Never Trust the Zodiac When You Want to Fall in Love

In my teen years, every crush was measured against the horoscope. I believed that the alignment of the planets dictated my soulmate and was quick to consult the stars. But when every so-called perfectly-paired Virgo, Taurus, and Scorpio I fell for in high school proved duds, I retired my astrology chart.

Then this past April I met Zev, a sensual Scorpio with a scorpion tattooed on his neck and his zodiac symbol stamped on his forearm, and I became 13 again.

“You know, Cancers and Scorpios are a perfect match,” he said as he took a long sip from his scotch and soda.

Cancers and Scorpios make love like it's an Olympic sport. Maybe, I'd make it to London afterall.

I rolled my eyes. He persisted and pulled out his smartphone to show off a website that proved his point.

“The Cancer-Scorpio match is a match made in heaven” it read. “The the two of you could literally see fireworks.”

He leaned over and pointed to the screen with a wink: “the two of you will make love like it’s an Olympic sport.”

I admit, I was intrigued and agreed to dinner a week later.

Dinner was where things with Zev ended.

So much for “this passionate connection can develop into the perfect marriage.” As I adjusted my skirt and stomped off into the pouring rain, I promised I would never trust the Zodiac again.

When the next boy came around and our connection was as deep as it was instantaneous, I couldn’t help but wonder: is this written in the stars?

Enter the “daily horoscope” app for my smartphone.

Water-sign + water-sign = deluge

Apparently, two crabby Cancers make a terrible match. Water-sign + water-sign = deluge. Forget bad romance. Think a Chernobyl romance, overwrought with “I feel…” and moon-phase-induced emotional mood-swing nuclear spills.

“You run the risk of mirroring each others weaknesses…A marriage would be work for this pair” — that’s the way the astrology site phrased it — a euphemistic way to say, you’ll need more than a pre-nup going into this, you’ll need an excellent lawyer, or hell, an army of lawyers…and a box of tissues…and a therapist.

Bummer.

I shrugged and considered the unfavorable forecast. True, we had quickly committed to sharing our feelings about, not only each other, but everything — from the challenges of our respective workplaces to our inner-deepest reflections on love.

This type of display was totally out of character for me. I refused to believe that our instant connection wasn’t endorsed by the celestial bodies.

I googled “astrological compatibility,” and read until I found a glimmer of hope to cling to. 4 result pages in, I found it: “On the whole, this is quite a good match…and the sexual chemistry with be high!”

Phew!

I bookmarked that astrology page and decided it would be the only one I’d consult…at least, until the deluge.

My Mother: the Matchmaker?

My mother claims to be a matchmaker.

Apparently, she’s responsible for 3 successful marriages (each couple has been together for 15 years or more). Maybe it’s the Irish in her. But despite her excellent track record, I always tell her it’s a wasted skill.  In the 25 years she’s been my mother, she’s failed to match me with anyone. Like most mothers, she’s good at telling me she doesn’t like the guy I’m seeing (but unlike most mothers, usually she’s right, he’s a dud), yet so far, she hasn’t offered up any viable alternatives. I blame it on the fact that she waited too long to have me. All her friends’ good looking sons were already married by the time I was old enough to be “matched.” Oh! And she then had the nerve to retire from banking when I was a freshman in high school —  she couldn’t hang in long enough to be able set me up with any of her summer college interns, new hires, or the eligible sons of her co-workers. Pretty inconsiderate, if you ask me.

But today, she tried to make up for her failures as my mother, the matchmaker.

She had an appointment with her orthopedic surgeon — it was time for her two-year post-hip-replacement check-up. Her surgeon is not some run-of-the-mill doctor. He’s a pretty big deal — head of surgery for a renowned New York hospital, hip-refurbisher of the famous, patron of the arts, general all around good guy — you mention his name, and other doctors bow. Did I mention he has a good-looking son? Who’s getting his medical degree from a certain Ivy-League University that gave me two degrees? Who has a BA in art history from another Ivy-League college, where he was also an athlete?  Who is a “young collector?” No, I didn’t?

Sounds perfect, doesn’t he? My mother thought so too.

In fact, my mother was so sure this son was destined to be her future son-in-law, that she forgot the main purpose of her office visit (her hurting hip). And so, the matchmaker in her reportedly kicked in. She ignored the fact that this Glory Boy has a girlfriend (who the parents don’t like!), and droned on to the poor doctor about me — apparently, I’m an Irish Catholic who writes on German Impressionists (it’s Expressionists, mom, and when was the last time I went to service?). Eventually, she caught the Doc’s interest.

“How old is she?”

“24.”

“Perfect. Is she dating anyone?”

“Not seriously. She has a lot of boy friends” (read: she’s totally single, completely available)

“You know, he works here.”

“I’ll bring her next time.”

“They’re going to have to have coffee.”

Success? Hmm, of a sort.

“Now, get up and walk for me.”

“What? We’re not done?”

“No.”

Caught. That’s right. My mother acts as if she was finally finding me my match. But really, talk of me was just a distraction tactic — get to the end of the session before the doctor has a chance to see me lurch around the room, that’s what she was really thinking. I know I was just a means to an end: an extra-large prescription of vicodin.

Thanks, mom. Glad I could help you out. Guess you’re not my Patti Stanger just yet…