Argh it is so hard to keep up with my blog these days! I've been busy launching our new website at work and doing tons of overtime (though in a non-profit I'm learning that OT really isn't counted) and seeing my guy in the evenings, or just plain crashing. Now that our website is up and running, I am moving on to getting our newsletter to art, and then working on our annual report and calendar. There certainly isn't a shortage of work, but every time I walk by the sign for our organization, I do a little cheer in my head each morning, because that's how much I love my new job :)
Anyhoo, this week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is about fortunes or fortune cookies. I generally don't believe in that whole fortune-telling thing (or maybe I'm too superstitious to try it out), but I do love fortune cookies. And although I am not feeling very inspired by this prompt (sorry, SS peeps), I will write a little sum'n-sum'n just to get the creative juices flowing.
Fortune cookies always remind me of my best friend Lenya and our highschool days. In grade nine, we had to take the bus from our school to the Sheppard Mall (a ghost mall then, and a ghost mall today) and then transfer over to another bus to get home.
Lenya and I would occasionally take public transit together back from school, then instead of heading to our transfers, trek down to the mall, and hang out. Now my parents had always said that they didn't want me to become a mall rat, and dear reader, I must assure you that we were far from that. But anyways, Len and I would meander over to the food court, sharing notes about our favorite guys in science or typing class (yes, typing class - I think we were the last grade to actually learn typing on typewriters, and thus I date myself...) still dressed in our burgundy and grey Catholic school uniforms, and make our way to the Chinese food stand.
We'd wait in line, often for a few minutes at a time. Then, when our turn came up, we'd step forward, and brazenly order...
a fortune cookie.
No lo-mein, no chicken balls, no barbequed beef. Just...
a fortune cookie.
Lord knows what the teller thought of us as we doled out our 15 cents (or was it 25) in order to purchase that crunchy sweet morsel wrapped around a sliver of a fortune. But we didn't care, and the purchasing of the fortune cookie became a little ritual of ours.
One day, late in the school year, we headed over again to the Chinese food stand, full of gossip about a guy we called "suspenders" (because he had an endearing way of wearing suspenders with his uniform), who had looked especially cute that day and had sat next to me in typing class. Len and I had shared numerous poorly-typed notes back and forth comparing notes on dear suspenders during class, and were chatting away about what tomorrow would bring. Our turn came in line. I fished out my change, and found that I only had 10 cents in my wallet. And Len had none.
With a small sigh, I stepped to turn away from the counter, when a kind lady standing next to us opened her wallet and offered to pay for my fortune cookie. I've never truly gotten over the embarrassment of that moment, and I can't quite imagine what she must have thought of us...Perhaps she thought we were starved (though I never was the skin and bones type). That didn't stop me from accepting her offer, and taking the cellophane-wrapped fortune cookie with me, cheeks blazing red from embarrassment. I can't remember what my fortune said that day.
The next year, our school moved to within walking distance from my house, so Len and I no longer took the bus together, but instead met at school. The gossip was never quite the same, although we've stayed life-long friends. But I often think back on our little ritual of purchasing a sliver of hope, when our whole lives still stretched before us, and it makes me smile for the optimism we shared back then.