Last night Sara and I went to the Las Vegas of Bedfordshire, which used to be a bed shop pre credit crunch. If I was hoping for James Bond types and Cappucine lookalikes dripping with diamonds I was to be sorely disappointed. A friend told me to expect a sort of upmarket arcade and he was about right. The clientele was mainly old ladies in crimplene jackets reeking of fags and old men in action slacks and sweaters with the odd ageing lothario type and woman in an ill-judged mini skirt and vertiginous heels.
However, this being a ladies' night, their numbers were increased by a number of curious ladies. Sara and I hit the tables and spent the princely sum of £5 between us, confirming our status as hardened and incurable gamblers. However our interest was predominantly taken by the many stalls set up for the 'ladies'.
I decided to put rationality to one side and have my tarot cards and palm read. The reader was an attractive and empathetic woman with the requisite Romany gypsy look. She took my palm and immediately told me I was the creative type (I was wearing shocking pink tights and matching high heels so that might have been a bit of a clue), had been in an on-off relationship with a man, had a very strong communication line and probably worked in a job requiring highly developed communication skills and was a person with lots of friends who felt they could come to me for advice and whom I could make laugh (sort of true). She went on to say that I liked animals but couldn't cope with their hairs (spot on), was in a new job (amazing!) and that I liked to watch dance (astonishing!). She also said that I was attracted to domineering men who dominated me and weak men who I came to despise. I don't tend to despise people and in our conversation afterwards my colleague Sharon surmised that there really wasn't any other kind of man anyway - the old cynic!
So was my tarot reader psychic? Certainly she seemed to 'know' lot about me but some of this might have been gleaned through clever and astute observation. For instance she said I was a clean sort of person who, although I liked animals, wouldn't wish to deal with their poo and hairs; absolutely right but was she looking at my short clean nails I wonder? Equally, as she held my hand she must have noticed that here was a forty-something woman without a wedding ring. Making comments about difficulties with the opposite sex, particularly if phrased in a one size fits all way, was therefore a sure fire winner. Yet, sceptic though I am, I have to admit that some of her comments were uncannily accurate and left me wondering, despite myself.
After the tarot reading I joined Sara who had been accosted by some ferociously Botoxed beauty therapists. At first I thought she was considering colonic irrigation as she was holding a leaflet on the unpleasant practice but it transpired she was discussing how she might deal with her 'naso-labial lines', which the beauty therapists opined were 'very deep', probably genetic and would require not one but two syringes of expensive filler to sort out. Not wishing to see my beauteous friend dissed in this manner, I showed solidarity and said perhaps I needed mine doing too. No, they proclaimed, grabbing my face in a disconcertingly intimate and impertinent manner, my problem was not my naso-labials but my dreadful crows feet. Grabbing my maligned face again she stretched my nasty old crows-feet to demonstrate to Sara how much better I would look with a touch of Botox. This combined with darkening my eyebrows (too light) would transform me from a haggard old bag to, well, a less haggard old bag at any rate.
To ensure we were not utterly crestfallen, the beauty mavens did us the kindness of saying that Sara had very youthful skin and I had beautiful bone structure but the damage was done. Fortunately neither of us takes ourselves too seriously and we left wetting ourselves laughing at the insulting consultations we had both endured, probably deepening our wrinkles as we did so. I for one was loathe to take advice from two women who could barely move their faces and who both possessed preternaturally plump lips like two overstuffed pillows and lacking definition or ,crucially, a cupid's bow. Personally I'd rather have a friend who can have a laugh, wrinkles and all, than someone who only have one facial expression and that one with severe limitations! Bring on the crows feet, I'd rather have a personality!