A friend mentioned something the other day about trying to cram in all the important life lessons in before her son goes to college. I thought I'd try to figure out what the bare essentials are for being a grownup, so here goes.
Pisces (2/19 – 3/20): Everyone going out into the world should know how to chop and saute an onion. Here's how: just do it! Wear goggles if you must. Or, wad up a piece of bread and stick it under your upper lip when your chop. Pisces, the main point is this: never avoid real tears, because connecting with our tenderest parts is what makes us human. And that is why we're more likely to starve than eat our loved ones. (And do avoid chemical exposure to the eyes. When's the last time anyone talked about macular regeneration? The reason? Because that's not a thing!)
Taurus (4/20 – 5/20): The real question is why should you chop and saute the onion? Here's why: everywhere that's worth going, culinarily, begins there. The sauted onion is the building block of flavor, the core flavorful sweetness of anything worth eating. Soup? Stir fry? Omelet? Mirepoix? Please don't let the young people leave home without knowing how to build flavor.
Gemini (5/21 - 6/21): Have a solid opinion about time travel. Do you think it's impossible to travel back to a time before you were born for physical reasons, or because it's a paradox? Do you believe in the kind of time travel where the word "yet" is key? As in, no time traveler has prevented the holocaust yet. (Though, of course, there may be other atrocities that were prevented; we just don't know about them.) And so on. Be able to defend your position, if needed. (And, if you go time travelling without me, leave a note, Gemini!)
Cancer (6/22 – 7/21): I stayed in a weird hotel in Tumwater recently where the sweet young desk clerk said, "Yeah, Tumwater is the hub. I mean, if you're going to the ocean, it's on your way. Or Portland - it's on your way? Or Seattle. Or, if you're going to Chelan, this would be on the way." She kept going on and on with all the places, and they got increasingly far-fetched, although I don't think she was trying to be funny. I wanted to play too, and add, "Or Paris! It's on the way to the moon as well! And Cairo, for sure." But I didn't. Adult Skill: Know where the hub of your own life is. Is it Tumwater? A relationship? A spiritual practice?
Leo (7/23 – 8/22): People who lie will lie to you too. A man who cheats on his wife, for example, will lie to everyone else, even about the smallest things. Try not to judge; it's the only way he knows. Summon compassion, because his life will be tangled and lonely, and he wishes, more than anyone, that he could tell, and more importantly, live with the truth, but he doesn't have that particular muscle. Feel pity, not anger, Leo. The liar needs forgiveness more than you know, but do keep your distance.
Virgo (8/23 – 9/22): There are two troubling large giant blobs in the ocean. One is a band of warm water 1,000 feet long, and 5 degrees F warmer than the surrounding area. The other is the Great Pacific garbage patch, which is maybe 270,000 square miles, a unit of measure that's also known as, "about the size of Texas." Which brings me to the point, Virgo. Every adult should know where they stand on using states as units of measure. I fall on the side of using square miles or meters for area, and furlongs for distance, but that's because I don't really know how large Texas is. Or even a football field.
Libra (9/23 – 10/22): You should know the origin and insertion of the sternocleidomastoid, and what each of the major organs in your body is responsible for. Ok, you can probably get by without that. But here's something important: don't resolve issues via The Silent Treatment. You'll look like an emotional midget, and on that day that happens once a year when peoples' physical size is altered to match their emotional size, you'll slip unnoticed into a crack in the sidewalk. (Wait, is that really a day that happens every year, or is that merely a dream I had? And while we're at it, is library book amnesty day a thing?) Instead of silence, speak your truth kindly and directly.
Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21): You should know why Greece is in so much trouble. I know, you don't care, but you should, so it doesn't happen to you! Here's a quick tour:
- Greece hasn't done a good job at collecting taxes. The government collects only half of what it should.
- Greece used to borrow money from Germany and other wealthy nations, but there were terms and conditions that kept borrowing in check.
- When everyone switched over to Euros, Greece had way more borrowing power, because they were suddenly on Germany's team. Germany, in a sense, was insuring Greece's debt.
- Let the good times roll! Greece kept borrowing and borrowing, but not having a way to pay it back.
- Germany finally said, um, guys, you can't borrow any more money until you go on austerity measures and make a plan to get things under control.
- Austerity never works. (Have you tried it? It sucks.)
Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18): Never swerve for revenge, as William Stafford said. Let people who disappoint go without a fuss. They're doing the best they can with the tools they have, and it won't serve you to retaliate in any way.