A Psychic Scammed Me, and Now I Will Destroy Her
The season of summer is officially upon us! And it used to mildly annoy me when everyone would ask, “what are your summer plans?” partly because it’s an over-used topic of conversation in small talk, but mostly because I don’t really have any summer plans.
Oh, but now I do.
This summer I’m going to annihilate a psychic in the West Village.
So now when people ask me, “Shannon, what are you doing this summer?” I can smile brightly and say, “Thank you for asking, Madeline! I have plans to destroy a psychic. I’m going to plot my revenge in July, set the traps in August, and then have her pulverized into a tiny speck of dust by September. And maybe go to Cape Cod. Get a lobster roll.”
I’m also a bit mad at myself for what happened, but this blog isn’t a place for self-reflection. It’s a place to vent and over-share, okay?
So without further ado, let’s get into the story.
I’ve always liked seeing psychics. I used to probably see a psychic about once a year, but before you write me off as an unreliable narrator, I wasn’t one of those people.
I wouldn’t buy crystals. I don’t know how to read tarot cards. I just think if you’re on vacation or looking for something to do while tipsy, it’s fun to pop in, blow $20 and have your cards read.
Sometimes it’s true, sometimes it’s wildly off base - but it’s always a fun experience.
And I have had some insane experiences. The woman who knew that I would date a dark-haired man whose name began with “J” and currently had a girlfriend? I found out that was true while in the car a year later with my half-cuban boyfriend Justin - who when I had met him, had a girlfriend.
I saw one psychic in New York with a friend, and the psychic knew that my friend had breast cancer in her family on her mother’s side, hurt her back in a skiing accident, and was involved with a man whose name began with “M” (she was dating a guy named Max).
Spooky, right? I mean when you see someone who nails specifics like that, it’s hard to be a skeptic.
So let’s fast forward to this past Wednesday.
I was out on the town with this guy I’ve known for awhile, let’s call him Vincent*. We were having a heavy conversation over drinks, and as most heavy conversations go, we drank a fair amount during. You know…just to make it easier.
We finished our last glass, and I suddenly realized that the entire restaurant was filled with heavy. Our conversation was floating around, taking up space, and I blurted out, “let’s go see a psychic, there’s one down the street!”
And we stumbled into a psychic’s store and had a $10 reading. It was fast, quick, and only a little bit awkward when during my reading the psychic suggested that something might be going on with someone whose name started with “V'“.
She wasn’t wrong. But once again it started to get filled with heavy so I blurted out, “let’s go on a crawl!” and we went back out into the West Village.
We came upon another psychic, with a neon sign in the window and two chairs inside the room. Vincent and I perused her ‘menu’ of different readings, and I opted for the Tarot Card reading.
We both sat down, excited to see what would happen.
“You need to leave,” she said, pointing to Vincent. “Your energy will mess with her reading.”
Vincent and I shared a look, and he shrugged and stepped outside. She asked me to shuffle the cards, and we began.
She first told me general things about myself. I’m a people pleaser, but I’ve been lucky in life. I was born lucky. But I was born to be powerful, not pitiful. She sees love and marriage for me, and children. She sees good finances, and a good career. There was a recent love that I had, but it had a duality to it. That person had two lives, and there was another person involved. I loved that person, but I was not in love. I have never been in love. And there was another person before him, a woman with strong male energy. And she came from a very troubled background, and she was very possessive. And it seems that you like when women are possessive with you, but not when men are…why is that?
And in between her rapid speaking she would interject with, “you understand what I’m telling you?”
And she kept speaking, and laying down cards, and before I knew it, about 20 minutes had gone by, and Vincent was leaning against a tree, having resorted to looking at his phone.
She kept hitting things right on the head, but maybe it was the filler words she used that made small sentences seem bigger, or maybe it was the way she kept inserting, “you understand? right?” in her talk that made me think, okay, I do understand, this must be right.
She told me I was spiritual, and had tried to go down this path, but I was stuck. And she could meditate on my problems and help me to get past this.
I’d heard it before from other psychics. I always thought it was interesting bullshit. But I was drunk and intrigued and thought “at the very least this will be a good blog post” (which I think before all of my bad decisions) and swiped my card for $270.
She said to write down my birthdate, time of birth, names of the two people she saw, and come back the next day.
And then she said I looked like Amy Adams. Which was interesting.
My drunk self thanked her profusely and left.
I went outside to meet (a very patient) Vincent, and we headed to another bar before ending the night.
The next morning, I missed my alarm, woke up with a pounding headache, and rushed into work. Over lunch, my co-worker Clara invited me over for drinks on her roof after work.
“Yeah, I can go for a bit,” I said cooly, “But then I have to go see my psychic”. And I told Clara and Evelyn about my reading last night, and how I blew money to find out more.
