We were seated by our wonderfully tall, dark, and chivalrous maître d' and the night already smelled of elegance with a splash of mischief. Sitting at Co Co. Sala chocolate lounge and boutique on F Street in Washington D.C, myself and my fellow damsels donned in black were more than excited to celebrate the bride’s bachelorette party in this sweet and cultural city. As the fragrance of cocoa beans enveloped us, this chocolate boutique seemed all the more romantic and enigmatic with a menu full of aphrodisiacs. We immediately began ordering their chocolate infused cocktails while exchanging juicy tidbits from our earlier psychic sessions. That’s right, this night’s celebration was planned around food, drinks, dancing, and a dose of the supernatural. While the bride to be and the rest of the girls giggled over our adventures in clairvoyance and the fairytale wedding we were all eager to experience over the next few weeks, I had a slightly sour aftertaste.
For whatever unknown reason, psychics seem to have an uncanny attraction to me. Much to my dismay, for most of my life, as I turn corners or stroll through the streets I am ambushed by these “gifted” individuals and made to suffer through preview sessions of unsolicited advice over any given subject. Their favorite subject to torment me with seems to be my romantic life. Apparently as I wander care free through life, believing in all sorts of fairy tales and princess dreams as any girl would, I give off a specific aura which send psychics running towards me like a child after an ice cream truck. Cornered, these clairvoyants then feel they have the right to crush my hopes and dreams by relaying awful insights to my future. This makes me very angry and, quite frankly, hurts my feelings.
At fifteen, I was accosted by a plain faced woman outside of my ballet studio who proclaimed my eyes were stone and loveless before begging to read my palms. I declined, though my palms nearly came quite close to her face over her boldness. I was once chased down the block after leaving the bank because a frizzy haired woman heard my voice and thought it held such “energy and strength”. Her face fell when I turned towards her because my eyes were “so empty” in comparison to the “light” in my voice. My disdain for this breed of individuals was finally solidified when one such soothsayer pronounced I would “never keep love”. I continue to be confronted by all sorts of zany characters just dying to tell me secrets that I did not want to uncover, true or otherwise.
So here we were, celebrating over cocoa crusted scallops and angus sliders in chocolate shiraz, marveling over the wonders of growing love, princess weddings, and fairytale endings leaving me to marvel over where love and romance seem to escape to in my present world. Could there, in fact, be an aura that I carried with me that only psychics could interpret as a comprehensible language? Or did the careless delivery of all their words manifest themselves as evil little seeds planted in my soul which predetermined the very outcomes I was afraid of in each instance? Or was there something deeper in all of this that seemed to foil all the fairytale beginnings I saw on the horizon? There had to be a certain recipe for the makings of a perpetual damsel in distress; all the Cinderellas and Snow Whites and Sleeping Beauties out there wandering the world.
As our forks sank deeper into the warm Linzer chocolate soufflés and raspberry rose panna cotta for dessert, my thoughts reached deeper into the earlier days of my princess dreams; days I had spent fawning over how life should be lived just as Disney depicted it. As I imbibed each memory trigger, I concluded that it was more than possibly my choice in Disney movies may have played a significant -- though inconspicuous -- role in what I now perceive through adulthood to be romance or sacrificial duties of the female in my personal modern day love tales:
After countless hours of watching and re-watching The Little Mermaid over and over and over and over and over again, prancing about my home imagining a long, glistening fishtail instead of legs and propping myself strategically on piles of pillows to sing “Someday I’ll Be”, I had successfully envisioned myself as a five-year-old girl turned Mer-Creature in King Triton’s undersea kingdom. What this beloved cinematic piece of genius ingrained in me, as I watched in impressionable adulation, was the fact that this talented female mermaid, Ariel, need only sacrifice her god given body, her aquatic childhood Mer-kingdom, her entire Mer-Family and completely assume the cultural identity, mind, body and soul (talk about a culture shock tri-fecta) of her heroic Prince Eric, a Prince who offers her nothing short of the world (at least his human world) in order to live happily ever after with her one true love as a faithfully married, now-bi-pedal couple in a world on land.
Hence my pacifism in recent years when faced with the quandry of converting religions if it may make me a more qualified wife; a nose job if it may make a prettier wife; severe weight loss if it may make me a more desirable wife. Religious conversion, plastic surgery, stringent dietary regimens, what is the difference? Sacrifice is sacrifice unless it is sacrifice for love because then love is just love as love reigns supreme, no?
There was a certain intrigue in Belle‘s oh so provincial life as she fluttered throughout her village melting the hearts of the elderly and seizing the adoration of the ever arrogant and supremely macho Gaston. However, as fate would have it, Belle denies the advances of a man possessing the wherewithal to devour 12 raw eggs to impress her while bribing her affections with various feats of strength and astonishment until she ends up as a tormented captive in a bleak dungeon, held against her will by a gruesome monster. Fragile against the size of this hulking beast and bound by fear of his rage, she is shackled until her spirit surrenders to a docile and obedient prisoner dependent upon the Beast for health and wellbeing.
Yet, she falls in love with him. In fact, she falls hopelessly in love with him because she, and only she, sees a glimmer in his eyes that suggests a twinkle of an upstanding gentleman behind her tormentor’s mask, as it is only she who has come to know this tormentor so well. She is happy thereafter, satiated by remaining his one and only captive, depending on him for all her spiritual and materialistic needs and wants. Possessed by him, they are now forever bound by the events that brought them together.
After our entourage had jumped back in the limo and arrived at Lima Lounge on K Street, the dense crowd and low ceilings that greeted us induced a little anxiety amidst the excitement and commotion. I recalled dinner with my mother earlier in the week where she shook her head and said, “I pray for you. What man will love you with your fierceness?” And with this revelation, I dared to admit there they may perhaps be a wrinkle, a discrepancy, in my concept of love and happy endings. Because, apparently I have conditioned myself to search for any male who portrays the unique qualities and complications of Prince Eric and the Beast, of course. Apparently, I am so well prepared and subconsciously inclined to be fitted into the roles of Ariel and Belle that surely a match could only be made once they are able to possess me as described. Only then would I fall into a dizzying love no one else would understand. A sick and twisted love; the perfect dark fairy tale, as conditioned.
With this said, were the clairvoyants in my life “reading” from my aura in those instances? Could their words have been an accurate psycho analysis of myself, my life perceptions and, therefore, my love life? I would walk comfortably now and welcome another ambush from their kind. If approached tonight, tomorrow, or any other day, by another psychic power begging to read my palm, I would respond, “Are you actually sure of what you’re reading here? Or do you think you might be taking guesses as a fan of the same Disney movies I was watching? Come on, don’t lie.....”
Any other females out there suffer from such Disney afflictions?