THE BLOG

Wisdom From the Zoltar

10/03/2011 12:14 am ET | Updated Dec 02, 2011

I love the scene in the movie BIG where the character played by Tom Hanks goes to the Zoltar on the boardwalk and is granted a wish. If you saw the movie, you know that the young boy wishes to be big and he grows up overnight. When he wakes up in the morning and his mom goes into his room, she screams because she thinks her son is some strange man.

Why is it that when we are young we want to be older and when we are older we wish to be younger?

I was visiting the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, a few weeks ago. It was a very special place. There was an exhibit on laughter that was just fabulous. It made me laugh like I used to laugh when I was a kid. There were many other wonderful exhibits there by visionary artists. According to the AVAM website, "Visionary art refers to art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself. Visionary artists begin by listening to the inner voices of their soul."

Whenever I visit an art museum I usually like to stop by the museum shop. With so many fascinating exhibits, I knew the AVAM would have an equally fascinating museum shop. And so it did. And do you know what I saw when I entered? Do you know? Can you guess?

There it stood. There next to the cashier was a Zoltar machine. "Ooh, ooh, ooh," I said to the museum shop saleswoman just like the little boy did in the movie BIG, "How much is it to get my fortune from the Zoltar?"

"Oh that Zoltar," replied the saleswoman, "He makes so much noise all day that I turn him off. If you want to get your fortune, I'll have to plug him back in. You'll need four quarters for a fortune."

"I'll have four quarters, please," I asked the saleswoman as I gave her my dollar bill. She plugged the Zoltar in and he began to speak...

"Zoltar will give you a lot of wisdom,
Age is simply a matter of mind,
If you don't mind my friend, it doesn't matter.
Be careful like a little baby."

Then the Zoltar dispensed my fortune. It was so exciting. Want to know what my fortune said? Huh? Huh? Huh? Here's what he said:

"I see a great deal of happiness in store for you." (Glad he sees happiness and not sadness.)

"You will receive a letter soon, and that letter can easily be said to change the whole course of your life." (I did receive a letter the other day from my doctor's office saying that my annual mammogram was negative. Since I turned 50, I'm always a tad nervous when I get my mammogram. I was very happy to have a negative report. Have you had your annual mammogram and pap test? If not, be sure to get your checkup.)

"You deserve this happiness because you have been so faithful and sincere in your love." (Yes, the Zoltar knows me well.)

"However, if you wish to continue to be happy, you'll have to learn not to be too trustworthy. Avoid the flatterers and be a little more careful in choosing your friends." (Uh, oh. I am very trusting of people. I'll have to be more careful during the second half of my life.)

"Amethysts were made especially for you. Wear them and good luck will follow." (Okay, okay, okay. Now the Zoltar is talking my language. I love that purple gemstone. Ever since I received an amethyst crystal from my second trip to the Miraval Spa in Tucson, I've wanted to buy an amethyst ring. I adore amethysts because "they are said to help a person overcome anger, hate and fear, heighten emotional strength, boost energy, help insomnia, bring meaningful dreams, enhance creativity, knowledge and wisdom and bring contentment." Now, I am definitely going to have to get an amethyst ring or an amethyst necklace. Or maybe some amethyst earrings. If the Zoltar says I should wear amethysts for good luck, then I must get some amethyst jewelry to wear during my life after 50. Yes, I must listen to the Zoltar.)

I took the card home with me and put my fortune near my bed. I went to sleep. I dreamed that instead of waking up as a big person, I wished for the Zoltar to make me little like when I was a young child. I thought it might be fun to be little for a little while but with a whole lot of wisdom from my 50+ years of life experiences.

I slept a few menopausal minutes or maybe a few menopausal hours. When I woke up I went in the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I was still big. ( I do admit that I am a tad smaller than I was a year ago because when the nurse measured me during my mammogram she said my height was only 5 feet 2.5 inches tall, not my usual 5 feet 3 inch stature.)

I still liked what the Zoltar had to say in my fortune. I am going to have to visit him again sometime. (So I can show him all my amethyst jewelry.) If you are ever in the Baltimore area, I recommend a stop at the AVAM and lunch at AVAM's Mr. Rain's Fun Cafe. Bring your four quarters and you too can go home with your own fortune from the Zoltar. As he says,

"Zoltar will give you a lot of wisdom,
Age is simply a matter of mind,
If you don't mind my friend, it doesn't matter.
Be careful like a little baby."