In lieu of the usual Friday post - don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow with a weekend update - I have a special treat for you: a guest post by the charming Cristina. This is the first guest post here on Not-a-Fortune. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I happen to love everything about Cristina's post- it's got fortune cookie superstitions, fortune, not-a-fortune, photos, and even a unique Chinese restaurant tale.
“Then I defy you stars…”
Romeo and Juliet (Act 5, sc. 1)
Let’s admit it. We sometimes eat Chinese food just to get to the good stuff – the fortune cookies. These little treasures are always the delight at our favorite Chinese food restaurant. Of course, there are the usual jokes about ending each phrase with “in bed” and the secret winks I’ll give my husband. Each of us will go about discovering the fortune in individual ways. We’ve developed our own dance with fate when it comes to these slips of paper.
I refuse to be handed my fortune cookie; I think it is bad luck to be given my fortune. I must select my own. My husband will not, under any circumstance, look at his paper slip until he has eaten his entire cookie. We’ve achieved tradition status with our cookie fates – we will not budge. We each argue over which the best course of action is. Nobody can tell us otherwise. Until, that is, I once received this fortune:
"Don't kiss an elephant on the lips today."
Clearly there must be some mistake. This is not even good advice let alone a fortune. I wanted a new one. I demanded a new fortune. No fortune should include an elephant.
Our restaurant allows us to exchange fortunes. Just like that. You don’t like the hand you’re dealt? Exchange it. You object to your fate? No problem. Just walk up to the counter and shazaam! New fortune. It’s not even true defiance of the stars, really. It’s just a simple exchange – no receipt necessary. What an amazing concept! When life is hard we are able to just hand it in for a new one. When life gets tough, life gets a new fortune cookie.
When I got my elephant fortune I did think about how I should just be happy with it. I thought about how, for some reason, there could be a cosmic fate attached to that elephant. Then again, even if given a chance, I wouldn’t kiss an elephant.
I traded it in. I swapped fortunes. Defied the stars. And wouldn’t you know? This is what I received:
"Now is a lucky time for you - take a chance."
Maybe exchanging our fate for another wouldn’t be so bad after all. I’m sure Romeo would have appreciated the simplicity. However is this really what we want? To be able to simply exchange our life’s paths for another simply because we just don’t like it? It seems appealing sometimes, though the times in our life when it would be most tempting to choose another fortune are the times when we become who we are meant to be. These are the times we look back and think, “I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.”
To be sure, though, I am still not ever going to kiss an elephant.