Here I am, waiting to get my teeth cleaned, flipping through a week-old TV Guide magazine, when I discover something that shocks and amuses me, deeply. Apparently, I have tons in common with… drum roll please… Mr. Robert Duvall. That’s right, the star of so many favorites: “The Godfather,” “The Great Santini,” “Network,” “Mash,” and “Lonesome Dove.” He and I are “like this” and I didn’t even know it. The source of this cosmic harmony, I’m proud to tell you, is strictly astrological. Mr. Duvall and I are both Capricorns. We are natural goal setters. We willingly handle many tasks when it helps us get what we want. Oh. So that means what? We’re a little self-absorbed? Who isn’t?
Mr. Duvall and I are earth signs. We need guidelines, rules and regulations. We need structure. All true. I can’t speak for Bob, but I will anyway. We both like a sense of accomplishment. Hence, his Oscar. Hence my… impressive lack of parking tickets. Woo-hoo! Our recent horoscope sounds spot-on: “Your motives and methods may not be the same as those of your colleagues, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work together. In fact, your differences complement one another. You’ll make a formidable team.”
Interesting. Illuminating. And – brace yourselves, people – totally made-up. Every word of it. How do I know this… and how do I break it to Robert and all the other celebs featured in monthly horoscopes worldwide? I know this because… I used to make up the horoscopes myself for ’Teen Magazine. I was just out of college, a humble editorial assistant. When I wasn’t walking the publisher’s dog, making coffee, sorting through mail and answering the phone, I was concocting the anonymous monthly horoscope column. They pawned it off on the absolute lowest gal on the editorial food chain. You could not get any lower than me. I was the consummate flunky in every sense of the word.
Every month I consulted a pile of worn-out astrology books for inspiration. Say I read that Sagittarians must tame their restless energy and need for personal independence. ’Teen readers would get a dose of the following nonsense: “Good news! Success awaits you… as long as you don’t let that restless energy lead you astray. Stay focused and your smallest efforts will be rewarded!”
After awhile, I got pretty good at it. My horoscopes weren’t half-bad. Letters poured in praising my astonishing accuracy. One month, I even got it right for an entire class of fifth graders. That’s a lot of zodiac signs to tackle. I had hidden powers. Who knew? Once I left ’Teen and moved on to more exciting journalistic endeavors – writing for a bankrupt newspaper comes to mind – I sadly never rekindled my brief and shining career as Astrology Girl.
Yet somehow, the experience has left me refreshingly untarnished. I still read my horoscope, mainly to check out what kind of total b.s. they come up with on my behalf. Horoscopes make me laugh at a time when the world isn’t all that funny, so I plan to keep reading them till Jupiter aligns with Mars. Until then, I urge everyone to follow the stars, both planetary and mortal, and see where it takes you. Just remember you’ve worked hard for this moment. So enjoy it!