A Midlife Mom Discovers Her True Star Sign

Photo by Kai Dahms on Unsplash

I used to love my star sign. I’m an Aquarius. We’re creative and empathetic and true rebels at heart.

According to Allure magazine, we Aquarians are unconventional and radical thinkers. We have unusual hobbies and a quirky dress sense. We are great humanitarians. We value our freedom, and can be stubborn in the pursuit of higher ideals.

We have a cool song.

But the older I get, the more I realize I have nothing in common with my astrological sign.

Let’s start from the top:

I’m a middle-aged married mom who works. The last unconventional thought I had was to add cumin to my vegetable soup recipe. I play tennis and read for fun. I walk the dog. Sometimes I play Rummikub online with a friend. I binge watch shows like “Firefly Lane”.

Every day (this is Covid) I wear the same jeans and pullover fleece-lined hoodie. Even pre-Covid, my dress style could best be described (as a friend once did) as “perfectly fine.” Tailored trousers, white shirt, cardigan, a tasteful scarf for color. Pearls.

I’m less “humanitarian” than “insectitarian”. I never kill bugs. If I find a spider in the house, I grab a small glass and a slip of paper and trap it and free it outside. At a dinner party at our house one night, I coaxed a blue bottle fly onto my finger and walked it out the front door. My daughter calls me the “Insect Whisperer”.

I guess you could say I’m empathetic. To bugs at least.

Aquarians are supposed to need space and time alone to reflect and plan for the revolution.

I’m using this space and time alone to write about my unaligned star sign.

We Aquarians are supposed to be stubborn. I’m married to a lawyer and have a Scorpion daughter. She’s 12. The last time I got my way was on my birthday when I didn’t have to do the dishes.

It’s only now, post 50, I learn that we Aquarians apparently thrive on shock and by flying our “freak flag”. My Covid hair would certainly shock. For two months I’ve been wearing a hat to hide it, and so it’s only my family I scare. As for “freak flag”, does Chinese takeout on a weeknight count?

I once shocked my family by sleeping past 8 a.m. And then there was the time I drove my daughter to meet her school bus, wearing just my pajamas (under a long coat).

I bought a negligee once. A friend talked me into it. She said my husband would love it. It’s still in my top drawer in the original box under piles of white cotton underwear.

Come to think of it, I’m a terrible Aquarian.

I’ve never danced on a bar table or gotten a tattoo or skinny dipped in the ocean or even marched in a protest (I get nervous in big crowds). I’ve never fought with a boss (over a principle or otherwise) or sworn in public (okay, maybe once). Before turning 50, I didn’t own any socks that weren’t tan, white or black. (I recently gave into the Nordic sock ad that keeps popping up on Facebook).

What the heck is wrong with me?

I think it’s time to ditch my zodiac sign. Let’s face it, I’m simply too conventional for Aquarius.

After much research and soul-searching, I’ve come to see that my true star sign might just be the crab, i.e., Cancer.

Back to Allure: Cancers tend to be domestically oriented. They love hunkering down in cozy, safe spaces and spending lots of time in them. They care about their families and are happy being caregivers.

This doesn’t mean they’re dull. I’m surrounded by Cancers. My husband is a Cancer, as is my mother and also my Dad’s partner Joan. All three like to travel, but they also value having comfortable homes to return to, and they care deeply about family.

Cancers are supposed to be highly intuitive — psychic even — and compassionate. Cancers make loyal and committed friends, and they have many friends.

Hey, I think this sounds more like me! Except the psychic part.

Then again, as a Cancer, I wouldn’t have much to aspire to — I’ve already nailed most of the traits, especially being a domestic homebody. And there’s no accompanying song.

On second thought, I’m going to stick with my sign. There’s still time for a tattoo. A small tasteful one. The sign of Aquarius, perhaps, hidden on the back of my left earlobe. Just like a true rebel.

Writer, editor, parent. Former staffer at Quartz, WSJ and Inc. magazine.

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