I wonder if I should just go ahead and apologize in advance that this is not a food-related post. The response was so enthusiastic, I definitely will do more!
In the spirit of trying to become more blog-worthy, I have decided to try and court adventure. You may say that what I should be doing is trying to REPEL it, but that is really not in my nature. Sigh.
A friend suggested a while back that I visit a tarot card reader, just to get some clarity and focus in my life (note: clarity and focus do not go well with adventurousness.) I thought it would be an interesting experiment. I have sometimes been curious about fortune-telling, but mostly dismiss it. Remember Miss Cleo? No? Good. I had the vision that palm readers and their ilk were nothing more than glorified carnies, swathed in silks and bathed in myrrh and something that smelled awfully like Brut Cologne. Not particularly a pleasant thought.
Today, however, I decided to take the leap. I don't know what it was: maybe the fact that a shopping excursion resulted in a receipt totaling $7.77 - but something made me feel if not lucky, not cursed. It would be fun, right? Nothing too specific in mind or heart - just an urge to see what the stars had laid out for me.
I was warned by my friend that the - what would she be, seer? - was very blunt, and if I was going to die, or be sick, or anybody else I loved was going to meet some foul end, she wouldn't hesitate to say. With this knowledge in my back pocket, I rang the bell at the appointed time.
The woman that answered the door was tiny. I am 5'7", and she barely made it to my shoulders. You do the math, because I am tired (and keep in mind that I am fairly evenly proportioned; I don't have coltish legs or a short torso.) Olivia is a caretaker of the elderly during the day, and reads tarot out of her home on evenings and weekends. Everybody's gotta have a side gig in this economy, I guess.
She led me to a room no bigger than a shoebox. I sat on one side of a small table that looked like the type you would prop your dinner on while watching TV and she on the other. A red cloth placemat lay in the center. She handed me the cards, and told me to shuffle, then split them into two stacks.
The cards were greasy and thick with wear. Olivia explained that her parents taught her the craft, but one had to have the gift to interpret correctly. I knew from my friend's stories of all the accurate predictions Olivia had accrued: marriages and deaths and pregnancies and jail time and deportations, so I was hopeful (and worried) that she would prove to be right.
She slapped the cards down with authority, and began. I had been careful to dress blandly, not wanting to give anything way, and also had decided to let her do most of the talking. I didn't want to goad her or give her any ideas. Right away she launched into my story: two daughters close in age, that I was prone to depression and emotional instability even though I seemed to have everything. I was born under, for lack of a better, more elegant term, a big-ass lucky star. She told me to watch out for my older daughter - that I needed to spend more time with her and teach her how to have more self-confidence, because her sister was dominating her (very true.) She went on in great specificity about my marriage, unusual problems I was having with specific friends, the work that I was doing (great success is on the horizon!). Some of the things hit very close to home and stung like a slap. It was uncanny. A whole hour for twenty bucks! It was like a mental massage. But more painful. At least there was no death or destruction on the horizon, but she said I had to be very careful, because I like to court danger. Me?
I left somewhat shaken. A lot of things she said had hit right on the mark. Others, not so much. But the things that did were very specific. It was eerie, but should it really have been?
I think that after a long while, people can get very good at what they do. It's the natural result of practice and passion. Maybe she's just good at reading people, not cards. Olivia seemed like a nice lady; I don't think she would deliberately mislead someone, but I think it is impossible to ignore cues in people's body language and responses, even if (like me) they tried not to respond too much. In the end, it felt a bit like going to a therapist or spending some time with a good friend talking about important things: heart-clearing. And for me, it felt good. Even if she couldn't give me the winning lottery numbers.