Monday, January 2, 2012


I do this thing where I m skeptical and don't believe in things, but I am afraid to admit I'm skeptical.  For example, I "don't believe in ghosts" but I won't say that out loud because what if the ghosts heard and were angry and then haunted me?   So basically I believe in ghosts.  Because I believe enough to be scared of them.   But I don't really.  Because that's weird.

I apply this same logic to most things supernatural, so I was a little afraid to get my palm read at the little place in Philadelphia while I was visiting my sister there last week.   Part of me thought, "this is a silly waste of $10,"  while the other part thought, "What if she says something bad--and it's true!"   But in a weird coincidence (or is it?!) I had just spent the day looking at a book about palm reading I found in a hippie bookstore, and had said, "I've never had my palm read, I'd like to have that done."  So later, when I found myself sitting at dinner with my sister, her husband James, his sister Alice, his mom Alice, and my mom and dad, and Alice (his sister) said to me, "There's a palm reading place next door, do you want to go?" the only response was yes.

Yes.  And also no.   But mostly yes.

I imagined the palm-reading place to be more like the place Robyn Lively goes to in "Teen Witch" with aged leather bound books, and mystic-y stuff.  Someplace Poe would have frequented. Instead, when Alice and I walked through the door, there was a chubby little kid eating birthday cake and watching Looney Toons on TV.  His father offered both Alice and I birthday cake as well.   Not exactly chill-inducing.    And when the Palm Reader herself emerged from a back room, she was not a gypsy crone in many scarves, she was wearing a JLo-esque velour tracksuit.   Less intimidating than I had anticipated.

I still, however, made Alice go into the little back room first, and I waited nervously, afraid of what my future might hold, and also, politely refused birthday cake once again.

Alice emerged, smiling and happy, and it was my turn to hold hands with a virtual stranger.  In the deep recesses of my mind I remembered how my father had once had his palm read and lived in fear for the next few years, because it was predicted he would die in water at 27.  My father is 59.  I think he made it out of the woods--but I still didn't want to have to avoid swimming pools, puddles, and hot tubs.  What if she said I'd die from alcohol?!  I couldn't avoid that for the rest of my life.  Or rest of the month.  Or over one weekend.

I went in.   The lady was actually very soothing and calm, and I felt confident that if her kid was eating birthday cake in the next room, nothing sinister could unfold.  She asked me to hold out my palm and for my name.  She did not ask any leading questions, like, "I see you have a strained relationship...?" waiting for me to interject, "You mean with my father/mother/boyfriend/sorority sister/pimp?"

Actually it was kind of insane.  She said things with the exact wording I have thought in my head.  She predicted some things, but mostly she just nailed everything that was going on in my life at the moment.  And she told me it would all be fine.  And to not be so afraid of everything.

This is perfect advice for me.   And while my Dad scoffed and said, "I've been telling you all that for years," it meant something more significant coming for a total stranger in a velour track suit.  I am a believer.

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