co-written with Morgan Bimm
Morgan and I inhabit our own world in which Carly Rae Jepsen reigns as queen (other inhabitants include an unlikely combination of gay men and noise musicians), and November 21st is our highest of holidays: the day when our seasons overlap (Scorpio season becomes Sagittarius season), and the very day our Cusp Queen was born. In honour of her 35th trip around the sun, here are 35 things she has taught us about Sag/Scorp intimacies. Cue the music.
- Scorp/Sag intimacies are the ultimate game of chicken.
Every single friendship milestone, overly ambitious project, and night to be remembered that we’ve shared over the past five years has started with one of us turning to the other and going, “What if…?” We wrote a paper about CRJ that we somehow presented at NYU that turned into a book chapter that somehow turned into buying VIP concert tickets and pressing the book into Carly’s assistant’s hands, being assured that they’d get it to her pronto. As Andi puts it, “the Mars and Jupiter energies mingle in a vaguely threatening way,” and then it’s already happening. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
SOUNDTRACK: Too Much
- Friendships can be formed over a mutual love of baby bangs.
Experiencing an entire friendship in five minutes because someone complimented your bangs in the bar bathroom, but make it permanent. Once Morgan was only Andi’s very complimentary Instagram mutual, now she’s on the contemporary equivalent of her speed dial.
SOUNDTRACK: Call Me Maybe
B-SIDE: Automatically In Love
- Best friends dress alike.
The bangs, the band tees, the bi power outfit of 2018.
SOUNDTRACK: I Really Like You
- You never know where the night may take a Scorp/Sag duo
When the Pisces leaves to catch the last train and the Libra complains of an inappropriate outfit, the Scorp/Sag duo soldier on into the wee hours of the morning (and inevitably end up at Emo Night). Anyone who’s ever been to a Carly concert knows just how committed she is to making the most of a night (mid-set outfit changes! Extended sax solos! Band-wide dance choreography!), and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
SOUNDTRACK: Making the Most of the Night
- Chaos respects chaos.
Morgan and Andi had been friendly but respectful colleagues until a night that we now refer to as our Chaos-iversary, when we became friends for real and (let’s be honest) forever. After an evening of festivities that included kissing someone questionable (Morgan) and getting into a light bar fight (Andi) set to a backdrop of rock music, Morgan followed Andi outside, where she stood crying on the street. In a rare moment of lucidity amid the night’s chaos, Andi apologized to her for being such a mess and that Morgan had to see her in such a state. But you know what? Morgan KISSED her on the forehead before heading for the streetcar, unfazed, and boom. A Scorp/Sag power duo was born. Carly, too, has had many a messy night on the dance floor — dancing the way you are, and you dancing the way she is, you’re taking it way too far…
SOUNDTRACK: This Kiss
- There is no room for judgement within Scorp/Sag intimacies
Close friends tend to have front row seats to your entire life. They know all the messy details of your relationship with your mom, your cat, your last date. When Morgan had a Grade A moral crisis earlier this year over the prospect of giving someone a second chance after they’d hurt her (a prospect the stubborn Sag had previously never considered), Andi just shrugged and said, “That’s just what you need to do sometimes.” Carly has written repeatedly on second chances and forgiveness, enthusiastically co-signing this idea that the choices you make around who deserves an open window back into your life are yours and yours alone.
- A Scorpio will teach a Sagittarius that sometimes you just need to go deep
Neither of our sun signs are particularly known for subtlety, for faking it, or for small talk (thank god). Andi once looked Morgan dead in the eye across a pub table at 1 AM and said, “You really loved him, didn’t you?” Rather than feel like crawling under the table and dying (i.e. a normal person’s reaction to being called out for messy ex feelings), Morgan felt affirmed. And then we laughed. Because that’s just the kind of Carly-loving freaks we are for emotional honesty and directness.
SOUNDTRACK: Cut to the Feeling
- Crying is always encouraged.
We have cried together at concerts (thanks Mitski). We have cried together after too much wine (thanks boxed wine). We have cried together this summer holding freshly sanitized hands and wearing masks and feeling so, so grateful to be touching after too long apart (thanks, COVID-induced touch starvation). If Carly’s taught us anything, it’s that being able to cry with and in front of someone is a type of intimacy that you just can’t force. But god, do we recommend it.
- Idealistic is just what you call people you can’t keep up with.
High standards? Yes. Fierce boundaries? You bet. We are dedicated to the dreams and visions for our world and yours. We believe in real (real) love, and we won’t settle for less.
SOUNDTRACK: Real Love
- A Sagittarius will teach a Scorpio that eternal optimism feels foolish, but is necessary.
Whether in our careers or our dating lives or in these wild COVID times, feeling hopeful and entitled to joy of any kind can feel selfish and absurd. Carly has never shied away from naming exactly what she wants and deserves, and she inspires us to do the same.
SOUNDTRACK: Gimmie Love
- It might not be so bad if you have a wingman/Try saying yes.
A Sagittarius bestie is the perfect antidote for Scorpio’s natural misery and anti-social tendencies. Do you know how many things Andi has asked Morgan to do with her that she’s simply said yes to? Do you know, at Andi’s own birthday party, how relieved she was when Morgan walked in and she could stop pretending to be the life of the party? About a dozen and VERY.
