They Bet Our Post-Valentine’s Marriage Would Fail
It was Valentine's Day, 1979. The family get-together had plenty of food, drink and wagerers who were betting real money that our soon-to-be marriage would go belly-up.
I overheard someone mention he was betting $50 that it wouldn't last more than six months.
Looking back, I can understand the family's concern, because I was young and immature, and I hadn't finished sowing my oats yet.
Just like that, I remembered the story of the art of tasseomancy – reading one's fortune and future in the remnants of coffee grounds – that the ancients used thousands of years ago.
The vague images formed on the sides and bottom of a demitasse cup are images that reveal something about the person's future, and show things that might happen – or not happen – and decoded by a trained reader.
Tradition has it that single young women would ask the fortune teller if there was a groom in line for her. Much like reading your horoscope, young men would ask what the future holds for them, mostly caring about money and love.
The Chinese read their tea leaves at the bottom of the cup, and the Greeks have their coffee grounds read by a qualified kafetzou, or fortune teller.
This time-honored tradition has faded over the past 50 years, but nowadays, it's made a big comeback.
As for all that wagering that went on? Come February 24, Celeste and I will be toasting 44 years of marriage, against all odds.