I Don’t Believe in Psychics Strictly Speaking But Also I Am Afraid I Will Give Them All of My Money

I like to think I don’t believe in psychics — I don’t! Do I? — but also I am afraid of them in a way that betrays me. I’m think I’m afraid that psychics are real, or more specifically, I’m afraid that if I get too close, I’ll believe in them against my better judgment. I feel about psychics the way some people feel about that flirty married guy in the office who is exactly your type and you just know you have to stay away from him. I don’t trust myself to not get carried away.

I’m afraid I’d be powerless before a psychic, I’m afraid I need to believe in something so badly that if I walked in I would emerge hours later from behind one of those mandala tapestries in a daze and $4,000 poorer. New York is filled with people sitting on little chairs in front of storefronts with signs that say PSYCHIC $10. When you’re a person like me who makes too much eye contact and has an overly-reliant sense of fate, this is dangerous. Women shove fliers into my hands and look right into me, and sometimes I’m afraid I will nod and without saying a word, be swept into a room and find out I’m going to die tomorrow.

And I’ll believe it.

I like to be nice to all other sidewalk-dwelling people handing out fliers or asking for anything. If I don’t have a dollar, I apologize and say no. I smile. With psychics though, I put my head down and shake it no and walk a little faster.

As Meredith Haggerty wrote for the Daily Dot a couple weeks ago, “Anyone who gives money to a psychic is, to quote Consumer Affairs, “somewhat, uh, gullible.” Like playing the lottery or gambling or talking too long to the aforementioned married guy, my superego keeps me from partaking in something I know my id would go wild with. GO TO BED, ID.

Meredith though, did it for journalism, which is a brilliant and time-honored way to get an excuse to do the thing you really want to do anyway but now under the auspices of professionalism and business expenses, you get to do it without having to defend yourself. Meredith continues:

But what about giving money to an online psychic? Is that a better bet, since they can’t press crystals in your palm or rifle through your purse while you’re shuffling their cards? Might the results be more interesting and less predictable as they channeled their psychic impulses through zeroes and ones?

Paying an online psychic has never occurred to me. It feels a little close to paying for minutes with a live webcam or a self-help coach. Shouldn’t this stuff be free somewhere over in the next tab? Without the factor of in-person pressure and guilt, who would really take out their credit card? Not that I don’t think everyone should get paid! I just don’t want to be the one paying them. Photo via Flickr

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