The Fortune-Teller from Hong Kong

Shortly after my younger brother was born, my mother revisited a fortune-teller who’d made a name for himself in Hong Kong. Her first visit dated back before I was born, and she was told her future vaguely involved “moving around frequently”. Based on her later experience of having to move homes every two years for over a decade with her husband and small children, she’d drank a gallon of whatever Chinese Kool Aid the fortune-teller had sold her.

Two kids later, she went back, wanting to know more about what good her offspring would do, and probably how low to set the standards for us. Of me, she could expect me to find a partner (“husband” was probably the word he used, so already you know he’s bogus) who would love me dearly. Of my brother, he would be the one expending the love and care.

She retold this story at a family gathering with the cousins and aunts last year. The aunts, uncles, and my parents were at the table after dinner, making small banter while my cousins and I were on the couch nearby, in our own conversation. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on my mom regaling them with this story. She went on to say that between my brother and I, my brother was the more giving one and that I was comparably more selfish, so this “fortune” made sense. But she continued, saying that this selfish characteristic would end up pushing me farther in life, specifically in my career. Her observation caught me by surprise, but I wasn’t even mad. I thought it was a pretty accurate extrapolation.

It’s irritating though. I am selfish. And I am selfish in so many ways. And that’s going to hurt me in finding a partner. That’s my biggest fear – me being so selfish that I’d be too reluctant to give parts of myself to someone. Figuratively.

I’m always on the go, I always have something going on, I’m astoundingly in tune with world news, industry news, and pop culture. I demand a lot of myself and I’m afraid it’s too much for someone else to handle. Especially a girl. God damn. Being gay would be easier if I were a guy – men are so much more astute with the news.

Harmful stereotypes aside, who fucking knows. I’m in a very transitional period in my life and I’m meeting more people. Maybe I’ll meet someone in the course I’m starting next week. Maybe I’ll meet someone when I find a job. Who knows.

But, fortune-teller, you’d better be two for two.


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