SOUNDTRACK: I’ll Be Your Girl
B-SIDE: Now I Don’t Hate California Anymore
- Concerts are a love language
There’s something that feels indelibly sacred about attending a concert with somebody. Maybe it’s the fact that all of your memories of that night and that artist will forever be tangled up with that person. Maybe it has to do with how vulnerable it feels to lose yourself in the moment and scream/sing the lyrics to all of your favourites. Either way, we figured out early on that we trust each other with those moments. And better yet, have the same need to start rehashing shows the minute we leave them (we’re still talking about the Dedicated tour).
SOUNDTRACK: Now That I Found You
B-SIDE: Guitar String / Wedding Ring
- Your weirdness is noted, and appreciated
Oh, the thrill of seeing Morgan throw her head back and laugh when Andi gets into her weird, crowd-dispersing (for safety) dancing, insists on a Romi & Michelle pose in the middle of a photoshoot, or makes an impassioned speech about Emo Night, or the narrative arc of Carly Rae Jepsen’s third studio release… Listen, it is a masterpiece, and she is a much weirder artist than most people realize.
- Knowledge is power, and power makes our hair grow
A blunt question gets a blunt answer, and we are afraid of speaking neither. Once, Morgan’s answer to a very personal question Andi asked was, “You already know too much.” Hey, she tried.
- Dream big. No, bigger.
Doing the thing is absolutely easier with a co-conspirator but, in the absence of that, having someone who believes in your brilliance and your work ethic and your fundamental goodness as a person goes a long, long way. To quote our queen, “You make me feel like/I could be driving you all night.” Even when we’re not collaborating on something directly, we’re always stuck in each other’s heads and on each other’s hearts, and — most of the time — that’s more than enough.
SOUNDTRACK: Run Away With Me
- Feel big/CHEESE IS NOT JUST FOR EATING.
We are not emotional vegans. Does Morgan sing in the shower? YES, ANDI HAS SHARED A BATHROOM WITH HER. Does Andi cry because pop punk means best friends forever? FREQUENTLY. Did we write 35 line items on friendship and CRJ? ALMOST. We’re alive, goddammit. It’s about unlearning shame. It’s about embracing pleasure. It’s about feeling it all. It’s about making out like it’s the end of the world.
SOUNDTRACK: Favourite Colour
BONUS TRACK: Bad Friend by Rina Sawayama (you’ll see why)
- Scorp/Sag intimacies lie at the intersection of honesty and bravery.
Sometimes you have to be the person that can see through the glitter and question (and sometimes curb) your bestie’s true motivations, and sometimes you have to be the person who goes along with a bad idea just to see what happens. In other words, you gotta be all “If you just give me a chance, you’d see what I see.” If you know what I mean, do you know what I mean? Cue dance beats.
SOUNDTRACK: I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance
B-SIDE: L.A. Hallucinations
- We all have a type.
Sometimes, you need someone to take you by the hand and tell you to stop dating Irishmen… the ultimate Irish goodbye, if you will (we won’t name names). We’re still not sure if it’s possible to validate the everloving heck out of someone while also questioning their life (Tinder) choices, but oh my god have we tried.
B-SIDE: Your Type
- No one moves through heartbreak better than a Sag with a Scorp by her side.
And no one springs into action like a Scorp whose bestie has been wronged. Andi has waded into the wreckage of all of Morgan’s worst breakups, looked around, and immediately set to work. She’s written tirades about men taking up too much space at concerts after running into one of Morgan’s exes at a show. She’s sat Morgan down at her favourite pizza place less than a week out and reassured Morgan over and over again that she’s lovable until a tiny part of her believed it again. And, of course, has always prescribed a heavy dose of Carly.
SOUNDTRACK: Boy Problems
- Block them.
Sometimes you need someone who’s been through it before to pry your cold, (emotionally) dead hands off a relationship. Sagittarius go-with-the-flow energy, meet Scorpio’s firm boundary-setting. Blocking and ghosting are allowed, nay, encouraged in the face of bad — dare we say, Cancerian — behaviour. We invoke the “you know me and I’m not that good at goodbyes” clause.
- Dancing will solve a lot of problems. Aggressive dancing will solve them faster.
Look, we know it’s contradictory that the music we love spans everything from early Carly to early PUP, but what can we say — we’ve never met a problem that a good old-fashioned mosh pit can’t help.
SOUNDTRACK: Good Time (ft. Owl City)
B-SIDE: Hurt So Good
- The messier the party, the more memorable the holiday.
Sometimes you’re the one who vomits, sometimes you’re the one who wipes the vomit off the other’s hands (see: chaos respects chaos). Long live Vom-entine’s Day 2018.
SOUNDTRACK: It’s Not Christmas ‘Til Somebody Cries
- When a Scorpio moves across a city the size of Toronto for love, it’s good to have a Sagittarius friend who loves to travel.
Especially one who stole [her dad’s] bike, and rode all [across town] to deliver a freshly-baked loaf of sourdough in the middle of a pandemic.
