The celestial phenomenon known as Mercury retrograde has become something of a scapegoat for everything from the minor annoyances to the catastrophic, Murphy’s-law-level screw ups we traverse on a daily basis. Parking ticket? Must be retrogradin’. Realize you had broccoli stuck in your teeth from lunch at the end of the day? Gotta be the work of Mercury rx. Right?
Not exactly. Although it’s easy enough to blame all the little bullshit life throws at us on periodic planetary movement, Mercury retrograde usually only makes some parts of your life all fucked up. The most strongly affected aspects are typically technology, travel, and communication. It also tends to bring up thoughts and people from the past...like exes, for example.
Look, I’m not sure exactly why this happens. What I do know is that Mercury retrograde refers to what is perceived as the planet’s backwards movement, and it inspires some "backwards movement" here on good ol’ Earth as well, in the form of nostalgia and reflection. I also know that I haven’t been through a single one of these where an ex hasn’t slid in the DMs to try to find out “what I’ve been up to.” In celebration of another Mercury retrograde, here are the most obvious messages I’ve gotten from my past mans that made me realize we were retrogradin’ again:
1. “Hey! Sorry I went totally off the grid there for a while. You look weirdly hot here.”
This was after about a year of mutual radio silence. It was in response to a video of me eating peas and listening to Sister Christian, posted on an Instagram story (an obvious thirst trap).
2. “I’m at this local band thing in Seattle and my friend’s friend is a blonde you and I am in love with her.”
This message is phase one of what happens when you ignore a Scorpio. Stay strong y’all.
3. “I told my therapist about you.”
4. “I’m gonna narrow down the bars that play this song six times a night and ‘bump’ into you someday. Prepare a spectacular rejection.”
I mean, I could write a 25-page thesis on fuckboy psychology based solely on this single message that would probably be optioned into the next groundbreaking HBO millennial drama (offer open, inquire for rates). For now, the context will have to suffice — '90s night at the Echoplex, Lovefool was playing on repeat, I posted a Snapchat story, and a guy I dated one summer 10 years ago threw this doubletalk — ripe for analysis — into my DMs.
5. “Don’t lose my number. You’ll be calling me in a couple of months.”
...sent from an unknown number.
Top photo: Mercury, via NASA
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Kylie Anderson is an LA based writer & filmmaker, and half of the horror comedy duo Ladies From Hades. She writes about girls, movies, astrology, fear, and the economy. You can read more of her retrospectives on love on Medium, find her defending Geminis on Twitter, and see how cute she is Instagram.