That last post was a good segue because I’ve been meaning to relate my misadventures with baby palm-reading. The nutty things us adults do, I tell ya.
The Story: After graduating college I had been working a series of crappy admin jobs but I really wanted to get into publishing because… well, have you ever worked admin? You need to be highly computer literate and fairly bright to do it and yet everyone treats you like you must be stupid. I’ve never figured that out. Plus, it just wasn’t my life-long goal to work admin. There’s nothing wrong with it in itself but any job where potential employers tell you “we need someone who can be a ‘mom’ for the office” (i.e. clean up their shit and listen to whining) is just not my cup of tea. So. I was working admin during the day when I took a very part-time for very-little-money job with a local small publisher where I worked evenings and weekends. I basically wanted to expand my editing experience so I could jump into publishing full-time. This was before I discovered that 1) publishing pays worse than admin and 2) I could use the exact same skill sets (editing and writing) in marketing for a lot more money and faster promotion opportunities. (Yes, I am a money-whore. I had to pay off those school loans somehow.) The publisher I worked for was not only a psychic but also African-American, an educator, and a lesbian. Therefore her press specialized in New Age topics, gay and lesbian themes, and books that promoted diversity and spirituality. She not only published books but also a magazine, as well.
The psychic aspect didn’t bother me too much. Not because I lean that way, but because I’m pretty open about religion and beliefs in general. A lot of that has to do with my parents. I was raised Episcopalian and did lots of church activities growing up and I was an altar girl. My dad had been raised Catholic but had a lot of Buddhist leanings. And my mom is very Christian, she plays the organ and is very involved at church and she even attended seminary for a while, but she also taught yoga for years and she’s a little psychic herself (which I think conflicts sometimes with her faith). So they were both open-minded, too. I’ve also studied a lot of mythology which kind of opens up religion in a way. Anyways, this is all just background. In general, I think that different religions are all different aspects of faith, and they all tend to explore the mystery that is inherent in the human condition. (That’s my lofty, philosophical sentiment for the day. You don’t see many of those here.) Some of the New Age / psychic stuff freaks me out, some of it I find funny, but other aspects are just another religion of faith and to each his own, so I wasn’t really disturbed by the New Age going-ons.
HOWEVER because the term “New Age” draws a lot of unusual people and the press’ specialty was a little broad we got some VERY interesting submission queries. This was my favorite part; reading the submissions and submission queries. On any given day I would get descriptions for books about channeling, gay erotica short stories, spiritual guides, and poetry and art submissions. One of my favorite book descriptions was a lady who claimed to be channeling Elvis through her computer and was writing down all her insightful conversations with Elvis and other “angel friends”. See? Even though the publisher would occasionally hold psychic consultations in the back room (and yes, they gave me stomach aches and I don’t know why since it’s obviously not a mental block – I think the energies get weird or something) you just can’t beat experience like that. I could sit at one sucky admin job answering the phone, or I could sit in a New Age storefront listening to a séance while I proofread a lesbian erotica science fiction story. Seriously, fellow bloggers, what would you choose? In any case, it was, to say the least, an interesting experience and I learned a lot.
One of the things I picked up while I was there was this great book on palm-reading. Now palm-reading (according to the book I read and it’s particular method) has a lot more to do with personality traits than predicting the future. I’m a little fascinated by those methods from antiquity that try to map out people, such as phrenology (studying the bumps on the head) or palm-reading. I’ve got a lot of questions: how does it work, is it accurate, how did people come up with this system, what part is mysticism and what part psuedo-science? Etc. etc. I am both a skeptic and a willing participant, so to speak. So with this book I learned how to palm-read – albeit not very well; my palm has a shitload of lines so it’s kind of hard to read and I have to consult the book when I read anyone else’s palm ‘cause I can only remember parts. Obviously I didn’t learn this as a means to a psychic career; I just thought it was interesting and would be fun to do at a party. Strangely enough, every time I “read” someone’s palm (with book at my side) it gave a fairly accurate description of that person’s personality. And these were people I knew, like my brother, so it was little hard for them to fake their personality and humor me! (Weird, huh?) All this fueled the fire and every once in a while I have to dig the book out and study my palm intently (yes, I know I look like a weirdo).
Then I had a kid and I got the bright idea to read his palm. How cool! I thought. I could check it out now while he’s a baby and see if there is anything interesting and then look at it through the years as he is growing up. (Oh, my son, my little experiment). Part of the thing about palm-reading is that lines will come and go with experience; it is not “set” and that’s why it doesn’t predict the future. A lot of the marks relate directly to things that have happened in that person’s life, i.e. “poison lines” are marks that indicate addictions (chocolate chocolate chocolate!). But there are certain marks that relate to aspects of personality or indicate an aptitude of that person. For example, an “X” mark on the hand means good luck and charisma; if you have an X on your love line that means good luck in love, X’s in general are indications of hidden strength, the ability to apply mind over matter. Another mark called the “teacher’s block” indicates that person has an aptitude for teaching or has communication abilities. These are the marks I wanted to see; would there be anything there on a baby? Would his palm be smooth, a clean slate, except for the heart and life lines? Once the idea got hold I couldn’t shake it.
Reading Chance’s palm just occurred to me recently. Since then I have been basically stalking my own son. Have you ever tried to look at the hand of a 10-11 month old? It goes along like this: Squirm squirm, pry open the fingers, try to hold child still, squirming becomes more outraged, try to see something on tiny twisting hand, and…give up. (This would have been much easier if I had thought of it when Chance was a newborn.) I then decided to sneak up on him while he was sleeping and take a picture of his hand to study and/or post. I haven’t gotten ONE picture where you can see anything! I also realized that hunching over a sleeping child for any length of time is a little creepy and probably not very healthy. I decided to try him when he’s distracted by something else, like eating. That went along like this: slurp slurp, happy baby, slurp, try to get a sneak look at his palm, he pulls away, sneak a look, he pulls away, sneak a look… at this point Chance stops drinking and looks up at me like WTF, mom? I’m trying to eat here. This little dance has gone on and off for the last couple of weeks.
So what is the final result of my misadventure? I have seen… some lines and two or three X’s (yay, luck!). That’s it. I’ve also come away with the (deep, spiritual) realization that this was folly and I’m a dork. I’m bettin’ there’s a line on my palm somewhere that indicates such. I still think it would be interesting to look at his palm, but I’m not holding my breath it’s gonna happen anytime soon. – the dorkgirl
P.S. If anyone else attempts to read their child’s palm I would love to hear how it turns out!