(image via weheartit.com)
During my whirlwind New York City weekend, I completed my first entry off of my 25 while 25 list. I didn’t expect it, but if all my adventures are like this, it’s going to be an interesting year.
I was with my two closest high school friends, Jen and Adrienne, and we were headed toward The Strand, the famous used bookstore that boasts 18 miles of books. It was around 5pm, but I was still severely hungover, and trying to keep it together for all the fun shopping and mealtimes we had planned. Then we passed a store front that had large signs advertising 10 dollar palm readings. I stopped short in the middle of the sidewalk (don’t do that in New York City) and called to the girls, “Should we try it?”
Adrienne seemed into it, and Jen kind of shrugged, but agreed to go in and negotiate a slightly lower price for a us if we all did it. She had just passed the bar exam and she was ready to whip out some lawyer skills, I’m sure. We stepped into the dusty room, which was made even smaller than a typical storefront by a large divider, and saw some bookcases cluttered with mystical-ish knickknacks, a tiny table, and two mismatched chairs. There was a TV playing behind the divider, and kids or maybe preteens talking indistinctly as they watched. I felt silly and excited. The woman who came out to greet us was short, with white hair pulled into a bun, shabby clothes, black nerd glasses. She was only very slightly mystical.
“We were wondering if we could have 3 palm readings for 20 dollars?”
Then she wasn’t mystical at all anymore.
“Of course you can’t. I normally give them for 25 dollars EACH. Today is a special day.” She gestured to the semi-permanent signs bolted to her windows. “Ten dollars, but only for TODAY.”
There was an awkward pause , followed by us bustling out to consult, and bustling back to a locked door. In true Ashlie-fashion, this would have been the end of that adventure, but now Adrienne was hooked, as well. We finally choose to go back in, pay whatever she wanted, and find out our futures.
At first, I was pissed. She only looked at my hand without touching, told me to make some wishes, declared I was kind hearted and born for lucky days. Okay, lady. Then she told me how unlucky I had been in love, and asked me if I was with anyone right now. Without speaking or making eye contact, I held up my left hand with my wedding rings stacked, seriously wondering if I had the balls to ask for my ten dollars back. She seemed unworried, starting talking about opened my third eye, the intuition chakra. This slightly caught my interest; I’ve always fought with myself over my gut feelings. I was working really hard to keep an entirely neutral face. I didn’t want to give her anything to go off of.
“Are you pregnant?”
ARE YOU SERIOUS, WOMAN?
“Nope. Not that I know of.”
THANKS, THOUGH, FOR THINKING I WAS!
“Oh, okay. It’s just that you’re incredibly fertile. Be careful. You’re very fertile. Let’s see. Twin boys. You’re going to have twin boys. And then…a few years later…a little girl. Three kids.”
From there on out, I was hooked. I know she needed to give me something concrete after all the fumbling she had done, but why did it have to be so specifically tailored to my exact wonderings? Twin boys! My dad was a twin, my mom had twins. Twins are in my DNA! And the boy-first-girl-second scenario is my dream.
My poker face sucks, and she knew she had me excited. She went on to talk about a dark woman (“Not here,” stroking her face, then pounding her heart, “but here.”) who was jealous of what Ben and I had, and an upcoming move we would make for one of our jobs, and lucky numbers, and a promotion at work. She left me with the grave warning that the jealous woman was out for blood, and that I needed to work on opening my third eye. Okay, Theresa. Will do.
In the end, despite my dramatic streak, I’m still pretty firmly rooted in the reality of the situation. Not until she saw that I was married did kids, work, and a job become the focus of my reading. Still, it was thrilling to have someone talk about me and my life and future for a full ten minutes, and I was so glad that my friends were there to pour over and dissect her findings with. If I get pregnant with twins, though, I’m going to flip out.