What’s happened to fortune cookie fortunes? The quality of fortune cookie fortunes has been declining in recent years, until they’ve reached a point where they are not fortunes at all, taking most of the fun out of opening your cookie after a great Chinese meal.
What’s printed on the slip of paper inside those wonderful oddly-shaped treats called fortune cookies ought to be a fortune. A prediction of things to come. But lately it hasn’t been. Gone are the days when breaking open your cookie predicted health, love, or money in your future; these days you get a pithy little saying and lucky numbers. And that’s why what’s happened to fortune cookie fortunes is so distressing.
There’s nothing wrong with pithy sayings, and if any of those numbers printed on my “fortune” ever hit, then so much the better. But neither of these things is a fortune (okay, winning the lottery would be a fortune) worthy of a fortune cookie.
If this trend keeps up, we may have to change the name of fortune cookies to something that accurately reflects what’s inside. But “pithy little saying cookie,” “aphorism cookie,” or even “wisdom cookie” just doesn’t reach out and grab you like fortune cookie does. So let’s keep the name and get back to putting fortunes inside.
Just like going to a fortune teller or a palm reader is fun, getting a fortune from a cookie is-or used to be-fun as well. Even though we don’t put much stock in a fortune cookie fortune, it’s nice to get it, and see if maybe, just maybe, it will come true.
And that’s why I bemoan the demise of the fortune in fortune cookies.
What I want when I open a fortune cookie is something like: “A large amount of money is coming your way,” or “You will find love soon.”
I don’t want to read something like “A wise man is he who spends his money wisely,” or “The best love is shared with all.”
See the difference? The first is a fortune, the second isn’t. Fortune: Money is coming to you. Pithy little saying: Money leads the unwise down the wrong path.
Fortune: Your future will be filled with laughter and happiness.
Saying: Happiness comes from within.
Is there something we can do about the decline of fortune cookie fortunes, or are we destined to not know what’s in our future?
I don’t know where the fortunes come from, but I’m sure writing them and stuffing them into the cookie dough is a big business, and as such, not open to suggestion. But just in case, I’m making a plea.
Bring back fortune cookie fortunes that are actually fortunes! Step out on the ledge and make a prediction for my life. Give me something to look forward to. Make opening the cookie suspenseful once again.