Sign Language

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)If you’re not careful, your efforts to help someone can actually hurt them by making them essentially helpless—or worse, a parasite. It’s a noble thing to offer a hand when someone’s suffering, but be careful not to cross a line, effectively denying them the opportunity to be independent. Your admirable intentions should always take note of the long-term view. Where would you like to see this person in a year’s time? I’m not suggesting you turn your back on someone in need, but simply ask yourself: Is the kind of help you’re offering going to get them there, or would it actually hold them back? Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)Although in many parts of life—especially business—we’re supposed to act like emotionless automatons, feelings are nothing to be ashamed of. Sure, there are situations where their expression is less acceptable, but never deny what you’re experiencing, even if you take pains not to let it show (right that second). Losing touch with that by never allowing it to come to the surface would be a great tragedy. If it’s already happened, take comfort in this: It’s at least a reversible one. This week, rediscover those feelings you don’t often allow yourself. Even if it’s painful, you’ll ultimately be glad you did.Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)Everyone quarrels occasionally. However, if your bickering with a friend or lover has become so frequent or intense that it’s negatively impacting others, you guys need to either chill out, or learn how to at least effectively table arguments until that won’t happen—meaning put them aside until later. If you bring an atmosphere of awful, unbearable tension, no one will want you at their party. Conflicts should get resolved, of course, but not while others must worry about being caught in the crossfire, or drafted into the war. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)When I was growing up, I thought most of the fun of holiday gift-giving was the surprise involved in the unwrapping of each present. Sure, some of those surprises were unpleasant (“Another green sweater?”), but nowadays, it really feels as if the only unknown when opening a gift is “Which item from my wish list is this?” While wish lists do make gift-buying easier, I can’t help but feel they’ve robbed a bit of fun from the holidays. Consider ignoring them altogether and taking a risk with something more original; surely it will mean something that it came from you.Aries (March 21-April 19)I’m abysmal at remembering significant dates. Anniversaries, birthdays, and even major holidays frequently sneak up on me or get overlooked until after the fact. I try to make up for this by attempting to make other times special—hopefully more so because they’re unexpected. Getting a gift on a random day in May is pretty sweet, and arguably nicer than receiving one on Christmas Day, when you’d probably be expecting it. Although ignoring the upcoming holidays is unwise, consider approaching them more lightheartedly than in years past, and also consider how you can make other days of the year just as, or more, special. Taurus (April 20-May 20)Never forget humor’s amazing power to defuse simmering tension, avert disaster, and as a bonus, up your sex appeal. In fact, one witty comment, delivered at the right moment in the right way, can change the course of an entire holiday get-together. Tensions can run rather high during the holidays, as you know. Since you’re generally (with the occasional exception) one of the more levelheaded people you know, it might be on you to try to keep things from going supernova—and evoking laughter is certainly the best (and perhaps only) way for you to do exactly that. Gemini (May 21-June 20)Some people love sleeping in the cold under layers of thick blankets. Others prefer being cozy under just a sheet, or nothing at all. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, you can be assured that whoever you might end up sleeping with falls somewhere else. If temperature isn’t the issue, it might be light, sound, or movement. This is one of those things most people simply accept. It’s rarely about how to “change” someone’s sleeping preferences (or, indeed, requirements)—something that’s virtually impossible to do—but just whether or not you can happily share a bed. Same goes for your current quandary—since changing either party’s needs isn’t an option, you must simply figure out whether or not a reasonably happy medium is even possible.Cancer (June 21-July 22)Imagine that your favorite restaurant was randomly closed when you stopped by for a meal. Once would be no big deal, but after the second or third time this happened, you’d probably reconsider going there in the future. A certain amount of predictability is desirable in most aspects of life, especially businesses, but not just those. In general, we’re willing to overlook the occasional miss—shit happens, after all. But if it happens too often, we start to look elsewhere to get our needs met. Keep this in mind this week: Being flaky, lazy, or rebellious, while occasionally excusable, isn’t likely to get you to where you want to go.Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)Your leadership abilities are admirable, and most of the time you’re good at making sure everyone’s needs are more or less taken care of. However, every once in a while you get so carried away with a certain vision that you start viewing people as mere extras in your Leo Show, instead of individuals with agendas and aspirations of their own. This, as you can probably imagine, never goes over particularly well. While your enthusiasm and excitement are wonderful and understandable, don’t allow them to make you lose sight of the big picture—after all, your best chance at realizing their fruition is to take into account the emotions of all concerned. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)Many business promises—including but not limited to rebates, guarantees, and return policies—bank on the general goodwill and/or laziness of most of their customers. If everyone had the determination and follow-through to actually cash in, they’d probably go out of business. But most people are either too lazy, forgetful, or good-natured to bother, so they can afford to help the handful who jump through the hoops. Unfortunately, at least some of the offers you’ll get in the coming weeks are similar—offers made under the assumption that you probably won’t actually accept. Knowing which are genuine and which aren’t, however, will be valuable information. Want to know the best way to find out which is which? Take them up on it. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)More than almost anywhere else in the world, Americans have cultivated a desire for immediate gratification, and lost patience when it comes to things that simply take more time, like losing weight. Even though crash diets are pretty much always counterproductive, they’re much more popular than plans that would actually effectively help people keep weight off, because the former gives swift (if temporary) results, while the latter requires many months to see a real difference. Be honest and realistic: Is your own impatience keeping you from the results you want? Stop wasting time and just slow down and start doing things the right way, already.Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)The reason it’s hard to get truly spicy food at some restaurants is that many patrons claim to adore spicy food, then can’t handle it when the chefs actually deliver. Eventually, wise cooks learn to keep things very mild, because people’s definitions of “spicy” vary so widely. Something similar happens in many walks of life, including sex. For some “kinky” can mean “I like oral sex,” while others’ definitions skew to a much wilder side. Because these things are so subjective, you will need to adopt the wise chef approach: Start mild and add spice slowly, to taste.