I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant yesterday, which left me with horrendous garlic breath and a scolding from my fortune cookie: To be loved, you must be lovable.
Considering that I had been mondo crabby to my husband all day Sunday, it struck me that the fates were delivering a little spanking wrapped in a sweet, crispy shell.
One of my friends got a classic fortune that I've received before: Pray for what you want but work for what you need. She found it disappointing, but I've always thought of it as good, practical advice.
For a long time I held onto this fortune: The star of wealth is shinning upon you. I'm not sure what "shinning" actually accomplishes, but by now I've come to the realization that it does not involve any actual transfer of wealth to me from the star in question. Maybe the first two "n"s in "shinning" were supposed to be "t"s.
I often find stray fortune cookie slips when I clean out my purse. I don't know why I keep them, considering that I could easily picture myself with a job writing fortunes all day long, occasionally inserting a bit of humor but trying to stay vague enough that every recipient can say, "Wow, it's amazing how much this applies to me right now!"
The fortunes I really hate are the ones that aren't fortunes at all. I don't mind extras like lucky numbers and Chinese vocabulary words, but I resent getting a little platitude instead of "You will inherit a large sum of money."
Then again, I don't like the inheritance fortunes either because they mean that someone who regards me highly enough to want me to have some money is going to die. You always have to consider the "Monkey's Paw" angle when it comes to the seemingly good fortunes.
If you're already a fortune cookie skeptic like me, it won't surprise you to learn that fortune cookies aren't really a Chinese tradition. They're actually an American creation, and the fortunes are written just as randomly as I described above.
Therefore, I confidently give you this Average Jane readers' fortune: You will meet someone who will change your life.
That's a pretty safe bet, don't you think?