Recipes for a Beautiful Life How to Have a More Positive Outlook
October 4, 2007
Yesterday morning I was very pleased to see that my horoscope is great for October. My favorite astrologer is Susan Miller because not only does she seem uncannily accurate, she writes my horoscope as if she is looking out for me, personally. She’ll say things like “Dear Pisces” (and I read “Dear Rebecca”), “You may have been feeling like you’ve been working hard and getting small returns,” and I think, As a matter of fact, I do feel like I’ve been working extremely hard for small returns and I’m so glad someone finally noticed! Then she’ll say something like, “Don’t worry. That was because there was a quinzbykz in your something house”—my words not hers—”but now things are about to change in a big way!” And then I’ll think, Excellent! Maybe I’ll win an award. And I’ll be happy until I realize that the horoscope is for all Pisces, not just me, and since Pisces tend to be creative people, all of us are headed for a good month and not all of us can get a Pulitzer. Still, it makes me feel like I have something to look forward to, which in general is a pretty good way to live.
My husband thinks my addiction to astrology is especially funny because there was a time in my life when I edited the astrology column at one of the magazines I worked for, and half of my time was spent adding in lines like “This would be a perfect month to clean out your address book” or “Date whoever you want! The stars are all for it!”
“That doesn’t mean it was bad advice or that it wasn’t true,” I said.
My younger sister, Emily, a therapist and yoga teacher who lives in Oregon, agrees with me. She and her husband had their charts read to figure out what would be the most fortuitous time for their wedding. (“I’m hoping they’ll be told it’s at six o’clock,” said my father, who is a very literal person. “What if they’re told to have it at three in the morning? I’m not staying up that late.”) Luckily that did not happen, although the astrologer did get a little uncomfortable when she read their charts. “Are you sure you two want to get married?” she said. “Really? Okay. If you insist. Go for June.” June was beautiful, and they are still married, so obviously, the point is, horoscopes work.
Anyway, this month is supposed to be great. All kinds of special days and career leaps, etc. It’s perfect timing too, because I love October. I love the dip in temperature, the way you can smell apples, grapes, and turning leaves. The way the wind seems to pick up and excitement swirls through the town around Halloween.
“Things are going to be looking up around here,” I said to my husband. He was in the kitchen/playroom that is upstairs near the bathroom because we are still renovating and haven’t moved our kitchen downstairs. I was in the bathroom, trying to keep the boys, who were in the bath, from drinking the bathwater.
“Don’t drink that!” I said. Dawson, who is nineteen months old, just laughed and took another gulp.
Dawson is one of those alarming children who just doesn’t seem to care about winning adult approval. He’ll knock over his brother’s trains and then climb up on the naughty chair and sit there with a pout on his face he made up, wait about a minute, get down, and knock over Liam’s trains again. “Dawson!” I’ll say, and he’ll put himself back in the naughty chair and put on his fake contrite look. It has nothing to do with making us happy or being sorry. I think he just likes to sit in the naughty chair and pretend that he feels bad about it.
I pulled Dawson out of the tub. Then I said to Liam, age three, “Do you know what’s in the bathwater? Dawson’s pee.”
“What?” said Liam.
“Dawson pees in the water and that’s why you shouldn’t drink it.”
“What?” said Liam. This is what he does when I say something he doesn’t like. He just keeps saying “What?” until I say something different. It’s not a bad tactic, actually.
“You heard me.” I went into the playroom and handed my husband the baby.
“My horoscope says my career is going to explode this month,” I said.
“Great,” said Tommy. “Maybe you should start working on another book instead of sitting around reading your horoscope.”
But who wants to work when it’s so beautiful outside? When the leaves are turning and the air smells like wood smoke and apples, and people are canning tomatoes and the trees are so yellow and orange it’s almost as if they can’t contain their own light?
In the bathroom, I could hear water draining from the tub. “Are you ready to get out, Liam?” I said.
“I’m just letting Dawson’s pee out of the tub,” he said, and took another swig of bathwater.
“Fine,” I said. “Fine. If you want to drink pee, that’s okay with me.”
“Did you just say what I thought you said?” said my husband. “To our child?”
Yes, I’m afraid I did. If you want to drink pee, that’s okay with me.
So. This is going to be a great month.
I can’t wait.