Activate My Chart, Baby!

Joe Lavin's Humor Column

Activate My Chart, Baby!

October 12, 2001


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The title of the class jumped out at me from the catalog: Predicting Your Love and Marriage. Even better, this class at the Boston Center for Adult Education would be taught by "palmist and psychic medium" Judith Nadell. Yes, show up for this class, and an actual psychic medium would discuss your love life. As you can imagine, I signed up immediately. Something this silly was not to be missed.

My friend Erin: "Doesn't she know that you're just going there to make fun of her?"

Me: "No, but you'd think that she would, being psychic and all."

The possibilities seemed endless. As a psychic medium, could she really channel dead spirits? Did the $39 tuition cover this, or would the channeling cost extra? And if I didn't like what the spirits had to say, could I have her channel someone else? How about Winston Churchill, Groucho Marx, or Attila the Hun? Let's hear what they have to say about my love life.

Unfortunately, the blurb in the catalog made no mention of dead spirits. Instead, the emphasis would be on palm reading. No problem. This sounded just as silly.

"This workshop is designed to reveal the simple information imbedded in your own hands," it said. Yes, just from looking at my hands, Judith could tell me all about my past relationships. Considering that many of my past relationships have been with my hands, I was inclined to believe her.

The class begins on a strange note. "Before we learn about our future partners, we need to look inside and learn about ourselves," Judith tells us. She then explains that we must listen to our soul because "our soul is our bus driver."

Frankly, I'm disappointed. I was hoping that my soul might be a little more successful. Then again, if my soul does have to be a city employee, I suppose it could be a lot worse. At least, my soul doesn't drive a garbage truck. As I ponder other jobs I wouldn't want my soul to have, Judith explains her analogy. "The soul is the one who tells us when to get off the bus." In other words, the soul decides whom we date and when we date. Or in some cases just to stay in and watch a video.

Judith is curiously mum about the whole psychic medium business. It seems that she wants to save that for her private sessions that cost $95 an hour. Alas, it soon becomes apparent that Groucho Marx will not be making an appearance tonight.

Instead, Judith begins with an analysis of each astrological sign. When she gets to my sign (Aries), she describes the exact opposite of me. She tells me that I act first and think later. She says I'm dynamic, which would be news to anyone who knows me. She even claims that I always take the initiative, which is only really true when I want to take a nap.

I can tell that Judith genuinely believes what she's saying, even if I don't. She does, however, tend to set the bar rather low for herself. At one point, she announces that Leos are very generous. To prove her point, she asks the Leos in the room, "Are you generous?" And, of course, they all say yes. I suddenly wish that I were a Leo, just so I could ruin her proof by saying, "No, actually, come to think of it, I'm mostly a jerk."

Then again, maybe that's just an Aries tendency.

I must admit that Judith does have her moments. She talks to one man, who recently changed careers. "Did you start this career last year?" she asks him, and he says yes. And then she seems to know that he was once married. "Did you find your wife too boring?" she asks. And you wouldn't believe how quickly he answers yes. Damn, this lady is good.

Next, it's time for the palm reading. Judith gives us a complex handout, revealing what all the lines on our palm mean. It's an intimidating document. One diagram shows an X, a Y, and a Z on a line running across the palm, and I'm suddenly having flashbacks to high school geometry.

I do, however, learn where the relationship lines are. On the hand that you use the most, look for a long line that runs across the palm. This is the emotion line. Each line between the emotion line and the base of the pinky finger represents a relationship. The deeper and longer the line, the more serious the relationship will be. You can also tell when each relationship will take place by where this line is located. The closer to the pinky finger, the older you will be.

And so, all thirty-five of us hold our hands in the air and squint at them. "Jesus, I'm not getting married until I'm like sixty!" a 20-year-old woman behind me shrieks. Meanwhile, I can see one small line on my palm, but it looks like I won't be getting married until my late forties. I also notice that I don't seem to have a success line. Um ... that can't be good.

After the class, Judith checks my palm, and there's good news. I was wrong. My marriage is actually right around the corner. I'll be meeting that special someone any day now. "Look for a Gemini," she tells me when I reveal my date of birth.

And there's even more good news. She tells me that later in the year there will be an eclipse that will "activate my entire chart." That may well be when I meet my future wife.

"Is that like activating your ATM card?" my skeptical roommate asks later that night, but it's actually much, much better.

"It will all be very random," Judith explains. "You won't have to do anything at all. In fact, you might just bump into someone."

So, let me get this straight. Later in the year, I will be able to meet someone, perhaps my future wife, without doing anything at all?

At last, here's a plan that clearly plays to my strengths.



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