Moonlighting as a Palm Reader

When I was a kid, my grandma gave me a booklet, “Estrella’s Palm Reading Guide.” What the context of this handoff was, I have no memory, but I did study that booklet pretty intensely. On the playground, my friends would shove their hands in front of me and demand to know their future. It became a skill I carried around in my back pocket, even through college.

Today I still have that same booklet, and on the rare occasion that the topic of palm reading comes up in conversation, I’ll read a palm on the spot. So last week when a new friend at work invited me to her holiday party, somehow the subject of palm reading came up, and pretty soon I had agreed to read palms at her party. We giggled beforehand that it might be funny to have a “palm reader” at the party, but it wouldn’t be anything super serious.

The party was filled with an enormous mix of people, from bedazzled west hills women, to cute college boys tending the booze, to eccentric gay men waxing on about tap dancing. From the moment I walked in the door, women were rushing up to me asking, “Are you the palm reader?”

In a backroom, my friend had set up some chairs and put up a sign, “The Palm Reader is In” and already women had formed a line. I said, “Can the palm reader get a glass of wine before we start?!” It was like the middle school playground all over again. I pretty much read palms from 7pm until close to midnight.

The thing about (amateur) palm reading is that you basically follow a set of scripts.

943733bf49cbd7e2b404fc71fa36b44e.jpgWhat kind of hand do they have? Is it a worker’s hand? Artist’s hand? A nervous hand? People want to feel special – it’s a fact. So I always start with, “Ooooh you have an interesting hand…” or I pause for a long time and say, “You hand is very unique…” (People love that).

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By knowing what some of the most basic lines on their hand represent (life, head, heart), you can be very vague and yet specific about how long they will live, their romantic life, and some characteristics about them.

For instance, if someone has a square palm, it suggests they are a balanced, practical person. I’ll say, “Would you call yourself a practical person…?” and they will nod eagerly. Then there’s my script: “Oh yes, you analytical, organized, but not overly consumed with details – you can still balance work and family life if you want to.” Basically I just made up a story that most people want to hear, right? They love that.

But also, I look at the person. Do they have flashy jewelry? Do they wear a lot of make up? Are they already smiling or are they serious? Are they young and full of indecision? Are they older and wiser?

For those whose life lines curved outward and suggested they love to travel, I would say, “It appears that you love to travel…” and if they immediately agreed then I would roll with that; if they paused, I would quickly follow-up, “But you have many responsibilities at home that might keep you from traveling…” and instantly they would agree. What middle-aged working person wouldn’t agree with that??

At one point, I read the palm of one reluctant (but very nice) man and saw two marriages in his life. He looked up at another man and said, “Well I was married before…and we have been talking about marriage…” and the other guy replied, “OOOOooohhhhh, how interesting!” They couldn’t stop talking about it for the next hour. I swear those guys are getting married today based on my palm reading.

Believe it or not, people were asking me for my card – as in they wanted to book me for their own party. I was dying. Towards the end of the night, a woman clutched my hands and said, “You have a gift!” and I laughed that it was just a simple party trick, and she stared deeply into my face and said, “Noooo…you really are blessed with a very special gift.”

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