Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Cannot predict now. Ask again later.

There was a fortune from a cookie taped to my computer monitor that read: Happiness is around the corner and wealth down the street.  It was put there for me to read as inspiration, until it occurred to me, “…is it talking about those things living at someone else’s house?”  Well, there has been a dearth of wealth around here (I’m not whining, I know it’s the same at your house) and that happiness fairy, she visits in spurts, but never stays.  Oh, tiny scrap of paper that I initially thought promised great things, your destiny is the recycling bin.


What kind of a fortune was that, anyway?  It can’t just be me, but it seems that some of these fortunes being delivered, as of late, aren’t really fortunes at all.  As my daughter pointed out, they’re more like statements of affirmation.  Teeny declarative rectangles stating, “You have a great disposition!” or “Your smile makes other people smile!”  That’s something your Great Aunt who smells like mothballs might say during a lapse in polite conversation at a dinner she wished she didn’t miss poker night for.  That is NOT fortune cookie verbiage, you people being held hostage in a fortune cookie factory!


See, I bought a Magic 8 Ball as a kid because I wanted it to give me answers to the 1001 questions I had about the future (or present moment crushes).  Later on, I found that reading my astrological horoscope as a young adult was akin to emotional meteorology and was necessary to my day (or the week/month/year ahead).  So, I’m more than a bit irritated that my fortune cookies started dispensing Self-Help advice.  My fortune cookie is not supposed to plaster up my self-esteem!  I rely on it to give me something to look forward to.  If I’m going to be hungry in an hour anyway, my equally ravenous soul should at least be compensated with something substantial.  Perhaps “New friends are in your future.” or “Something lost will soon return.”  THAT, right there?  That’s some good fortune cookie material.


When you’re young there are teachers and adults around to give you glimpses into your future.  There are more opportunities to hear constructive ideas and positive messages about what might lie ahead.  With youth comes great optimism and, for the most part, upbeat thoughts about the future.  Messages of hope are generally pretty easy to come by (except for that one jerky uncle who assures you, you won’t ever amount to anything.  Don’t worry.  His gallbladder will deal with him later.).


You grow up and as life is laid out before you, you don’t have as many Magic 8 Ball reminders of “Outlook good” – life is tough, as my 18 year old found out recently, when money was being siphoned out of her newly acquired checking account, “Being an adult sucks.”  At that point, it’s nice to check in with the local newspaper to discover that “Leos can expect significant advantage in the upcoming year.”  It’s not a promise, but it can brighten your outlook a smidge, even if you don’t put a lot of stock in it.  It takes some of the sting out of being a young adult.


Time marches on, and for a lot of folk they don’t realize they’ve gone from optimist, to realist to moseying right into the territory of the pessimists.  Pessimists, I can tell you without a doubt, would never be caught consulting a black and white ball — filled with a plastic, icosahedral die floating in alcohol with dissolved dark blue die — for answers. Nor would they rely on a nationally syndicated Astrologer’s column on birth signs as a map to the future.  But, watch ‘em crack open a particularly tasty fortune cookie (Martha Stewart has a killer recipe) while high on MSG and if that sweet bad boy contains a three inch long and half inch wide bright promise for the future?  Well, it has been my experience that anytime you can get a pessimist to simply grin in the present, that’s a good day, and bodes well for the future.  Right?…


It is certain. 

It is decidedly so.

Without a doubt.

Yes – definitely.

You may rely on it.

Outlook good.

Signs point to yes.



[So says the Magic 8 Ball.]


Martha Stewarts Fortune Cookie Recipe:

Leave a Reply