Last night Dana invited me to an animal shelter fund raiser in Port Jefferson. This was a fundraiser, with a twist. The twist was a room full of psychics, tarot card readers, pet communicators, Reiki, something called angel cards and maybe a palm reader? I don't remember exactly. I'll say right off the bat that the only thing I truly think is effective out of any of those is Reiki because I know a few people who have benefited from those treatments and I am a believer in alternative medicines; I love me some accupuncture and massage therapy. I enjoy having my tarot cards read because, like astrology, it is a fun thing to think about. I do not, however, like when self appointed psychics try to be counselors or psychologists, which is what most of them tend to do. Tell me to change the oil in my car before you tell me I have daddy issues, thanks. I have many friends and family member who believe in communicating with the afterlife, or the ability to read one's destiny in the stars. I am never derisive of people who believe in these kinds of things because whatever gets you through the night is alright, right? And really, choosing to do or not do something based on a tarot card reading is no more arbitrary than the eenie meenie miney mo with which we all basically live our lives.
I have only paid for these types of occult services exactly three times, including last night, though in reality I should not include last night since all $25 of my dollars went to benefit Save-A-Pet. The first time was at the tail end of my college years. There was always a sign out in front of this small building in town so a few friends of mine were going in and I tagged along. I don't remember much of what the woman said to me but I do remember she told me that in my past life I was George Sand. Having just seen the film "Impromptu", I was amused. Naturally I immediately "did the math", by which I mean I asked a math-smart friend of mine and realized that should past lives actually be a thing that happens, chances are more likely that in my past life I was a poor, Chinese peasant, as would be the case for nearly every human alive today. Everyone wants to think they were Cleopatra. Or George Sand. Personally, I get the sense I was Zelda Fitzgerald, but I digress.
The second time I visited a psychic was many years later with a friend of mine who was very much into tarot cards, and witchy things and who had heard about this Dominican man who set up shop on the west side of midtown Manhattan. We went in together and I don't remember how much he charged us but I remember he was sat in a room inside a very shady, unmarked building with about seven hundred million candles, dressed in colorful robes, looking like he just stepped out of the film "The Serpent and the Rainbow".
|He's screaming because he can't remember if he's Bill Pullman or Bill Paxton either.|
Anyway, I was really freaked out by this man because I imagined him reaching over and removing both mine and my friend's heart with his bare hands (what? Don't act like you have never imagined someone doing this to you.) He asked me to write my name on a piece of paper and then put that paper into a bowl of water that had a floating candle in it. Then he sprayed some sort of aerosol thing all over the candles and recited some incantation; it was all very Voodoo-ish, another thing that freaks me out likely because I was born and bred in Louisiana, where everything is witchy. I don't know if he was doing Voodoo but there were no dead and bloody chickens with broken necks, which is what I associate with Voodoo. Anyway, again, I don't remember much about what he said except that he told me that I would always be unlucky in love. Then he told my friend that she should apply to a job at Starbucks. I don't remember how or why that even came up but he handed her a business card for Starbucks, which at the time was just starting to take over the world. That exchange made me less inclined to believe him. But look at it this way, if I hadn't gone with my friend that day, I would not have been able to relate this story to you. Win/win.
Which brings us to last night. Basically you had a choice of which person you wanted to talk to and for your $25 donation to the shelter you could talk to them for 15 minutes. Both Dana and I chose the tarot card reader, mostly because neither of us really knew what any of the other stuff was. I knew I should have picked Reiki but like I said, I also enjoy tarot card readings. I imagine that a lot of money was raised for the shelter because the room was packed and all the appointments were getting booked. The tarot card reader was running about 30 minutes behind schedule and I was starving and had strong desires to just leave and go eat something, the money went to charity and I didn't care that much. But we stuck it out and from the moment I sat down, I realized that this woman had no clue what she was talking about or doing. Shewas also very red faced and seemed somewhat flustered. She opened with "You are in a relationship." And she followed that with "Your parents are still married." And followed THAT with the astute observation that "You suffer from mild depression." Zero for three. I was giving her no encouragement whatsoever and sat with a blank expression and she took that as an opportunity for me to pick the cards again for a different result. Tarot readings are apparently the slot machines of the occult, if one set of cards is totally off, just pick more until you get three cherries! The second set of cards revealed to her that I am religious (nope), that I am going to move within the year (unlikely) and that I "like" someone. Dana got her reading after me and after discussing our results, we realized that she told us almost identical things about our pasts except where she talked about my father, she talked about Dana's ex. Essentially she was full of it and by "it" I don't mean psychic power or even intuition.
When we left I was just about ready to eat my hand so we went in search of food. On the way I ran into my aunt and uncle who frequent the same watering hole every Friday night. I think maybe I caught a case of the Psychics because I had a "feeling" I'd run into them, in the same general area where they can be found every single Friday night. Uncanny! We ended up going to said watering hole for dinner which was basically a huge mistake. I'm on a very limited diet and I also don't eat meat so I ordered fish and it turns out that the bar/restaurant serves the most godawful disgusting crap and calls it "fish". Readers, I am very, very rarely unable to eat something I order, even if it is mediocre. I hate waste. But what they served me defies explanation. It made me feel like vomiting and, despite the fact that I was starving, I couldn't bring myself to eat it and I sent it back and ordered a salad. Dana's meal was called a chicken ceasars salad but was really half a head of iceberg lettuce (where's the romaine, people??) and cut up pieces of a novelty rubber chicken.
On my way home, I was stopped at a red light and I noticed the car in front of me kept inching backwards. At first I thought he was driving a manual transmission since those cars tend to inch back slightly before going forward but as he kept going backwards without going forwards I got the sense that he was going to hit my car. And again I have to wonder if I have the "psychics" now because he did hit my car. Well, he tapped it. And then the light turned green and he sped off into the horizon, to find other things to back into, inches at a time. I didn't really care about it since there was basically no harm done. And as I drove the rest of the way home I kept thinking about the red faced and exasperated tarot card reader and how I should have taken her business card with me so I could email her and offer some unsolicited advice. I think an effective way to be a psychic or to pretend to be a psychic is to speak in metaphors that sound meaningful but could be applied to anything and anyone. For example, instead of "you suffer from mild depression" I would have said something like "You are stopped at a red light and the car in front of you keeps inching backwards ever so slowly. And you expect him to go forward but instead, he hits you in the front. You know impact is imminent and you know that, despite your protestations with your car horn, he's headed right for you." See? Isn't that much better and more mysterious than telling someone who they are and what they should do?
Then again, I would have even been happy with "Don't order the fish."