So sometimes I do things that are completely out of character. I act on impulse, I suppose, rather than on rational thought. And yesterday afternoon was one of such moments.
You see, on Saturdays, if The Daughter and I are in Durban and at a loose end, we go to Essenwood Market. I find it an acceptable mix of child-friendly and adult-interesting. The Daughter delights in those big ball things on the water, and I delight (muchly) in the avo sandwiches. And the cupcakes. And the pancakes. (So much so, that Lovely Gay Boy saw me at the pancake stall and yelled across a mass of hungry people, "Pantaholic! Or should I say Pancakaholic?"). Oh, and I love the pestos. And that lady that makes all those nice grey dresses.
But really, there is seldom need for us to actually walk through the market itself. We're the food and toys type, so we could localise ourselves in that section and then just leave. But I find it rude not to look. Kind of like going to a theatre production and leaving early.
So, a good 10 kgs heavier than when we arrived, The Daughter and I embarked on our obligatory stroll through the market. The grey dress stall was too full so we avoided it. In fact, all the stores at which I have previously parted with hard-earned cash were all too crowded. And I was too disinterested in shopping to make any kind of effort.
So we walked by. Quickly. And then I passed the Palm Reader Lady.
Palm Reader Lady: You look too youthful to have a child. But she looks just like you - must be your daughter. (Talk about sucking up.)
The Pant: Thank you. But if you were slightly closer, you'd see I rely quite heavily on a polyfiller-type product to eliminate appearance of wrinkles.
PRL: I'm getting a sense that you've got a very prominent psychic gift.
TP: Well, I did predict that it was going to be stinking hot today.
PRL: You're talented.
TP: You're not the first person to tell me that.
PRL: And your aura is so healing. You attract broken people and help them heal.
TP: Ah, yes. I do make a good veg soup.
PRL: I must read your signs. Do sit down. I need your full name.
TP: Stage name? Or ID name?
PRL: ID name.
TP: It's Epany Brumelda Petunia (which is where The Pant comes from) Alicia Stephanie Winnie Liner.
PRL: Could you spell for me please.
TP: E for erection. P for pudenda. A for anus. N for naaai-
PRL: Just the letters'll do.
And then she furiously wrote down numbers and lines and asterisks and the like. And fore told my life 'til my late '50s: I'm going to be wealthy, I'm going to reach the pinnacle of my career at 33 (I'm a teacher - where do you sense I might stumble upon wealth?). And then she proceeded to tell me a whole bunch of things that made me cry. And every time she gave me a sympathetic smile I resisted the urge to lean across and punch her in the face. It's been drummed into me since I was a wee girl to, whenever possible, strike a happy medium.
She told me that skydiving and bungee jumping were dangerous sports. That I've had bad luck in love (duh, lady, I'm seated before a Medium in a lime green sheeted tent on a Saturday afternoon. If I'd had super luck in love I would imagine I'd be at home preparing pre-rugby snacks for my husband or, I don't know, playing behind the white picket fence with my 2.4 children.)
Then she told me I'd mother 2.4 children and have the white picket fence. To which I responded that I have generally preferred whole children. And that I didn't feel that picket fences were very safe.
Then she asked for R400.
The Pant: R400?? But you have not offered me any sexual favours.
Palm Reader Lady: I've got a talent. You need to pay for it.
And then I wanted to strike The Medium even though she wasn't smiling.
Four hundred bucks for a bunch of generalisations. Bloody hell.