Miss Cleo & the Anti-Couric

Last week I met my friend Kerri for drinks at a  redneck bar. That was hilarious all by itself, but then she also told me about her recent visit to a psychic. This psychic apparently knew her late grandmother’s name, that her dog died, and predicted a marriage proposal. Since I’ve been looking to do a psychic story for quite some time I told her I wanted in on this little Psychic Friends Network. Yesterday, I got what I asked for.

I am, at best, a skeptical believer. I’ve had too many strange experiences in my life to discredit the power of the sixth sense entirely. But I’m also well aware that there are plenty Oda Mae Browns out there, looking to make a quick buck. If someone walked up to me in a store and told me there was a spirit on my shoulder, I’d believe it. If they want my money, though, I’m gonna do my best to put them to the test.

After spending much of the afternoon watching videos on YouTube about the tricks of cold reading, and practicing my poker face I headed to Kerri’s roommate’s parents’ house, where the psychic was holding court…banging out one reading after another. I got inexplicably nervous while waiting. My heart was beating really fast, and so I just clammed up and listened as other girls came out of the room talking about the marriages and pregnancies that Robin–that’s the psychic’s name–had predicted. Of course, it’s not hard to figure out that a bunch of broads in their mid-late 20s are thinking about getting married and making babies. If I walked in there though, with my baby-shy ovaries, and she started talking blinged out ringfingers I’d know she was full of crap for sure.

This first thing she said to me, after taking my money, was, “You have a busy life.” Then she had me pick 20 cards out of a deck. Now, this is one of those vague statements that may or may not be true. Frankly, I’ve barely done anything at work all summer, and I spend most nights curled up with my laptop…but I do have a million irons in the fire at any given time. So, take that one how you will.

Then she asked if I had a brother. Of course, chances are pretty good that I would, but yes…I do have a brother. She asked if I worry about him. Sure, I guess. She wanted to know how old he is, so I tell her that he’s 12. She says he’s a good kid who needs someone to tell him what it’s like to be 12 (which is hard, because he’s the size of a 17-year-old). Apparently he really looks up to me, and…I was his mother in a past life. Creepy.

Then she asked if I was still in school. Nope. What do I do? I’m an editor. “I’m getting writer as well,” she said. Well, no duh. What do I edit? Magazines. “But you wrote a book too,” she says. Not a huge leap, but not a slam dunk guess either. She also says I have the ability to write with humor, which I think some of you readers might disagree with. I did, however, recently finish writing a novel. I also sent it off to an agent, though I did not tell her that. She didn’t seem to know, either. She told me to get out of my own way and stop being so anal about the book–and also not to show it to other people because that takes energy away from it (I have no idea what that means). But she did generally seem pretty positive about the book in, and eventually told me, “When you’re ready send the first 3 chapters…Well, I don’t have to tell you. You already know how it works.” I do, in fact, because I sent those first 3 chapters out two weeks ago.

With my impending best-seller stardom still on the horizon, she said it was time to move on from my current job and that she knew a new one was around the corner. I could use the money, so let’s keep our fingers crossed. Apparently, I’m a pretty big cliche, though, because she says that though I’m going to get married and have kids (which I find surprising) work comes first for me… I’m practically a Sex and the City character.

She said she saw a steady guy in my life. This could not be farther from the truth. She asked if I recently broke it off. I shrugged. Something ended, but to call it steady would be a pretty big stretch. Either way, it didn’t seem to matter, because this person was not “the one.” My future husband sounds pretty freaking hot, though. How do I know this? Well, the psychic seems to think I will meet him while skiing. How could he not be super hot? Despite early signs to the contrary, I am a bad skier. So, she says I should take a ski lesson this winter and that just might lead to true love. (I am now, officially, looking for the ski mountain with the hottest instructors. Please send your recommendations to thecutmag@gmail.com)

It was about this time that she got out the big guns. “Your mother is alive, right? Your mother’s mother is alive too? But her husband is not.” And this, my friends, is where I lost it. I’d been purposely obtuse and uncooperative up to this point. I had tried to play my hand as close to the vest as possible, but I’m not made of stone, for Christ’s sake. To be fair, though, I’d started tearing up on the car ride over just thinking about the possibility that she might mention my grandfather. (I blame hormones.)

She said a lot of stuff you would expect from a psychic who has just watched someone instantly burst into tears at the mention of a lost loved one. She said he was touched by how deeply we’d grieved for him, and that he wanted me to thank my mother for taking care of him…or something like that. I was too busy looking for a tissue to take it all in. She said that he liked to grow things and putter in the yard and that I get that from him.

She also said I get my gift for intuition, and knowing the outcome of things from him–which I found odd because he was not my biological grandfather. This is where it gets confusing. She said, “You get it from your dad’s side…I mean, your mom’s side…from the Scotch-Irish side…” Biologically, the Scotch-Irish side of the family is really my father’s side…and like I said before, my grandfather was not technically related to me. So where she was going with this, I’m not sure…but she’s right about the intuition thing. I’ve had more than one scary, spooky, right-on-the-money dream/premonition. It’s gotten to the point where, if I wake up with a bad feeling about someone I care about, I give them a call.

That was more or less where it ended…at least for me.

Did she make a believer of me? Not quite yet. I’ve got a complicated family tree, and it would have been nice if she could have dropped a name or two. If this winter I find myself curled up with a sweet ski-instructor, then maybe…just maybe, I’ll pay her another visit.

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