[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
why i don’t read horoscopes – part i
about six years ago, i went with a friend to get a makeover at the christian dior counter. it was free, it was a great way to kill a saturday, and it’s a girlie-fun thing to do every once in a while. plus: free snacks. when we got there, they also had another treat in store. seems they had brought in some fancy-schmancy psychic woman all the way from new york city! that’s right, kids, she was a big-city psychic woman (bcpw). she did an abbreviated reading at no charge while the makeup artiste was slathering twenty pounds of product on my face, explaining why my 20-something skin needed four different anti-aging products, each costing about $50.
her abbreviated reading was just fine. you know how those things are – general enough to be safe, with just a few, more specific items thrown in to make it seem like a mind-blowing experience. i thought it was okay-fine. my friend, however, thought this woman was truly touched and could see her entire life laid out before her. i think it was the fumes from the products.
then, bcpw tells my gushing friend that she would be happy to do a full-blown chart for her. she needed her date, time and place of birth…and $50. she would be back in town in two weeks to give her the results. well, just as my friend couldn’t go get slathered with products by herself, she couldn’t do this alone either. so, we both coughed up the info and the $50. i figured that it was actually a win for me…this way i could tell the makeup artiste that i’d love to buy that anti-aging serum, but i just gave my last $50 to the bcpw.
two weeks later my friend calls, “she’s back. with our charts!”
“huh? who? wha…oh. okay, so now what?”
“we meet her at the ramada inn.”
“what the hell? the ramada inn?”
suddenly this seems even cheesier than it did before. and it was already pretty damn cheesy.
so, we saunter in to the ramada inn, and find bcpw’s room. we go in and, much to our surprise there are several other women there who are introduced to us as other bcpw's.
as we came into the room, i heard bcpw #1 tell the others: “this is her.”
see, now as i write this, i think that should have been a clue at the time. i should have immediately said, “excuse me, which is her is the her?”
instead i just sat myself down and enjoyed more free snacks.
bcpw did my friend’s chart first. she explained all the house-things and the plotting process, blah blah blah. frankly, i was digging hard on some chips ahoy at that point and tuned the whole thing out.
my friend’s reading went fairly quickly, and she seemed really pleased. i was finished with the chips ahoy and had moved on to the milanos when bcpw said it was my turn.
she is pointing to a chart and begins with explanation of the house-thing, the plotting process, blah blah blah. then, i notice that this isn’t my chart. my name isn’t on it. someone else’s name is. so, in the interest of that person’s privacy – ‘cause i don’t wanna know all their psychic business – i stop bcpw.
“uh…this isn’t me,” i snicker, mid-milano. “it’s a guy. named dan.”
bcpw stops talking and looks at the other bcpw, who, i have noticed, are now gathered around the table.
i’m thinking that i’m about to get thrashed for hogging all the cookies.
bcpw says, “well, i wanted to show you this chart. as an example. of what most charts look like.”
[sound of one girl crunching]
she continues, “see, i’ve never seen a chart like yours before. ever.”
now i’m considering the fact that i should stop eating the cookies.
“these other women here today are old friends of mine. all of us do this for a living. we all have for a very long time. they’re here because none of them has ever seen a chart like yours either. when i plotted your chart, i called a few of them for advice, or to see if it was possible that i had made a mistake. i wasn’t sure what i should tell you. frankly, none of us is sure what to tell you.”
now, not only do i stop eating, but i’m wishing i had actually paid attention during the house-thing, plotting-process blah blah blah part(s).
at this point, bcpw takes out a chart and puts it on the table. i notice immediately that my name is on this one, and that my chart definitely doesn’t look like dan’s.
dan’s chart had all these little dots spread out all over place on it. mine has dots, too.
but they weren’t spread out.
there is just one clump of dots.
suddenly, i started trying to remember what bcpw had said about the house-things. i seem to remember that the house-things represented stuff. like money! there was definitely a money-house-thing. maybe all my dots are in my money-house-thing, and i’m going to be filthy rich, and i can buy all the chips ahoys in all the world! yes!
then i thought about how bcpw didn’t seem very excited. how she seemed more…uncomfortable, i guess, than excited. i mean, if all my dots were in my money-house-thing, she would be excited, right? right. so, what then?
what if there was a tumor-house-thing?! what if all my dots were in my tumor-house-thing?! holy god, that must be it!
“is it cancer?! am i dying?!” i blurt out.
the bcpw’s all look at each other.
“no. it’s…well, all of your planets are in your sex house.”
there is no noise whatsoever in the room.
“our collective advice is for you to move to las vegas and work as a prostitute.”
“i’d like another cookie, please.”
“i’m sorry, i don’t know what else to tell you. we’ve really never seen this before.”
“so…my life’s destiny is to be a whore?”
“well, it just seems that it would be something you would enjoy…and would be very gifted at, so it would probably be very lucrative for you. it probably wouldn’t be a lifelong thing. i do see a career path change for you as you near 30….”
“well,of course, i mean, there’s not much of a retirement plan for whores.”
“…this is rather awkward. again, i do apologize.”
“you think? actually, i can’t wait to get home and call my folks to tell them that i’m packing up all my shit and moving out west to be a whore because a psychic told me it’s my destiny.”
“i can see you’re upset.”
“i’d like my $50 back, please.”
“you’re not a career counselor, you know. you could have just said that i’m really good in bed. that would have been a reading we could all enjoy, right? i mean, how cool would that have been? but, no, you have to take it one step further.”
“here’s your money…”
“yeah, and i’m taking these fuckin’ cookies, too.”
and i took the basket of cookies, and my money, and my chart and left the ramada inn.
as i drove home i thought about what bcpw had told me. and, after i ran out of milanos, i actually considered the possibility of following her advice. but, like so many other people, i was scared of what my destiny might be. so, instead, i cut out the sex-house part of my chart, framed it and hung it on my wall. and when people asked me what it was, i told them it was an art piece entitled, 'destiny does vegas.'
"oh," they would respond.
i still have it. my destiny. in a little frame.
and, every once in a while, when i'm a little short on cash, or i'm especially hating my job, i wonder…what if....
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