Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles.

I'm mildly obsessed with fortunes. I think this is due to the fact that I'm mildly obsessed with being told how my life will unfold. Only in positive tidbits of my choosing, however, as stark reality in large doses is likely to leave me feeling momentarily dismayed.

I went to the SF Fortune Cookie Company when my parents last visited, and I've been slowly plodding through the cookie jar. Once I get started, I'll eat cookie after cookie. Usually, this is due to the sugar factor, however, fortune cookies are the outlier. I've developed a taste for these crisp wafers, but really, what I eat them for are the folded slips of paper. It used to be that I would eat just one or two before attaining desired outcome. An evolution of Choose Your Own Adventure! without the earmarked pages and the dead ends. 

I can't help but notice that the quality of fortunes has seriously declined over the years. Statements such as Opportunity knocks on your door every day - answer it can at best be described as cliche.  And in case I didn't sense the urgency the first time around, there was: Opportunity is knocking on your door - answer it tomorrow

But that's not to say that fortune cookie heirs and heiresses are not trying. It seems that these companies have begun to take into consideration the marketplace success stories. There is the Disney approach: May all of the 365 dreams you have this year come true. And the business sensibility: Your short term goal will soon be realized.  And then there is the previously unmarked territory of punctuation: The world will look a little better with some love given by you! An exclamation point for emphasis!

There are the descriptions: You are expressive and positive in words, act and feeling. And then the adages: Trust is the secret to finding the answer you're looking for. The horoscopes: A romantic mystery will soon add interest to your life. And the imperatives: You have a charming way with words. Write a letter this week. Not to mention the self-help: Your choices at the moment will be good ones. Trust yourself.

And they say variety is the spice of life.

My life, according to fortunes, is to unfold as follows:
You will make many changes before settling satisfactorily.
An interesting sports opportunity is in your near future. 
You will attend an unusual party and meet someone important.
You will soon bring joy to someone.
It's not quite the five or ten year plan, but it'll have to do. 

As my cookie supply runs down to the remaining three, I can't help but wonder what will be next. I've brushed my teeth for the night, so the future will have to wait till tomorrow. Until then, I'll just have to remember: Now is the best time for you to be spontaneous. Serendipity!