Monday, August 17, 2009

Like the Back of my Hand

Once upon a time my family went to a convention and I witnessed a husband bring his wife a plate from the buffet, not knowing that she had already gone up to get one of her own.

The plates were identical.

I thought that was so romantic. They had been together for so long and he knew her so well. I decided then and there that I wanted that someday. Someday my best friend will know me and understand me so well, it will be like we're one. (I was such a girl.) Still, I despaired of that ever happening. For all of my routine and resistance to change, and for all of my bluntness and wearing my heart on my sleeve, I tend to think of myself as very complex and difficult to predict. I'm not really sure why. I know the reality, but I guess every woman would rather think of herself as an enigma - a puzzle that her significant other will never really figure out.

Back when the boy and I had money (I call that time BS....before school) we went to dinner at a smallish restaurant near our apartment. It was a Sunday evening, and there weren't many patrons present besides us. In an effort to increase traffic in a restaurant that was surrounded by several other more well-known options, the restaurant had a promotional event each night that week. Completely unaware, the boy and I wandered in on the night there was a magician present.

We ordered and watched as the magician spoke to the few other occupied tables. He was funny and engaging and had the usual repitoire of rope tricks, balloon tricks, and coin tricks. When he got to our table, he asked us if we wanted to help him out with a card trick. Amused, we agreed.

The idea was that I would get to pick a card out of the deck, and put it into a sealed envelope. The magician would then sign a second sealed envelope, and magically my card would appear in that envelope instead. As he walked away to get a second envelope for himself, I was left with the task of picking a card. I perused the deck, picked my card, sat satisfied for about 10 seconds before exclaiming "Oh! I know!" and returning the first card in favor of a second. I then looked at the boy and said in flirtatiously sing-song voice, "I'll bet you can't guess what card I chose"

With my batting eyes and suggestive grin, I figured it wouldn't be difficult for the boy to guess that I had chosen the Queen of Hearts. I'm not generally good at "subtle" and this was an occasion where I was doing my best to be obvious. Still, I was miffed at his air of satisfaction after he guessed correctly. His smug smile suggested that he would have guessed correctly even without my play-acting. So I said, "Okay hotshot, but I'll bet you can't guess which card I initially chose and then discarded."

I sat back, satisfied that he had a 1 in 51 chance of being correct and the odds were completely in my favor. He concentrated for a moment, and despite my prodding, wouldn't be rushed in his guess. Finally, his face cleared. I would be lying if I said I didn't almost choke on my appetizer when he said, "The Ace of Spades."

Now, I know that I chose that card because of Brett Maverick. But WTF? A love of movies is not something that the boy and I share. How on earth did he guess THAT? I sat in stunned silence for a moment and then blurted, "Get out of my HEAD!"

The boy was insufferably proud of himself. Faced with an example of almost exactly what I had wished for, I was flabbergasted. Holy cow! This MUST be the guy for me! He knows me to the depths of my very SOUL! How else could he have possibly guessed which card I pulled? I mean, there are 52 cards in the deck and he picked correctly! I am a complex riddle which he has solved!! He must have so many insights into my personality! He knows me so well. We are going to be together forever and we will be like one. Wow. I am so very moved.

I finally mustered up the courage to ask him how he knew which card I had originally chosen.

"Easy. It's the prettiest one. You're attracted to shiny pretty things. Sort of like a fish."

Apparently no deep insights are needed. I like shiny pretty things. There's no international woman of mystery here - I am like a fish. I was busy comparing myself to the riddle of the sphinx when I should have been looking at a smallmouth bass. Hmmm....

Then I have to wonder, am I dating him because he's a good fisherman, or because he's shiny and pretty?

After all of that, I wasn't at all surprised to have the magician produce my card from the signed envelope. I kept both the card and the signed envelope to remind me that no deep insights are needed here.... just a lot of patience and a little good luck.


Candace said...

I like to guess what people are going to eat at dinner before they order. I should do this the next time we go out. Tonight I was sure that DM would order a steak and that NM would order pasta. However, I haven't been out to eat with PG or DD enough to guess their usual choices. With you I would have guessed fish of some sort, but I might not have come up with the salad portion.

I agree with you that it is nice for someone to know you so well. Good Story.

zlionsfan said...

I'm not difficult to figure out, as long as you don't mind being wrong from time to time ... I generally have a small set of favorites from which I choose, but occasionally I will break out of the box, especially if there is something new that belongs in the favorites category. I am most certainly not someone who feels he has to try everything once.

I thought it was interesting that the text says "sphynx" when the link is to the Sphinx.

The plates thing is pretty cool.