Of nostalgia and new generations

Oh, how my heart skipped a beat when I picked up my seven-year-old Peanut from camp and he held out this and asked me to pick a number:


Squeeee! I love these I love these I love these! I thought.


With impressive dexterity he counted out ten, deftly pinching the fortune-teller out and in.


“Okay, um…Blue.”

He grinned as he spelled it out, again moving more quickly than I thought someone new at something could.



He slowed a bit at spelling orange, but did it.

And I get…


Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold the phone. Never in all my elementary school years did I have that for a fortune. It was usually about kissing someone or marrying someone or wearing a certain outfit.

I looked askance at the camp counselors.

“I got die. That’s not how I remember these things.”

One of them smirked. “Yeah, I got die earlier today, too.”

I frowned a bit. “It it a command? A suggestion?”

His favorite counselor shrugged. “An inevitability?”

“Yes, well…”

The proud young man had his brother choose. Number, color, color…


“Get a cougar? He gets a cougar? I die and he gets a cougar?! Life is so unfair.”

Peanut is simply beaming. He’s thrilled that the family finally has a cougar. Butter begs him for another try.

He chose a different number. And a different color.

Same result.

Dude gets two cougars. And I’m still dying.

This is some bullsh*t, y’all.

So I ask Peanut to make me a fortune-teller when we get home. He says he doesn’t know how. Never mind. I have made hundreds in my lifetime. Give me that thing and I’ll deconstruct it.

No problem. We grab a stack of paper and go in the yard. I have three fortune-tellers done before the kids have even remembered to ask for a snack.

Peanut makes this follow-up:



Pretty weak, if you ask me. Win a medal? Pbbbththth. Forty-four pieces of gold? Meh. Drink pee? Geez, boys are gross.

Butterbean suggested the following. All are verbatim answers to the following questions: “What numbers do you want me to write; what choices do you want me to write; and what do they get if they choose that answer?”



IMAG3760 IMAG3761 IMAG3762 IMAG3763

Note that he always chooses B.O.G., which is frosting. B.O.C., B.O.P., and B.O.B. are less popular. With everyone.

Now I make a proper device of happiness and goodness.



That’s right…choose between apple pie and strawberry shortcake. I dare you. (I count out only the letters for the fruit, not the whole dessert. I’m old and don’t need fortune-teller arthritis.)


Oh, yeah. Peach cobbler or blueberry pie. Colors my butt. things are gettin’ REAL up in here.

So Peanut picks a number. And a pie. And a blueberry tart.


You got it, reader. I populated the whole thing with delightful ways to make mom feel good.

When he heard his fortune, the seven-year-old who often rolls his eyes and runs when I ask for affection actually shrugged, walked over, and gave me one heckuva hug.

You have to make your own fortune, people. That’s all I’m saying.


10 thoughts on “Of nostalgia and new generations

  1. I am at a dead stop deciding between strawberry shortcake and apple pie. I just. can’t. get. past. this!

    See, this is why I am better with numbers.

    • Secret: all you have to decide is which to choose first. Then I’ll let you answer the other way the next time.

      Helpful addendum: the apple pie is an open weave crust and strawberry shortcake is on cream biscuits.


  2. Love this. I did a little squee when I saw the fortune teller (which, for some reason, we called a “cootie catcher,” which is all kinds of weird). I need to introduce these to my kids, stat, especially with the pay-offs in your version.

    P.S. I misread 44 Pieces of Gold as “44 Pepsis of Gold,” which sounds both refreshing and valuable.

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