Without Question*

On Saturday I walked with my son up the main street of our neighborhood to run some errands. I’ve walked down these particular blocks hundreds of times and while some of the store fronts have changed in the three years since we moved here, most are very familiar.

On this particular day I noticed a sign I had not seen before, touting a tarot card and palm reader’s expertise. Huh, I thought, Has that always been there? As I was slowing down to inspect the sign’s pedigree, I realized the proprietor was in front of her door, handing out leaflets. I found myself gently taking one, and smiling as I walked away.

I have never had my fortune told, not via tea leaves or tarot cards or the indecipherable map of creases on my hand.

It’s not that I’m not interested, or wouldn’t know where to go. There is a gaudy sign declaring a fortune teller’s presence on the way to my in-laws house that I’ve always been drawn to, but have never committed to stepping inside.

I’ve been passing that sign for almost ten years now and always I glance at it and wonder. In the time when we were trying for our first child, and then our second, my heart would race when it came into view. The mere possibility that someone inside might have a response for all my unanswerable questions was more than my aching heart could bear.

I thought about getting my fortune read a lot during those uncertain years. In the end it wasn’t the fear of wasting my time and money that kept me away, but the terror that she’d tell me exactly what I was most afraid to hear.

Because, while the uncertainty was unbearable (and I often lamented that the wait would go by in the blink of an eye if I knew for certain that it would someday be over), the suggestion that any other future might lay in wait would have destroyed me.

This Saturday, as I walked away from the woman on the street, the hint of a smile still smoothing the corners of my mouth, I realized I no longer want my future told. At this point I have everything I want, the only thing she can tell me is when it might be taken away.

Have you ever had your fortune told?

*The title is from one of my favorite children’s book. Can anyone name it?

{Reference given here.}


  1. I have never had my fortune told. And I feel, like you do, that all the big events of my life have already happened. What would there be to tell? It’s kind of interesting to think that things WILL happen, but because they won’t be the prescribed “get married, buy house, have kids”, I really don’t know what things they will be. But right now, I am feeling happy with the way things are.

  2. My cousin disappeared without a trace in 1999 and still has not been found. My aunt (his mother) visited a fortune teller who gave her a lot of false hope. This turned me off to the whole thing, although I was never really interested to begin with. But I’m like you, I feel like the “big” things that are coming in my life are mostly bad, and I just don’t want to know.

  3. I know I have a few times in my teens and early 20s but I don’t remember anything about what was said. I did have an overwhelming sense of peace knowing whatever I heard, that much I remember. I suppose it wasn’t that memorable an experience then, or the details weren’t the important part. At this point I’m pretty happy letting the mystery be.

    You’re going to tell us what book that’s from, right? I feel like I should know it but I can’t quite place it.

  4. I watched my three college roommates have their fortunes told but I refused to do it (too cheap, too skeptical). Even if it could be done legitimately, I wouldn’t want to do it for the reason you state in your last line.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *