The funny thing is, I wrote this piece last night and scheduled it for 10 a.m. EST, but then woke up to frickin’ malware on the site again (we’ve since fixed the issue, hopefully permanently this time). Damn you, Mercury Retrograde! But I shall celebrate you anyway.
Mercury goes retrograde three times this year — first, back in March, last in mid-November (just in time for my birthday!), and RIGHT EFFING NOW. In astrology, Mercury is the planet of communication so when it’s in retrograde, everything it rules over is thrown out of wack. That means gadgets break, important calls are missed, and miscommunication between family, friends, and coworkers abounds. Typically, Mercury Retrograde makes me want to shake my fists at the astral heavens, but it occurred to me that the havoc it causes isn’t all bad. Here are seven times when Mercury Retrograde comes in handy, based on things that have actually happened to us or folks we know…
1. An email you really don’t want to read gets lost. I’m estranged from a certain family member at the present time. Over the weekend, my brother called to let me know that the aforementioned estranged family member had sent a really, really, really nasty email and if I hadn’t yet read it, I shouldn’t. “I didn’t get an email,” I replied, and then went through every single email folder for all my various accounts seeing if I could track it down (in theory so I could delete it, but I probably would have read it and gotten upset). The email was nowhere to be found. Thank you, Mercury Retrograde!
2. Likewise, an email you sent and then regretted is never received or responded to. Let’s say you got kind of drunk one night and a little sentimental and you sent you ex an email. It wasn’t even a bad email, but it made you look kind of weak and what was the point really? So you wake up the next day and are like, “Doh! I don’t actually want to talk to him, so why did I email him?” And lo and behold he doesn’t respond and it’s like it never happened! Bless you, Mercury Retrograde!
3. One person’s Mercury Retrograde-induced disaster is your Mercury Retrograde-induced gain. For example, you’re having a kind of bad week at work. You have two days to finish a huggggge project that you know your boss, who has been on a work trip, considers a top priority and wants to see as soon as they come into the office on Friday. There is no way you’re going to be done in time, unless you just quit sleeping, eating and using the toilet and even then you’d be cutting it close. But then suddenly your boss’s flight is canceled because of bad weather and you’ve scored yourself a whole extra weekend to finish. Hallelujah, Mercury Retrograde!
4. A piece of technology dies/loses power/breaks just as you’re about to use it for evil not good. Your phone dies while you’re debating with yourself whether to drunk text your crush. Your internet goes out midway through writing a scathing email to a friend you’ve had a fight with and you’re forced to wait to send it until the morning — and then you end up trashing it instead because you were acting like a sensitive bitch and just needed to sleep on it. A store’s credit card machine breaks down when you attempt to purchase an overpriced pair of jeans that you really, really don’t need and you’re stuck putting them back on the shelf. Phew, saved my ass again, Mercury Retrograde!
5. A scheduling miscommunication screws up your original plans — allowing room for better ones. So you’re sitting there at the bar, tapping your foot, waiting for your date to show up. He’s 25 minutes late. Where the fuck is he? He said Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. right? Oh shit. Maybe he said Wednesday? You check your phone and you realize he did say Tuesday — but it’s next Tuesday that you’re supposed to meet. About to chalk it up to a waste of an evening — you could have gone to see “Magic Mike” for the fourth time! — a really handsome dude sits down next to you and smiles. You smile back. Three years later, you’re getting married. Mercury Retrograde, will you be the maid of honor?
6. You miss your flight and but really get lucky score on the next one. So my friend, I’ll call her Katie, texted me the following one morning: ”Dammit! My alarm totally didn’t go off and I missed my flight to Hawaii!” I, knowing exactly what was going on, replied, “Ugh, that sucks. It’s not your fault, though, Mercury is in retrograde. This shit happens.” A week later, after she had gotten back from her trip, she and I had dinner. “I hope your trip improved despite missing your flight,” I said.
“Girl, you don’t even know,” she replied in a hushed voice. “The next flight was three hours later, so I killed time at the airport bar. I ended up meeting a dude there who was also on my flight. Halfway to Hawaii, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, we ended up having sex in the plane bathroom.”
Oh, Mercury Retrogade, you rock!
7. It’s a clever and creative excuse to use on similarly astrologically obsessed people. I don’t actually know if this will work, but I plan on blaming Mercury Retrograde when I go to the Apple store this week and attempt to sweet talk my way into a new cell phone. See, over the last few months, I’ve dropped my iPhone about, oh, seven times. The screen has about 10 cracks in it. Honestly, it’s a miracle it still works, though the home button is slow to respond and little shards of screen are starting to chip off. I plan on going to the Apple store, fibbing a bit, and blaming my klutziness and the “ease” with which my screen shattered on Mercury being in retrograde. I pray that the person one the receiving end of of my blathering is either A) a fellow astrology nerd who has experienced the terrors of Mercury Retrograde themselves and is therefore completely sympathetic to my plight and/or B) so charmed by my new age-y excuse that they give me a new iPhone for free. I will report back on whether Mercury Retrograde is my new BFF as soon as possible.