Applied Astrology 101
Figure out your friends’ signs. Then do what I tell you to do, so that you can make someone else happy for a change. It’s my contribution to counteracting the mass-scale holiday rage that seems to course unchecked through the streets of the city this time of year like volcanic runoff in an apocalyptic comic strip. Run along now, my salty little elves, and spread some goodwill if it fucking kills you.
ARIES: The Rambunctious Ones aren’t happy unless they’re plotting out some enormous project that will eventually affect the entire world. If you want to make an Aries smile, ask them about their latest plan. Listen intently to every last detail, no matter how farfetched or ridiculous it sounds. Then tell them that it’s amazing, even if it isn’t. Encouragement for an Aries is basic sustenance. They won’t be mad or think less of you later when they realize how stupid whatever idea you were supporting really was.
TAURUS: These folks go to parties for the sole purpose of receiving hugs. That’s easy enough, isn’t it? Bonus points for bringing cookies.
GEMINI: Feed them three Wikipedia links about completely random and unrelated things. Then pick up the phone when they call you two hours later with the solution to whatever it is they think you wanted them to learn from this. Buy into it. You might learn something yourself. If you run out of things to talk about, just make some spaceship noises. Geminis totally understand those.
CANCER: Show up equipped with a plan as to where you’re going and what you’ll do when you get there. Be prepared for Cancer to sneakily overrule this plan with their own after you’ve finished laying it all out for them. When you get there, it is your job to make them have fun with you. Do this according to your own definition of fun until Cancer also sneakily overrules that. Something Cancers think is really fun is to dissect your entire life and what you’re doing wrong with it. You should agree that this is, in fact, kind of fun, especially coming from them, because you know it’s 100% love.
LEO: Of all the signs in the zodiac, Leo is the one that most enjoys a hearty session of shameless butt-kissing. They’re great. They’re brilliant. They’re hilarious. They uncannily know how to do and say all the right things at all the right times. You can do the butt-kissing yourself, but even better is to put them in a situation where a lot of people can do it all at the same time. Bring them around your most boring friends and sit back to enjoy the Leo show. You will not be enjoying it half as much as they are.
VIRGO: Humble Virgo won’t ask you to tell them about them. But they would love to hear what you have to say about it. They’re trying to be on top of themselves; no angle should remain unexplored or unaccounted for. So tell them what you know. It’ll give them some new stuff to chew on for at least a week.
LIBRA: Librans are the zodiac’s answer to the practically alchemical herb saffron, which enhances the flavors of each dish it shows up for without adding much of its own distraction. Because of this, they’re almost universally likeable. All you have to do is like them. Abandon your plans and float around through a day like you’re two aimless billiard balls who broke free from the pool table.
SCORPIO: Let them know that you’re prepared to ride or die, even though the years you’ve been friends do not have you entirely convinced that they don’t hate you. Scorpios have a skewed sense of social contracts. It’s impossible for them to be casually warm and fuzzy on an even keel; it’s more like flood and drought. Just sew it up and say hello first. Suppress your shock if they get all I-love-you-man.
SAGITTARIUS: Engage them in some activity that will make a good story later. Allow yourself to be sucked into the celebration of what seems to you like an ordinary day. Propose a lot of toasts. Clap for Tinkerbell. Embrace the absurd, the bathetic, and the singular. Prepare for the birthday to go on for at least a week. Whatever else you do, don’t let go of their hands on a busy street. Even if they weren’t planning on flitting off with the next interesting person to cross their path, they’ll appreciate the gesture.
CAPRICORN: The cloven-hoofed get off on feeling useful, so give them something eminently possible to do for you. This will make them feel good about themselves, which is a priceless gift to these people. You need a ride to Target? Done. You feel like sushi, but don’t want to get off the sofa? Done. You need all the chocolate cows hand-picked out of your Vermonty Python ice cream? Done. There’s no way to fulfill a Capricorn’s wishes except to let them fulfill yours. Buy them a Santa outfit and let the grape-feeding commence.
AQUARIUS: Aquarians tend to be so busy making sure every single person in a given room approves of their existence that they often forget that they don’t actually care. They are secretly dying for some outlaw scenario in which the two of you can team up in telling the world to fuck off in a socially acceptable, whimsical kind of way. You don’t have to actually rob the bank, but if you happen to have two ski masks, Aquarius will be delighted to wear one.
PISCES: Often accused of being wishy-washy types, it’s amazing how practical the Piscean system of checks and balances can be. If they do something nice for you, they want to bear witness to your unbridled enjoyment and hear thank you later. A little R-E-S-P-E-C-T goes a long way, too. Try not to pick your nose where Pisces can see it, no matter how comfortable you feel in their presence. And if you enjoy being appreciated for everything that you are, bad and good, you need to step up and appreciate the appreciation, too.