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Advice for Others Named Starshine

What We Cannot Do—And Cannot Forget Not To Do


This is an important public service announcement for everyone out there named Starshine. (And for the rest of you, who think it’s unlikely there are others named Starshine, I would argue it’s just as unlikely that I’m able to spell Starshine considering the hallucinogens my parents consumed before and perhaps during my conception, so I’m a bettin’ girl.)

As we Starshines know, our unusual name is rife with perks. For example, people are often too embarrassed to say Starshine out loud, so they avoid talking to us entirely, which can be really lovely. And it’s always fun to introduce ourselves to old people, who inevitably try to recall the abominable lyrics to the song “Good Morning Starshine”: “Is it ‘glibby glup gloopy’ … or ‘gliddy glop glooby’?” Plus, we enjoy almost mainstream-moniker status when compared to Frank Zappa’s kids, Moon Unit, Dweezil, and Diva Thin Muffin; at least Starshine is, like, a thing.

Starshine Roshell

Still, there’s a downside to our name, and I think you all know what I’m talking about. Look, I’m sure every name has its own cross to bear. You think it’s easy for guys called Romeo and Jesus? And let’s all say a little prayer for girls named Britney or Lindsay, and born after, say, 1998.

As Starshines, though, our greatest challenge — from the moment we slap on that “Hi, My Name Is” sticker—is to avoid being perceived as a gleaming, screaming cliché: The hippie ditz. The empty-minded flower child. The cosmic karma kook.

Starshine is different than other weird names (I’m talkin’ to you, Pax, Apple, and Suri), because of its hyper-specific cultural and chronological association. The word is a psychedelic neon arrow pointing to the Decade of Peace, Love and Patchouli, an era whose worthy-but-woo-woo ideals are now considered at best bygone, at worst foolish, faulty, or (gulp) failed.

And so we Starshines toil to be taken seriously, don’t we? We strain to prove by our extraordinary non-flakiness that being spawned in an era does not make us the living embodiment of that era.

Occasionally, though … I forget. I let down my Grounded Girl guard. Like when I recently told my boss’s boss — as he blinked at me from above his power tie — that I see both sides of his argument because I’m a Libra rising.

Huge mistake. Whopping workplace foul. Starshines can’t cite star signs!

Gah!

So in the interest of preserving any credibility that we Starshines have managed to scrap together despite our spaced-out signatures, I thought I’d post a reminder of things we cannot do — and cannot forget not to do:

• We can’t practice yoga. We have to do something less flighty, like kickboxing. Even Zumba is risky, as Starshines can’t be caught dead in jingling belly-dancer belts any more than we can be seen in tie-dye, burned velvet, or fringe. Nothing that harkens back to Stevie Nicks, not even on Halloween. Come on, ladies. Use your heads.

• We can’t drink kombucha or wheatgrass. We can’t even insult kombucha or wheatgrass. The words “kombucha” and “wheatgrass” should never pass our lips. Nor should kombucha or wheatgrass themselves because they are truly, no-joke heinous. Not that I’ve tried them, mind you; what do you think I am, some kind of hippie?

• We cannot suggest reflexology, cite numerology, or defend Scientology. No “Meat is Murder” stickers should adorn our non-VW automobiles. We must not grow our own.

• We may not ever refer to Cat Stevens as Yusuf Islam. Actually, don’t refer to Cat Stevens in any capacity, if you can help it.

• Finally — and this should be obvious — we Starshines can’t make fun of other people’s names. In truth, I think some names deserve it, and if anyone’s earned the right to snort rudely at an absurd nametag, it’s us Starshines.

But that could just be my Libra rising talking.

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Starshine Roshell is the author of Wife on the Edge.

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