My mom and I once found ourselves in a heated conversation with a distant family friend. Well, they handled most of the talking while I nodded between sips of Pinot Grigio; I am an Aquarius after all. But watching as they discussed parenting, marriage, work, colonoscopies, etc…I began to notice certain verbal trends appearing consistently throughout their dialogue. What began as small-talk, metamorphosed into a one-upping competition somewhere between my third and fourth glass of Barefoot. “I wake up at 5 AM every morning so I can have my coffee, feed the dogs, straighten my hair, and get to work before everyone else,” my mother complained.
“Well I wake up at 4 AM so I can make three gluten-free lunches for my kids, tweeze my eyebrows, drop them off at three different schools, and eat a Yoplait at the red light,” the woman retorted. It was a spectacle nearly as satisfying as an episode of Real Housewives. About an hour later, my mom asked her what her sign was. “Oh, I’m a Sagittarius,” she quipped.
“Oh…” my mom and I shared a knowing glance. The following day, we discovered her birthday fell on the cusp. There was not a doubt in our minds that this woman had been disillusioned. She had to be a Capricorn.
As the grandfather of astrology, Capricorn ranks high amongst the most serious signs of the zodiac. For the most evolved earth sign, success is not a dream; it’s a necessity—an ideology which proves to benefit nearly every Capricorn I know. Think of the most objectively successful people in your life. How many of them were born in late December or early January? I bet it’s more than a few. Their ambition is innate. But with innate ambition, comes innate fear. The astrological goat is so driven by success, that it will unconsciously label casual activities as potential threats to achieving their goals. I’ve encountered this with my Capricorn friends possessing common anxieties such as a fear of flying, or a fear of drugs and alcohol. In some cases, these threats blossom into crippling paranoia, like my great-grandmother whose fears were so paralyzing, she opted for a life spent entirely indoors.
Most Capricorns hide their paranoia better than my great-grandmother, of course. Often dawning a trendy black outfit with eye makeup leftover from the night before, they make greasy hair look hot. Many exude a “coolness” factor that appears effortless. Don’t let them fool you, however. Their tumblr-esque appearance does require effort. I know this because when I attempt the unwashed look, the results are less “Capricorn chic” and more “homeless girl realness.” In fact, everything Capricorn does is done with a purpose—it is an earth sign, after all. And as the last of the earth signs, these overachievers possess a refined sense of humor and taste, which is influenced by their universal way of thinking. But perhaps it’s this same universal understanding that makes these individuals so cautious. Their concerns are with the world at large, and the world is a scary place.
There is one thing that aids Capricorns fears—money. Money provides a safety blanket, a hand-woven discounted safety blanket to hug Capricorn and ward off nightmares of home burglaries and messy kitchens. But it’s not all business for the Mr. Krabs of astrology. The more fiery Caps can be spotted at parties smoking weed and dropping the F-bomb an octave higher than their fellow guests. But once they’ve had their fun, they’ll exit gracefully. Choosing to retreat before the trouble starts, they set their alarm for work in the morning and find solace in the place they deem most comfortable—their home. It is when I wake up at a friend’s house, hungover and running late for my glamorous job as a puppet to the Steve Harvey Show that I wish I had more Capricorn in my chart. But for now, I’ll listen to Steve ramble on about how exhausting having six television shows is (Steve Harvey is a Capricorn too) and vow to leave the next party when the Capricorns leave.