Between moving to California six years ago and delving deep into Instagram meme culture, I’ve come to a far richer understanding of astrology than I once had. I’ve learned what my moon and rising signs are (Aquarius and Scorpio), as well as some other planetary placements. I can describe, in broad strokes, the “vibe” of each season in the zodiac. But you could say all this newfound wisdom came at a terrible price, for I now realize how I am seen as a Pisces man.
It’s true that every sign gets dissed in this culture, with the popular targets shifting over time — that’s part of the fun. And I’m no doubt showing some classically Piscean sensitivity as we approach my March birthday. Nevertheless, I can’t help feeling that Pisces dudes are routinely singled out for the harshest commentary. More than once I’ve seen a ranking of the signs that separates Pisces women and men into distinct categories, with the former given a middling score and the latter coming in dead last. I’ve read that Pisces dudes are giant babies, ghosters, gaslighters, cheaters, delusional fantasists and toxic emotional vampires. We sound pretty awful, and the only thing worse than the jokes is recognizing how many of them are true.
Like, the foot fetish part sure is.
What can I say in my defense? “Not all Pisces men.” “Give us a chance.” “Please, just let us live.” All of it is weak — the protests of a slippery fish caught in a net of accusations. As one of the four mutable signs, though, it’s fair to say that Pisces are never just the one thing; we’re in constant flux. When you see the worst of us (yes, even the men), you’re only seeing one side. Just because I slept well into the afternoon on Saturday doesn’t mean I’m always lazy. Just because I started flirting with you the moment we met doesn’t mean I’m exclusively a slut. Yes, I am the definition of both. But there’s more to my character! Some of it is even worse!
Hey, wait, where are you going?
I guess I should offer a positive take on my Pisces brothers. Um… probably you’d like smoking weed at a concert with us. Or having a cozy night in, and smoking weed. Maybe you want to watch us cry about a cute animal we saw. Oh, we can show you quality memes, especially at our own expense. Oscar Isaac is a Pisces: I know you like him. And Shaquille O’Neal! No need to bring up Justin Bieber — although listening to “Sorry” does closely approximate being in an on-again, off-again relationship with me. I’m not happy about it either. Damn artsy fuckboy!
Okay, that’s enough struggle on my part. I asked an actual astrologer, Claire Comstock-Gay — who writes horoscopes for The Cut and authored a wonderful book, Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars: Astrology, Our Icons and Our Selves — whether Pisces men can be redeemed. In a Twitter DM, she describes my kind as “sweeties and secret freaks!”
“Potentially terrible, potentially great,” Madame Clairevoyant continues. “In Love Island (U.K.), whenever a contestant acts too gooey or soft or openly crushed out, the others call them a ‘melt.’ I had not heard this term before, but to me the Pisces man stereotype is basically a melt! Full of emotions and totally unashamed to express them (sometimes to the point that you wish they would repress some of them like the rest of us). Sometimes Pisces men are genuinely way too much. Sometimes it’s because people don’t actually want to see a man having soft emotions! Sometimes astrology memes are just fake,” she concludes. “Justice for Pisces men! No worse than the rest of us!”
Phew. As a sea creature, it’s quite a relief to be off the hook.
With nothing to inflame my guilt at this point, it’s back to not working on personal flaws, forgetting what I was doing five seconds ago and, above all, tormenting anyone who gets close enough to form an intimate bond. It’s a thankless job — you’re lucky I don’t complain that much.