One of the women was planning her daughter’s 9th birthday party. She was going with a ‘mysterious’ vibe and wondered: Did I want to be The Mysterious Madame Patricia, spooky fortuneteller?
Naturally, I was all over that action.
I borrowed a metric ton of cheesy costume jewelry, painted my eyes with kohl and put on red lipstick. I looked like the Bubbies that shop at Snider’s Market. I covered my hair & mouth with a glittery veil and wore an antique tribal hat I’d bought at the Istanbul Grand Bazaar.
Much better. I looked scary, as opposed to Grandmotherly.
I brought all kinds of props. I loaded the table Tarot cards, candlesticks, hemp dragons and bugs from Bangkok, Monk Bowls, Evil Eye protectors, a bell and some old ‘spell’ books.
Miss Peg helpfully provided her spare back door lamp cover. Surrounded by a scarf, it transformed into a creditable crystal ball.
I wore a cape and carried a staff, to RAP on the front door. When the birthday girl and her friends opened the door and saw me, they let out an ‘EEK!’
I HAD THE BEST TIME EVER!! The room was decked out in sparkly drapery and the doorway was hung with a transparent sparkly fabric.
I had the birthday girl light the candles while I led them in ‘the light to keep away the darkness of the night’ chant. It was WONDERFUL.
One by one they were permitted ‘beyond the veil’ to hear their fortunes. The rest of them goggled at me through the curtain, all big-eyed and breathless. I quickly learned to speak mostly in a quiet voice to build suspense.
Y’all should have seen me hamming it up, predicting near death experiences, dark mysterious strangers, intrigue and espionage. Everyone was going to have an epic journey, blood on their hands or make a dangerous rescue. I had them convinced they had seen fairies. Everyone had been a pirate, a vampire slayer or a princess in a previous life
I told them the names of their pets and siblings (thanks to the handy cheat sheet provided) and generally spooked them and made them giggle.
As each one had their fortune told, I gave them a ‘magic crystal of protection necklace” which I had made from ribbon and old chandelier pieces. You’d have thunk I’d given them diamonds.
I finished each reading by sharply clapping my hands and ordering them to ‘be gone!”
Man o man, was that FUN!
It was disturbing to realize what a ham I am and how I can sell the old crone act.