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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wacky Wednesday #14: Fortune

Years ago in a creative writing class taught by my friend Marsha, I wrote a piece about fortune cookies and their messages. I may post it on my blog at some point, but for now I’ll focus on how these messages prompted me to create my costume this week.

Messages in fortune cookies are fun to read (at least, for me). This is because, like astrological forecasts, they often are general enough to apply to any reader. (My opinion, of course.) I love how astrological forecasts often predict that someone is mulling over a big decision. I think this applies to anyone over the age of eighteen, regardless of zodiac sign! Anyway, the messages in cookies may apply to almost any living person, but somehow this doesn’t deter me from cracking open those crescent-shaped cookies to see what my fortune is. I think this appeals to me because I like surprises. Also, it seems like such a random thing: let’s put a message in dessert. Really? Or maybe it’s because the writer in me is obsessed with words and I want to see what’s written inside the cookie. In any case, fortune cookies are fun, and I decided that they would make a delightful costume. (In a strange coincidence, my friend Ky recently blogged about fortunes, and neither she nor I knew what the other was working on until the big reveal. So I’m not the only one who in intrigued by messages in food…)
Yes, this dress is covered with fortunes and yes, this is a giant fortune cookie atop my head. It’s always fun to take a familiar item and make it on a much larger scale. For my outfit, I decided to write the fortunes on fabric rather than paper. I’ve learned recently that paper clothing is tricky when you want to sit (even though you get extra points for rising to the challenge). I have taken the liberty of using colored markers for the messages, even though the fortunes I’ve seen come mostly in black. Hey, for someone who loves color, it’s hard to stick to a black-and-white scheme, and I think the pops of color here are fun. I chose a few different kinds of messages: some are funny but most have a serious aspect. Some are quotes I’ve loved for years, ones that inspire me, so this seemingly lighthearted costume has deeper layers, too. Some of the messages are ones I found online, but I did make up a few myself. I hope my costume gives people a laugh or some encouragement, or both.


The more I think about fortune cookies, the more they appeal to me. Maybe for some of us, the act of opening a cookie to receive direction appeals because it reminds us not to take things so seriously. Taking a moment to read advice inside a cookie provides a lighthearted break from the intensity of life. This feels especially true for those of us who are parents. We spend a lot of time trying to safeguard the future, planning, analyzing, trying to make wise financial choices and good decisions for our kids and the rest of their lives. That’s a lot of pressure! Maybe we need moments when the pressure is off and we’re reading pearls of wisdom hidden inside dessert. The fortunes often provide a laugh, which is a stress-buster, so I think I’m onto something here.
And on a related note, is anyone else craving Chinese food now?!


  1. How fun choosing fortunes! What a window into your soul. :)

  2. I would love to share you on Facebook every week.

  3. You're lucky I'm getting Panda Express this weekend because now I really want orange chicken. Hmm I observe some irony in " the woman in a strange hat" was that on purpose? Thanks for the shout out!

  4. Hi Ky, yes, the woman in the strange hat was ME! Of course I may not be the only woman with unusual things on her head who is dispensing advice so that message could refer to many of us...!