Mercury Retrograde – A Blessing in Da’ Skies


Photo by Javier Brosch,

Days before, during and after a Mercury retrograde can be electronically challenging … here’s how my retrograde period is going so far (and we’ve just started):

I’ve been having sim card issues with my cellphone for a couple of days.  While I await its replacement to rule out any other problems, having zero bars has been a weird mix of emotions – both freeing and uncertainty.  It’s amazing that I, of all people, would be so connected to my phone, especially since I never thought of myself as “one of those phone people.”  I have to laugh at myself though, the same way I laugh at people in a crowded bar or party surrounded by live people, yet engaging only in a conversation with their phone.  I imagine to myself what they must be texting:  “No, I’m not home sitting around waiting for you, I’m at a party!”  Then I imagine them posting random pictures of people laughing just to make their absent friend jealous.  And then I wonder will that poor person be hunched over for the rest of time, forever looking towards the floor due to some yet-to-be-named spinal affliction caused by over-texting.

I thank goodness that there are still some places left on the planet where loud one-way conversations that no one cares to hear are banned.  If you ever ride the train or bus between New Jersey and NYC, you better not even have your ringer on, or daggers in the form of piercing eyeballs will be thrown at you from all angles.  There’s another irony, people from noisy cities actually crave peace and quiet, at least during a commute.

While I’m working on articles and posting social media updates, it’s quiet.  I always put the TV on in the background for company when I write – it actually provides me with words I need sometimes that I’m trying to come up with in my head.  “Oh, ‘intentionally,’ that’s the word I’m looking for!”  But there’s no texting, and no phoning going on and although I love the peace and solitude of it all, I also feel like I’m precariously hanging off the Cliff of Information, frequently Facebooking (is that a verb?) and emailing in a desperate attempt not to cut myself off completely from the world.  What am I missing?  Who is trying to reach me?

Since UPS is delivering my new sim card and I share an address with the house in front of me, I expect that by at least Sunday I should have it in my hot little hands.  I’m hoping the sim card is the answer to my phone problems since Mercury is in retrograde at the moment, I don’t relish the prospect of having to get a new phone.  Buying electronic equipment during a Mercury retrograde is a definite “no-no” in astrology.

I use my laptop for internet, but not my phone.  When I walk away from my work or my emails or even fun stuff online, I walk away; I don’t take it with me on my phone.  It’s because of this that I refuse to pay online charges for my cell, and refuse to get a smart phone.  Call me old-fashioned, I don’t care – I just like my phone to be a phone.  I do text a lot, but that’s just another way of communicating without speaking.  I upgraded once to a smart phone and quickly dumbed down again.  It gave me the weather including rain drops and windshield wipers, it showed me all the latest tweets on my twitter accounts, it was marvelous for texting, but it couldn’t hold a call to save its life.  Dropped calls are just annoying.  It reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where he’s renting a car he had reserved – “See, you know how to TAKE a reservation, you just don’t know how to HOLD a reservation.”  Another one of life’s little ironies.

I plugged a landline phone into my DSL line so I could be reached, but really, no one’s used this number in years.  I actually had to go out and buy a phone the other night and was pleasantly surprised that I could buy a Slimline – an actually-connected-to-the-wall phone for about $6.00 at Wal-Mart.  Since I can’t dial out anyway, I didn’t need a $60 phone.  There’s a perk of all this modern technology, all the old crap is cheap, cheap, cheap – right before it becomes an antique.

Wait … I hear a warning bell.  No, it’s my cellphone ringing – a strange ring I’ve never heard before – I jump up and desperately try to catch it before it hangs up.  First I had to find it.  Seems two days without a phone was enough time to make me forget about it.  I find it … it’s just a number, no name; let me try to call it back.  (Why would I do this when I would never normally answer the phone with an unrecognized number?)  I just wanted to hear another human voice.  It was the Pampered Chef Lady who hosted my friend’s party last weekend.  Great, my first human contact in days and it turned out to be a total stranger.  Come on!  I take advantage though of my four- or five-bar status and celebrate no longer being “out of service” by calling someone I do know and I do want to speak to.  We talked for two minutes and we got cut off.  “Out of service.”

Don’t you just love a Mercury retrograde?  No one is safe.

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