Tell Ya Your Future

Miss Cleo died. 

For those unfamiliar with Miss Cleo, her commercials were often shown on late-night television in the ’90s. She was a psychic who advertised her “ability” to tell the future. She was also seemingly no-nonsense in her delivery of advice to the desperate caller. 

Given that I have had fucked up sleep patterns forever, I was familiar with Miss Cleo. I was also familiar with the commercials for Nads and for American Online. I was tempted by each of these for different reasons, but I’ve never purchased anything off of a television commercial. 

I was a preteen throughout most of the ’90s, totally love-lorn and wanting a boyfriend. I wanted Miss Cleo to tell me what the future held in store for me. 

You see, my parents met when they were 14 and 15 years old. They have basically been together ever since. As my primary role models, I thought that my path would be like theirs. Never mind the more obvious differences – their home lives were shitty and mine was decent, they weren’t terribly involved in extracurricular things and I was super student extraordinaire, I knew I was going to college and they didn’t go to college fresh out of high school – I thought things should be happening on the romantic front. 

They didn’t. It was difficult for me to see at the time that it wasn’t happening for a good number of my close friends. I also spent a lot of time being the third wheel and hanging out with couples. Oh, so many times I was the third wheel; however, the challenges in the friendships of my youth is better suited for a separate post. 

A relationship didn’t happen in college either. I received my BA before I received my first kiss. 

By the time that rolled around, I’m not sure even a warning from Miss Cleo like “You’ll get ya self a boyfriend but he gonna be a liar, sweetie! Watch out! Dontcha fall for his lies!” would have deterred me from the quick succession with which I fell for him (and jumped his bones). 

I also shudder to think what may have happened had I gone down the path of my parents. My parents had me when they were just shy of their 20th and 21st birthdays. They had three kids under the age of 6 by the time they were 24 and 25. We lived off of my dad’s income alone until I was 12 years old (mom went to college when my youngest sister entered kindergarten; it’s why I have a soft spot for non-traditional students). It was hard. Very hard, exacerbated by things like our house burning down when I was 8. 

My sisters and I are all past the point at which our parents had three kids and we cannot fathom such a situation for ourselves. It blows our minds. None of us have gone down that path, though my youngest sister had the youthful dalliances my other sister and I lacked in terms of that part of the journey. 

What would Miss Cleo have seen for me? What would her cards show? Would she be able to maintain her shitty Jamaican accent? 

Rest in peace, Miss Cleo. I will never know what you might have seen for me, but I’m okay with that… especially since psychics peddle bullshit for $3 a minute.