays were unbearable now that I was the oldest of my siblings while being the only one left still single. And let me tell you, it wasn’t just a status thing. My life had been going great… the only thing missing was someone to share it with.
And that’s why I made a vow to myself. I figured without some fire under my feet, I was going nowhere fast. So I had it all figured out: on the night of my birthday, I was going to pull out all the stops and do everything in my power to meet the girl for me. Because if it didn’t work this time… I figured it just wasn’t in the stars for me.