I told Evelyn later over pasta about how my psychic said that summer would be a powerful season for me. And I told Clara over champagne about how Sophia was going to reveal to me what I needed to work on next. And after some drinks and views I said goodbye to them, and walked - again, in somewhat of a tipsy stomp - over to the West Village.
Sophia was waiting for me. She asked how I slept, and launched into what her ‘meditation’ had told her.
I only learned two new things. She said that the female in my life had been molested by a family member when she was young, and since I was intimate with her, that the negative energy transferred onto me.
(I know…..what the fuck).
And then she said that my root chakra was unbalanced.
Sophia told me that she could help me. She needed to light a candle in a temple, and the candle was 9 feet tall and would have my name carved into it. This candle would “burn away the negative energy and bring light to the new opportunities” in my life.
It was $400 something dollars.
Even in my champagne haze, I smelled the scam. Of course I did. I shot Sophia a chakra-unbalanced bitchy glare and she told me that she could give me a 10% discount on the candle.
I sat there, with my brow furrowed, and tried to imagine a 9-foot-tall candle. Did Sophia really think that I would buy into this crap? I was pretty sure this candle didn’t exist, but the idea of her having to climb a ladder to light a candle of that height made me both amused, and also extremely furious.
I sat there, pissed, and didn’t say anything. Sophia also didn’t say anything.
“So I paid $270 so you could tell me that I need to buy a candle?” I asked her dryly.
Sophia huffed at me.
“I meditated on this all night,” she insisted. “I didn’t know that this was what you needed until I did so. That was what you paid for, my meditation. I saw your unbalanced root chakra, didn’t I? Your stomach hurts.”
Who doesn’t have stomach pain, I thought to myself.
I sat there, still miffed.
“This is just really disappointing,” I told her.
I thought for a bit about all of the things that $270 could buy me. A month membership at The Equinox. Two pairs of nice quality shoes. A night of fantastic, extravagant fun. A plane ticket to Tennessee. A night in a hotel when I go to Tennessee. Or I could get a whack-ass psychic telling me that my sex life is bad and only an extremely giant candle will fix it.
“Well,” I said, gathering my things, “Thank you…for your time”.
As I walked out the door, Sophia called for me to wait.
“I want to see you again,” she said. “Come back in two weeks, next Monday, and I will do some energy pulling for you. No cost, no charge.”
I gave her a slight smile and walked home.
The mile walk, in tattered wedge shoes that rubbed my feet the wrong way, gave me a lot of time to think. I was mad at Sophia, for running a sham business, but I was mostly mad at myself.
I emailed Equinox and put my membership on pause for a month - in an attempt to make up the money I had lost.
Why did I do this? I thought as I walked past a group of slow-moving tourists. Am I really that desperate for answers? This is so goddamn embarrassing.
I climbed up the stairs to my apartment, took half of an edible, and hopped in the shower.
By the time I got out, my thoughts had already lifted.
It’s stupid, but it’s a lesson, I thought. I blew $270. That was really stupid. But I’m now never going to see another psychic again. Which means, those 6-7 times I would have seen another psychic for a $40 reading are now gone. Maybe in the long term I’m saving money?
I settled into my couch and googled “how to fix a root chakra”. Maybe my root whatever was, in fact, unbalanced, and now I could look up cheap ways to fix it.
I only got a couple minutes into reading when I stopped.
Being swindled (and stupid and drunk, because yes I know this was my fault) is a horrible feeling. But dwelling on it is just wasting my money and my mental real estate.
I paid $270 for a blog post. For a funny story.
I paid $270 to tell everyone at work about my new nemesis - a psychic who lives in the West Village.
I paid $270 for a stupid New York City experience, for a moment of self-reflection in tattered shoes, and to provide some entertainment to my friends while on a rooftop.
I paid $270 to potentially having a bonding moment with other spiritual schmucks who have been in my same shoes, and for a possible stand-up routine. I paid to experience a new part of a Manhattan neighborhood, and learn about the psychology of reading people.
When I look at it that way, it doesn’t really sting as badly.
That being said, I will kill Sophia.
I’m kind of joking. But I think I might torch her on Yelp and Google, I mean it’s only fair.
And I think, if anything, all mistakes give you a chance for something. Maybe my future child will think that she really made a big mistake by buying an expensive dress that didn’t fit or something, and I can sit her down and tell her the story of how her mother once blew $270 on a psychic in New York. There’s always comfort in camaraderie.
But in the meantime, I’m done with psychics. And honestly, I might have to switch to drinking beer or something that helps me pace myself better. I blame the bubbly for this entire thing!
And that’s the story of how I murdered a small business owner I mean that’s the story of my psychic reading. But also Sophia better watch herself.
Cheers from my tangled root chakra,