Anyone out there remember the hippy-dippy, Bohemian, cool and groovy days when people—usually young—would be out on the prowl looking for other young people, usually of the opposite sex, and began conversations with, “So … what’s your sign?”

What was that? I get it that nervous folks will latch onto a question like that when they’re anxious, trying to make a meaningful connection. But seriously, what was that? Was everyone back then a Zodiac geek?

If the lady sipping a chocolate martini at a local bar was asked by some dude what her sign was (and back then they all asked), and she answered “Sagittarius,” what did that mean to him? Or, to ensure his getting invited back to her flat, did he say something stupid like, “Well now, talk about coincidences! I’m a Sagittarius too!” He was sure that would seal the deal when, in fact, he didn’t know a Sagittarius from a Chiropodist.

And, did it actually work?

Maybe his asking the young lady what her sign was did help his cause, but why? That’s the part I don’t get. I do understand that scholarly people make huge and important studies of the planets and stars, and for them it is all extremely meaningful and important and teaches us a great deal.

Many learned men and some women too have “brought the planets home to us” advising us that knowing about them will help us to better understand our world, and for that, we have to thank scholars like Copernicus, Galileo, Hawking, Sagan, Newton, Einstein and countless more. For them, planets spinning about in the Great Vast meant something, taught us things, but likely had little if anything to do with people scoring. That’s the part I don’t understand.

Lately, I hear a lot of “universe talk,” too, and once again, don’t quite get it. Folks will say, “The Universe has been so good to me.”
Or, “I’m counting on the Universe to help me through this mess I’m in.”

Or, “I know the universe will help me to sell my home/get me out of bankruptcy/make her divorce me/motivate me to lose 40 lbs., fix Fluffy’s mange problems,” etc.
This “universe” of which they speak appears to have a whole lot of control over their lives.

My answer is always the same: “So, a gigantic hole in the sky around 13-billion-years old, where great bunches of stars, planets and outer space stuff floats about, has total control of your life, your emotions, your future? Seriously? I mean really?”

And they all nod solemnly and say quietly, “Yes. It does.”
OK then. I don’t get it, but as for me, one of the Greatly Ignorant, I don’t think I can possibly rely on that huge hole above me to fix the pickles into which I so frequently find myself. Oh, and one other curious thing—a lot of those folks who insist the results of a long-ago Big Bang can catapult them to greatness and glory, seem to never get to either of those places, and yet still get a whole lot of the unpleasant things we non-universers get: Diseases, car trouble, scary kids, broken bones, obnoxious relatives, leaky roofs, gout, gas, gallstones and GERD.

So where is their precious Universe when they most need it? Up in the sky where it belongs.

Alas, I guess I won’t understand why someone’s zodiac sign under which they were born has anything to do with anything, and I sure won’t be counting on any ancient frozen black hole floating above my head somewhere as having the slightest anything to do with anything in my life. I’m trying, but it’s just not working for me.

My sign, by the way, is Capricorn and when I’ve read about how Capricorns are supposed to be, the “definition” is completely opposite of what, who and how I am. And I sure never needed that “what’s your sign?” thing to snag Mongo back in 1957. I also have a very nice life without having ever had any contact with that great vast thing Up There.

But hey, maybe it’s been watching over me all along. If so, thanks.