Kylah Benes-Trapp

Don't Go On That First Date Because Mercury Is In Retrograde


Greetings, sweet kittens. It's me, Zara, your digital big sister.

While I love the weekend as much as the next free-wheeling, high heel-wearing, winged liner-sporting, booze-swilling, red-lipsticked PARTY GIRL, 99.9 percent of the mistakes I've made in my life have taken place during the weekend. I've spent one too many Mondays spiraling down the dark vortex of weekend guilt, regret and shame.

But hey, don't fret. Because I'm going to be here every Friday to stop you from the awful weekend fuckups that are screwing up your life. Here's this week's Very Important PSA.

Do. Not. Go. On. A. Date. This. Weekend.

Am I being a total bitch about love and dating because I'm bitter and twisted over my own convoluted romantic situation? No.

Actually, for once in my bleak life, I'm not projecting my own person struggles onto you, sweet reader. I'm here to help, selflessly, because that's what lesbian big sisters do.

Let me tell you why you shouldn't go on a date this weekend: It's Mercury Fucking Retrograde.

In case you were wondering why your computers have been haphazardly crashing, why your emails haven't been sending properly, why you accidentally poured peroxide into your eyeballs thinking it was contact solution, why you're fighting with your best friend or why you feel generally depressed and stuck in your life, you can thank Mercury Retrograde.

Yep. That's retrograde, kittens!

When that pesky planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards (this 'bout is August 30 – September 22, 2016), the general ease and tranquility of the world gets knocked out of whack, especially when it comes to travel and communication.

And dating, girl, involves both travel and communication, among a slew of other key things Mercury likes to screw with.

The retrograde is over in less than a week! You can hold out, sister. Hold yourself back from meeting up with that gorgeously exotic girl on Tinder, the one with a constellation of freckles dancing across the bridge of her nose. Hold yourself back from partying with that cute guy you met at a show in Williamsburg last weekend, even though YOUR favorite band his favorite band too (and that's rare AF).

If you do go on a date, you'll kill all chances of it turning into a fiery, passionate romance. I don't want that for you. This person could be the next love of your life!

Let me tell you exactly what happened to me when I went on a first date two or three Mercury Retrogrades ago.

I met this girl on Tinder, and she seemed really cool. She may have been a graphic designer or something, but I didn't pay much attention to what she did for work since her personality was so sharp and witty.

We had been talking for about a month, exchanging late night texts, and we just clicked. We understood each other's humor, we shared the same interests and most importantly, we were wildly attracted to each other.

And I don't know about you, but I find mutual attraction to be an incredibly rare gift the goddess above only occasionally bestows upon us.

"You shouldn't go on a first date while Mercury is in retrograde," my new-age friend Lisa warned me, pulling her shawl over her pale, yoga-toned shoulders.

"That's total bullshit. I don't let that kind of new-age garble dictate MY life," I bit back, applying a chemical-filled lipstick to my lips.

Lisa just smiled serenely in the way only evolved, spiritually-connected people rooted to the earth can smile. She didn't say a word. Instead, she just sipped her Matcha latte in sweet silence as my bitchy retort hung heavy in the cold air.

So I went on the date.

I tried to be positive when I saw the Uber had a 3.7 surge rate. Then, I tried to take the train instead, even though I hate it more than I hate rats and undercooked eggs. Of course, there was 22-minute wait.

I attempted to hail a cab instead, but alas, no cabs. I threw my hands up in the air, got into the surged Uber and spent a whopping $89 to get to the bar, even though I probably had $300 to my name at the time.

The moment I got there, I noticed a terrible run in my tights, which completely screwed up the whole buttoned-up, faux-innocent, sexy look I was going for.

And then, I introduced myself to the wrong girl, who looked at me with crazy eyes when I told her I was excited to meet her.

By this point, I was in a foul, foul mood. I hated myself. But like a trooper, I went downstairs and met my date.

And the entire vibe was palpably off.

My jokes came out all wrong. One of them may or may not have been borderline homophobic. And I'm a gay, for fuck's sake.

Later, she accidentally confessed to reading all of my articles before she asked me out, which made us both red in the cheeks. And then, I couldn't find my goddamn credit card. It seemed like a typical femmy-girl setup. You know, the whole "oh, I can't find my card" act broke bitches with long hair and pink lipstick (both of which I was sporting) pull on dates.

I finally realized the card was at the bottom of my messy purse, after I had feverishly pulled out all the contents (tampons and antidepressants included) in front of her.

And naturally, we had the world's most awkward kiss. I went in for the kill, but she gave me the cheek. And then, she went in for the kill, and I gave her the cheek.

I scurried off with my designer bag stuck between my legs, and we never spoke again. The whole thing was pure hell from beginning to end.

Who knows what that date could've turned into if it weren't for Mercury being in retrograde?

I mean, obviously, I'm in a happy relationship right now. (Though, we've been ready to kill each other between fucking Fashion Week and retrograde.) But I could've had a nice romance for a few months, at least, had I ONLY PUSHED THIS NIGHTMARE DATE BACK A FEW WEEKS.

So, please, don't go on that date, darling. Cancel that shit. Most likely, your reservation will get screwed up, and they won't be able to seat you anyway. And being frustrated at a restaurant for messing up your well-thought-out reservations is no way to start a new, exciting romance.

In fact, don't go out at all this weekend. Mercury retrograde screws up all plans, romantic or not, and I don't want you out on the road, while retrograde and drunk drivers are in full force. Frankly, the combination terrifies me, and I care about you.

You know I always tell you to live your best damn life and to go out into the world, date, fall in love and have a great time.

But you know what I think you should do instead, this weekend? Just eat a pint of ice cream, and cry about everything that's bothering you. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish before you die (since you could die at anytime). Read the old "Sex and the City," when it was still a column in the New York Observer.

Get an adult coloring book, take a Valium and color blissfully while listening to Cat Power, Ani Difranco or another wise female musician, who will help you reassess your life and seduce you with her sultry voice.

You probably need this restorative night, anyway. You and I have been going out way too much. (I might be projecting here.) It won't kill us to spend a weekend in.

Mercury retrograde is the time to reflect. It's the time to stay inside and think about all the things you want to change. It's not the time to make the actual changes.

If you're tempted to go on that date, just imagine me. I'm in a trashy, navy blue Juicy Couture sweatsuit from 2003 that says "JUICY" in script, right across the ass. I'm wearing UGGS and a top knot. I look like a valley-girl nightmare from the early 2000s.

But I look happy, because I'm staying at home, indulging in champagne. I'm relaxing, sketching, weeping and writing out all my explicit fantasies.

And come next Thursday, when the retrograde is over, I'll emerge a new woman, ready to get back out into the world.

Message me if you have to, babes. I'll be in, and we'll survive this retrograde together. After all, I'm your lesbian big sister, and I only want what's best for you. And you're not going to have a disastrous date night this weekend -- not on your big sis' clock.