Monday, September 12, 2011

Stupid Fortune Cookies that Didn't Live up to their Potential... and a Surprise from my Editor

I went to dinner the other night with writer peeps Bree Despain and Emily Wing Smith. It was Chinese food. After dinner, we opened our fortune cookies.

You know how fortune cookies are usually all, "Something amazing is coming your way!" or "People are talking about you right now... and it's good news!" or "Remember that thing you were worried about? Well, it's all better!"

This restaurant was different. The first fortune was pretty innocuous:
"Stick with it! Patience is crucial to your success."

Fine. It's sort of a mantra I'm already familiar with, but fine. Thanks for the reminder. It's not necessarily a guarantee of success, though, is it? Patience may or may not bring it, but you should be patient regardless. 

Fortune Cookie #2:
"You have remarkable power which you are not using."

This one sounds like it could be great: "You have remarkable power!"

But then it takes a dip: "...And you're squandering it."

So, really it sounds like my mother: Why can't you live up to your potential?

There's no hope in this one. There's no silver lining. No promises of, "But if you work on it, you could totally use all of your power!" No amount of patience will bring you success.

It's basically an indictment of you as a person. The fortune cookie has sentenced you, with no hope for bail.

Then there's Fortune Cookie #3:
"Never mess up an apology with an excuse."

So, not only do you have something to apologize for, you're messing it up by trying to excuse your crummy behavior. 

How about you, fortune cookie? You're not taking your own advice! You're using the excuse that you're a fortune cookie to spread your own misfortune that the only thing you're good for is to be eaten!

*deep breaths*

Now I'm sure my next fortune will read:

"Expect to be shouting at inanimate pastries in your very near future."

Then I can be all, "What do you know? Fortune cookies really do work!"

Thankfully I opened a more exciting package than the fortune cookie this weekend. The mailman dropped off a large padded envelope from my publisher.  When I opened it, I found this:

Yep. It was Rafa's new book, with a note from my editor! 

Suddenly, my fortune is looking bright. And tan. And a little bit muscular.  

By the way, Rafa is playing in the finals of the U.S. Open today against Novak Djokovic. Anyone watching? 

Anyone else have bad luck with fortunes? Give me some of your best bad fortunes! (Real or make-believe)


  1. Hopefully, my editor is looking for a book on Ana Ivanovic. Sadly, I have no editor...and because of that, no book.

    I can just see the other fortunes that other people got in that restaurant that night:
    'You think you deserve better, but you don't.'
    'Give up, its not worth the fight.'
    'Keep on trying, at least it will give you something to do.'

  2. You're looking at those fortunes all wrong! You need to add "in bed" at the end and then instead of mocking you, they become funny:

    "Stick with it! Patience is crucial to your success in bed."

    "You have remarkable power which you are not using in bed."

    "Never mess up an apology with an excuse in bed."

    Look how much better those are! You could even push some of them off on Sam if you wanted. ;)

  3. Those are the most pessimistic fortune cookies I've ever read! Thank goodness for your editor.

  4. I thought I was the only one who wanted his autobiography. My dad keeps telling me it a sign that he is on his way out, but I refuse to believe that. I hope you let us know what you think of it.

    I'll definitely be watching today and backing Rafa all the way. VAMOS RAFA :-)

  5. Those are some funky fortunes, all right.

    I can't remember any of the actual fortunes I've received, but if I were to get one today, it would probably be something along the lines of "Remember: things can always get worse... DUCK!"

  6. Sam- Sounds like you stole those quotes right from your pep talks to me!

    Jenni- See, I don't think even adding "in bed" makes the fortunes good. Who wants apologies and excuses in bed?

    Jenny- She is a life saver.

    Petra- Vamos Rafa!!!

    Robin- Excellent fortune. It would totally fit in at that restaurant.

  7. Fortune cookies are getting really weird.

    I got one a few months ago that said "The fortune you seek is in another cookie" - which is kind of a huge rip off ;)

  8. The best was to make any lame fortune cookie fortune hilarious is to add two words to the end: in bed

  9. I once got one that said, "Your mentality is practical and alert."

    Um, yeah. My friend couldn't stop laughing for the longest time.

  10. No interesting or oddball fortunes to share. I'm still hunting for the one that says, "The numbers on the back of this fortune are guaranteed to when a jackpot." And actually do it.

    Alas, all I get are the uber Confuscious knockoffs.

  11. Donna- Now I see where I went wrong. I've been adding "in jail".

    Jenilyn- That doesn't even make sense! Or maybe my mentality is not alert enough to understand.

    Angela- I love those knockoffs. They're all, "Eating the seed of the watermelon will bring about the fortune of the pirate."

  12. Yeah, I guess reading the "in bed" in those fortunes really don't help. See what I get for trying to be optimistic? I still end up being horribly pessimistic. I give up.

  13. The night I made the decision that I wanted to stop practicing law, my boyfriend (now husband) and I got Chinese food and my fortune said, "You would make a great attorney." I started crying (I was really tired) while my boyfriend convulsed with laughter.

  14. Jenni- that always happens when I try to be optimistic too. :)

    Megan- That is so so SO funny!

  15. "Follow your dreams, except for that one where you're naked at work."

  16. I used to keep my fortune cookie fortunes (well, the good ones). I probably still have a ziploc baggie somewhere with them. I often find them in random places, too, like my jewelry box or nightstand drawer.

    Mmmm. Rafa. I just finished watching the Epic long match tonight. My tape cut out just before the speeches, though. :( And is it just me or did the camera pan away from Novak to settle on Rafa while he was changing shirts? Not that I mind or anything ...

  17. kmblacker- That is so awesome.

    Christina- Oh, Rafa. He breaks my heart. I think they panned to him because when you just lost the U.S. Open, you can take comfort in your defined muscles.

  18. I once got a fortune cookie that said "You will do better in real estate than in stocks"