It was my friend's 50th-women-friends-only-birthday-party and to entertain us she hired a psychic to give readings. Except instead of someone who uses tarot cards, my friend found a reader who uses an angel deck because she didn't want the mood brought down by having a bunch of middle-aged women sobbing in their chardonnay after getting dealt the Death card.
As a rule, I’m not much of a party person. First off, I don’t like dressing up. Part of the problem is my feet are as wide as they are long, so really there’s no such thing as a “sexy party shoe” for me. Also, even though I’ve become partly deaf in my left ear to the point I am tempted to carry around an ear horn, I really don’t like loud music. That being said, I love both my friend and a good psychic reading, so I couldn't wait to click up my EEE heels in celebration.
The second I stepped in to the door of the party, my mission was to get to the psychic. However, my plans were temporarily stalled when I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Now normally I really enjoy catching up and pride myself on being a good listener, but the whole time my friend was talking I was scanning the room looking for the psychic in the same way a Hollywood agent talking to their B-list celebrity client would look around for Jennifer Lawrence. I think perhaps my friend realized I wasn’t paying attention to her when I smiled, nodded, and said "that's great" after she told me how she had to put down her beloved dog of 16 years. Or, maybe it was when I said "Oh my gosh, there's the psychic" and ran off leaving her standing there by herself.
There wasn't a sign-up sheet at the small table where the psychic was giving another partygoer a reading, so to ensure my spot next in line I had to stand awkwardly close next to them. After a few minutes of pretending not to eavesdrop -- thank you, right ear -- it was my turn to sit.
The first thing the psychic did was to ask for my hands so she could pray to my spirit guides. This made me instantly uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong; I was totally cool with the prayer and the spirit guides and all that. I love that stuff! It was thinking about all the other women’s hands the psychic had touched in the height of cold and flu season that freaked me out.
So while the psychic prayed to my spirit guides for guidance, I prayed that she purell’d in between readings. "The guides want to know if you have a question?" Resisting the urge to say "are your hands clean" I instead asked the same thing I've asked of the two other psychics and one medium that I've met with: “What is my life’s purpose?”
Now what’s really, really interesting is that all three psychics have said the same thing: I need to write. Except this new psychic added that writing was my destiny. (What did the medium say? That's definitely reserved for a future blog post!)
I should have been elated, right? Wrong. Not only was I convinced I could feel a cold coming on, I now had confirmation that it was my destiny to write. Destiny! I instantly felt the "no more dabbling, get down to writing your novel" pressure that kind of statement brings.
Sulkily, I headed to the bathroom. As I began scrubbing my hands for the third time, I noticed the “happy birthday” song coming from the kitchen. Right at that moment it was as if my spirit guides konked me in the back of the head, because it suddenly hit me how truly self-absorbed I had been acting all night. So as quickly as I could I marched my fat feet out to the kitchen, and germs be damned, I stood thisclose with the other women and joined in singing “happy birthday” to our very, very special friend. Then together we listened, laughing and sniffling along the way, as the birthday girl and her sister reminisced on the past 50 years.
After, as I got my purse and jacket ready to go, I realized I had left one important thing unfinished. Grabbing two glasses and some chardonnay, I found my friend who had to put her dog down. As the music played softly in the background, we sat drinking our wine, and this time I truly listened, not only as she talked about her dog's final days, but about love, loss, and life in general. By the end, we raised our glasses in a toast to her dog's memory, to the beautiful birthday girl, and to everything that remains to be written in our unknown destinies.