- Likewise, when you’re saving all your money for your next bout of adventure tourism, it’s good to have a friend who over-shops.
Dressing Morgan in her overstock is a fun way for Andi to keep her excess clothing close, but in someone else’s closet. Morgan has never met a piece of pseudo-stolen clothing she doesn’t love.
SOUNDTRACK: The One (but mostly just that one line “I wear your socks as slippers”)
- Sometimes, love means rolling your eyes.
Morgan has lost count of the quips Andi has made about her fleeting Sagittarius hobbies. [DO YOU HAVE AN EXAMPLE THAT’S NOT TOO MEAN] [NO, I AM MEAN] Sometimes, being in someone’s life for long enough means that you can anticipate their patterns before they can. Luckily, that also comes with a clause where calling each other on our shit is mandatory.
SOUNDTRACK: Wrong Feels So Right
- Scorp/Sag intimacies just need a little glue sometimes.
Andi has already written beautifully about this elsewhere on the blog, but there have definitely been times when we’ve needed to work through the fact that we communicate and love each other in wildly different ways sometimes. In Carly’s music, these miscommunications and blunders usually end in heartbreak (and occasionally having one’s bicycle stolen), but every once in a while you find someone who’s so worth it that you take the time to grow… together.
SOUNDTRACK: Let’s Sort the Whole Thing Out
- Co-Star calls us star-crossed friends, but here we are.
SOUNDTRACK: This Love Isn’t Crazy
- Scorp/Sag intimacy is a free range creature.
Luckily, we both hold mutual respect for privacy and personal space, and know that some things are better kept secret…
- Scorp/Sag egos are built on the fiction that we want to be alone; Scorp/Sag intimacy is built on the truth that we’re going to show up for each other.
Scorpios trust no one. Sagittariuses are flaky. But we know one Sagittarius who would never flake on a Scorpio, and one Scorpio who has learned over and over again that she can trust a Sag. Can Scorp/Sag intimacy heal our respective anxieties? ??? ? ? Can Andi describe the bloom in her heart when Morgan always shows up to her birthday party, to her talk — even at 8 a.m., even in a pandemic — when she thought nobody would? No, she cannot. But it might be purple.
SOUNDTRACK: Your Heart Is A Muscle
- Timing is everything.
Do you know how hard it is to get a Sagittarius to admit that fate might actually exist? We were already over a year into our friendship when we started figuring out weird parallels in our lives, from attending the same undergrad institution to similar dating histories to literally living across the street from each other years before we ever met. It seems like the universe really, really, really, really, really, really wanted us to be friends, though. And, as Carly has written about extensively, while there is absolutely such thing as the wrong time, life has a funny way of working out anyway.
SOUNDTRACK: Feels Right
- Some actions speak louder than words.
Another overlap in the Scorp/Sag Venn diagram is undoubtedly our sun signs’ absolute horror at asking for help from anyone ever. To date, Andi is the only person Morgan has ever called from the ER. And to date, Andi is exactly the person it turns out Morgan needed that night (she showed up with a clean t-shirt, a stack of Bitch magazines, and two different kinds of Clif bar — dedicated doesn’t even begin to cover it).
SOUNDTRACK: When I Needed You
B-SIDE: The Sound
- The cat always knows.
There comes a time in every millennial’s life where they realize that if they can’t win over the pet of a potential new pal, Tinder date, etc. then they might as well just hit the bricks. Morgan doesn’t want to brag, but Zooey (Andi’s perfect, shouty tortoiseshell) has been obsessed with her from their very first tentative ear scritch. She’s never felt more smug than when Andi finally asked her to catsit, and is happy to report that she and Zooey spent a blissful August long weekend hanging out and serenading one another (Morgan sang Carly; Zooey just wanted dinner an hour early).
SOUNDTRACK: OMG (ft. Gryffin)
- If we’re being honest, one pillar of Scorp/Sag intimacy is the dream that Morgan will, one day, let Andi ride on the back of her motorcycle.
The motorcycle is the perfect symbol of moody/dark/romantic/escapist/adventurous Scorp/Sag tropes. It is as much the centre of our Venn Diagram as CRJ herself, who is similarly thrilled by a romantic jaunt on a fast vehicle. (Note: Andi is like one of like two and a half people Morgan would ever even consider for the gig. She’s tiny and grabby and looks cute in leather.)
- It’s nice to have your E•MO•TIONs validated.
Sometimes you just need someone to appreciate the magnitude of the feelings coursing through your body, regardless of how insignificant the cause may be. True, it might be the fact that we’re both in therapy and have done a lot of work to get better at holding space for the people we love, but we like to think at least a little bit of this is Carly’s doing.
- Always commit to the bit.
Is it fair or in any way accurate to compare the relatively tiny task of compiling this list to the genius that is releasing full length B-side albums a year after each of your generation-defining EPs? Not even a little bit. But we’re still going to, because if there’s anything Carly has taught us it’s this: when you have a great idea, friends worth having will encourage you to run with it as far as it will take you. And then some.
SOUNDTRACK: Comeback (ft. Bleachers)