It occurred to me as I turned onto Westheimer that perhaps trying to shop for Emma at a store where the sizing was different from that which I was used to (setting aside for a moment the hideously inconsistent and frustrating system that is US women's sizing) without bringing Emma along was a bit useless. It was then that I experienced a flash of brilliance.
"Let's go see a psychic!"
I have long been fascinated by psychics, palm-reading, tarot cards, and the like. I suspect it in no small part stems from my upbringing, where I was taught by God-fearing folk that such things are of the Occult, and not to be trifled with. I do not remember being told or thinking they weren't real, however -- on the contrary, I was made to believe that people (at least, some people) who meddled with these things were dealing with very real, very powerful, and very dangerous forces. The primary reason I should not dabble was because seeking the power of something besides God was wrong, but a close second was the idea that I could potentially unleash something that I did not understand and could not control.
So, needless to say, I've wanted to investigate this sort of thing FOREVER.
There is also, of course, a not-so-small desire to have someone tell me "This is how things are, these are your options, this is the best path". On some level I know that is not how these sorts of things really work, but oh, if it was...
And, finally, there was the overriding drive to do things that will result in The Funny. And I could not for the life of me see how this could possibly turn out to be completely uninteresting.
There are a number of psychics offering palm and tarot readings in the Montrose area; we saw at least six. Almost all were in houses with neon signs hung in a front window. One we abandoned because I could not find a place to park. The second one had but one parking spot, which I took, and we awkwardly opened the door and peeked inside.
There was a narrow hallway, with a closed door on the right and a flight of stairs on the left leading to a second floor I hadn't realized the house had. I looked up, wondering where to go and feeling very much like I was intruding. The door opened, and a woman in a seafoam green housedress ushered us into her home. She was the psychic, she said. Tish and I sat in the little dining room, at the table. At the front of the house was a living room, next to the dining table was a kitchen, and behind us was at least one bedroom. The door was open, and a man was lying on the bed with a drink in his hand. Palm readings were $10, tarot cards were $25. I had $20 on me; Tish didn't have any cash. Palm readings all around!
I was first, offering my right hand. I do not like strangers touching my hands, or any other body parts, but this did not bother me. Maybe because I offered it of my own accord, or perhaps my curiosity overrode my discomfort.
Her first words were of health -- apparently I received everything bad from my family. Blood pressure, high cholesterol, a bad heart, diabeetus, everything awful. No cancer, she added, and thank goodness. I spoke up, wondering if it was bad form to do so in the middle of a reading (most likely) to say that actually, my blood pressure and cholesterol have always been quite good. This is, in fact, the case. It has confused my doctors forever, because fat people are supposed to have arteries clogged entirely solid with Krispy Kreme donuts. She told me to keep an eye on it. I shut my mouth and let her continue. Behind me, the man from the bedroom ambled into the kitchen to get another drink.
There are two men I need to choose between, she said. I wondered whether she was just assuming that I was interested in men. I mean, I am, but I would not object to ladies either. I did not ask. One of the men is my soulmate. But he makes me depressed and unhappy. The other makes me laugh. She became animated talking about him. How he wanted to travel the world with me, and we would have two kids. Her expression darkened. But if I chose the soulmate, I would be so unhappy. The funny one would make me glad to wake up at 5 AM and get going; with the soulmate I wouldn't want to wake up.
Tish's reading is hers to tell, and not mine. Parts were accurate, parts were interesting, and a few bits were hilarious and I will never stop teasing her about them.
After her reading, there were a few moments of awkward silence before Tish announced that now we were going to get bubble tea.
And so we did.
INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THE PSYCHIC PREDICTION:
- Implication that I have already met the two men I must choose between.
- I must choose between someone who will frustrate me and make me miserable, and someone who wants to show me the world. I'm either going to be with House or Aladdin*.
- Implication that the two kids I'm having with Funny Dude are happening whether or not I choose him.
- Clearly, I need to rank all my male friends in order of Who Makes Me Laugh the Most. I suspect I'm going to have to feed each of them the same setup line, and analyze their responses.
- Discussing this with the Laurels staff, we tried to come up with several reasons why a soulmate would make someone unhappy. We came up with the following:
- Soulmate does not recognize the connection, and/or...
- Soulmate is with someone else.
- Soulmate is gay, a priest, or otherwise off-limits (granted, this is not as strong a case as the others, since in this instance there is at least a good chance that said soulmate might still be a close friend without a spouse or significant other having major jealousy issues. Said issues are still possible, but more likely to be of the "you spend all your time with her" sort than "you're cheating on me" sort). This, of course, raises the question of whether soulmates are always romantically linked (I vote no).
- Soulmate is a big bag 'o crazy who refuses to attempt any sort of getting healthier.
- Soulmate dies soon after the discovery of soulmate-itude.
- Soulmate is, in fact, Edward Cullen.
- Soulmate does not recognize the connection, and/or...
- Above discussion led to further analysis of what, exactly, a 'soulmate' is. It was generally accepted that the designation of 'soulmate' implied an inherently positive connection between the two individuals in question. Whether it is a romantic or purely platonic designation was debatable.
- If someone is doing something that makes me laugh, I can now use the threat "Stop that or I'll marry you."
Man, that was fun.
*IT IS A TOUGH CHOICE, OKAY.**
**Upon making this joke while discussing the event at a Laurels meeting, Travis (an utterly adorable staff member) immediately burst out singing "A Whole New World". Because I guess the universe decided that the urge to smooch him was not strong enough already.