But all too often, our corporate/charitable/fraternal hosts didn't spend enough on potables, the minute hand moved sloooowwwwwly... and at these times I would say to the woman sitting closest to me, "I'm sensing that you have a unique identity. May I?" Following which, I'd pick up her hand, stare at the palm, and say something like "huh, not as bad as you're thinking."
Well, who doesn't want to hear that? It's certainly more believable than telling someone that Publishers' Clearing House will be at the door tomorrow. Even the most over-privileged, over-educated among us would be curious enough to ask "Um, can you, ER, see anything else?"
Of course I could. I would see someone in your life or approaching it who wishes he could live up to the person he really believes you are. Cloudily, natch.
I would see a lack of appreciation that my subject could rise above.
I would see old (but nameless) hurts that my subject was almost ready to let go.
People underestimate you, I would say sadly.
These thing are true of all of us. I would never see a sudden great love or a miraculous recovery.
There are good things, I'd say, but maybe not right away.
There is a great likelihood that any man over 70 who still has a short haircut and good posture will respond to "You are stronger than you give yourself credit for."
The warm response I received to all of this - "Your lady is charming!" "What a fascinating woman!"
Now here is where I admit that due to some episodes in an otherwise thoroughly delightful and misspent youth, I have a built-in Mean Fratboy Detector, and quite often I would amuse myself by saying to such, "huh, are you due for a checkup?"
The effects of this kind of prognostication are called the "Barnum effect." Research shows that many people tend to accept very general or vague characterizations of themselves and take them to be accurate. A good example of this can be seen when people believe what is said about them in psychometric tests, personality profiles, astrological predictions, and so on. If, on a long train ride, you've picked up a discarded newspaper or magazine, and read your horoscope or your numerology for the week, better than five to seven that you've recognized a characteristic that you believe you have or a situation then pending in your life. C'mon, who isn't waiting for that opportunity/ man/ woman/ decision/ event? I was relieved, actually, to discover the Barnum Effect, because the idea that some dingbat writing a column knows more about my life and fascinating personality than I do was unappetizing.
No, I don't do parties. This is for my own selfish amusement. Sometimes my sister, if present, listens in. She used to do it, too, but stopped when she stepped over our self-imposed line and actually made a prediction of something specific. Which came true. No, thank you.
Some of you are wondering (yes, I can "see" it) how Himself behaves at my Events of Professional Obligation. Sadly, the Double Standard still stalks the earth. As long as your male Plus One looks like he'll remain vertical for the balance of the evening, doesn't burst into song, doesn't smell funny, and is sufficiently presentable that people don't fear he'll try to borrow money, the response will be "Great guy," or "Think we could refer the xxxxx to his company?"