How does one communicate deep feelings in the written word?

In an age where the written word has become less expressive/seductive due to our immediate responses to everything via text and instant message and our narcissistic nature to see everything on a Facebook wall….how does one communicate deep feelings in the written word?


I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. – W. Whitman
10-12-13-31-46 / 27


Hello Diner. We Fortune Cookies only live for a few hours to deliver one message, so we appreciate the sacredness of each word. Our Baker insists we not worship him; rather, we hold this time with you sacrosanct. This message is my only message as a corporeal Fortune Cookie. And I’m lucky–most Fortune Cookies only get one sentence.

On the other hand, you humans have several decades with the ability to speak or write. With technology, you can afford to focus on a few mundane things. For a lot of you, that’s all you focus on.

So, Diner, to cast those ethereal feelings into footprints of letters on a page, imagine you’ll no longer be able to speak or write starting tomorrow. What would you say?

What you decide to say doesn’t need to sound “poetic,” and it doesn’t have to seem “profound” like whatever Hollywood stereotype of a poet or philosopher you would imagine. In fact, you’d be better off if you don’t force it to be either.

What you say just has to be a simple truth. Strip away your defenses, civility, and pretentiousness. Its nakedness makes it poetic. Its authenticity makes it profound. Your humanness will connect you to others who share their own versions of that same basic truth. Finding friends and partners will become a lot easier if you look for people who can understand you and respond in kind.

If you want to post on Facebook about a delicious BLT as your final thought before losing all ability to communicate again, let your friends feel the softness of the bread, the tang of the tomato, the crunch of the lettuce, and the prickly morsels of fried meat pulverizing against your teeth, sprinkling pixie dust of salt and happiness on your tongue. #yummy

Your friends will think back to their last satisfying meal, and through that memory you will make a very deep–literally visceral–connection.

Intangible things like feelings are no more difficult to express and even easier to relive. Each emotion tastes, feels, and smells different. If you look closely, some might even have shapes and color. Just be honest or you’ll spoil that connection with your listener.

Remember that you just want to be heard–not to impress. The truest stories will reach the deepest. Good luck, Diner.

How do I gently talk to my partner about my higher libido?

Dear Fortune Cookie, I am embarking on a lifetime relationship with a wonderful partner. They are almost everything I could ask for, save for a minor taste difference in entertainment and a somewhat mismatched libido. What’s the gentle route to discuss the fact I’m far more easily aroused and to seek out solutions together?


Don’t decoy, avoid, or make void the topic. – Salt-N-Pepa
22-27-34-35-59 / 13


Hello Diner. Before we talk about your partner, let me ask what you’re willing to tolerate. I see that you understand people have their own tastes and traits, and however in love people are, they are bound to have some differences they have to reconcile if they plan to spend a lifetime together–just the little quirk of probability, which we plan to talk more about in a future Fortune.

If the question was posed to you but in reverse–if your partner came to you about reducing the amount of sex–what would you give up and what would be your suggestions for solutions? Keep in mind, this would be a permanent change. Unless you find a new partner, you wouldn’t be able to go back on that agreement. Well you can–it just wouldn’t be very considerate nor respectful, and the disagreement would just return.

If you really can’t see yourself living a lifetime’s worth of frustration, and you hope to coax your partner into adapting your appetite, you really should reconsider that lifetime you were planning to spend with them.

It’s not so much people that can’t adapt just to please their partner–they can, and they have. There are probably a few times you’ve done that yourself, and it’s very likely you didn’t feel great about it. And that’s my point: imagine a lifetime’s worth of that feeling. Doing something just to please someone else would cultivate a lot of frustration and resentment–even if that person is in love. Even if the object of their love is, in fact, wonderful you.

Are we saying that unless you’re happy with every life choice you make in your relationship, you shouldn’t be together? Of course not. Like the venerated sages said: it’s a bit more complicated. Two things save you from having to live this impossible life of perfection–being honest with each other and mutual compromise. If you two truly understand and respect your boundaries and keep the “gives” and “takes” in balance, you’ll have the greatest chance at a lifetime of happiness.

* * *

Now that we have that unexpectedly deep, introspective journey out of the way, we can talk about how to discuss things with your partner. Let’s say you’ve already determined you’re willing to compromise and that this issue isn’t worth breaking up over in the long run.

You’ve decided that it’s definitely not about them, and you’re ready to move onto the next step of talking to them.

As with any mismatch a couple can have, you’d have to consider your partner’s perspective and work with their sensitivities and communication style. By asking for a “gentle route,” it sounds like you believe frank talk would hurt your partner. As their partner, you would have the history to understand what exactly they are sensitive about.

If you don’t, step one would be of course to figure THAT out.

But really–considering you’re thinking about starting a whole life with this person, you should have that level of understanding before you two talk in lifelong terms, right Diner?

You can assure your partner that the issues has nothing to do with the things they are insecure about. Not feeling like they’re wrong or that the relationship may end will help keep them from being upset or defensive.

Because I don’t know your situation fully, I can’t guarantee the conversation will go smoothly, but by following this Fortune and simply being empathetic, you would have given it your best shot. Remember: it won’t–nor has to be–perfect. Good luck, Diner.

What could this dream mean?

I keep having dreams that people I need to communicate with on a daily basis, such as coworkers, can only speak foreign languages (such as Swedish) and they don’t understand me. What could this mean?


Rädsla för prat är rädsla ändå


Ah, the dream world. It is indeed a mysterious place. One that seldom makes sense, and often defies any of the reason or logic this world so adamantly insists we live by. The dream world is one of my favourite places to visit. When I close my eyes I am taken back to my childhood travels, full of magical talking cats, giant chess games, exotic foods, and tiny, tiny doorways. But these are tales for another time. You, my dear, have your own dream world that you do not understand.

If you are not familiar with the language of Morpheus, night time journeys can be confusing and sometimes terrifying. Fortunately I am fluent and so can assist you with unravelling these mysteries. Normally I would request a small token of three gold coins for the service, however the Baker insists I provide my time in exchange for endless cups of Oolong and a plate of pork dumplings, so you are, indeed, very lucky.

Like fingerprints and apple cakes everybody’s dreams are different. However, there are four basic kinds of dreams one can have. First, you can have the mundane dream that replays the events of the day. If you have these types of dreams, I am sorry. Though another mystic once told me that those who have dull dreams are true creatives. Their nights are so boring, because their days are filled with wonder. Secondly, you may be blessed and cursed with prophetic dreams that tell your, or others, future. I myself have these from time to time, though they usually involve advising me that my carriage driver will be late to collect me for an appointment the next day. Helpful, but not exciting. Third are the most fun, these are lucid dreams where you can control your dream world as much as you can your waking one and more. Finally, (the type of dream I believe you are having) are dreams that are sent to you by your inner self. They tell you of your deepest desires, your darkest fears, and truths that you have long since buried. These are often confusing, but always useful if you can figure out what they mean.

And so, now to your dream. As I said, this dream appears to be a message from your inner self. The little voice that lives in all of us, that knows all that is true, but often cannot speak loud enough to be heard… until you are asleep. Your little voice sounds like it is not the only one having difficulty being heard. You are likely feeling that people do not listen to you, or understand you. You are speaking in another language while you slumber because your words are not being understood while you are awake. Of course, dreams are seldom this literal. These are the place of emotions, of raw mental energy. This dream speak of fear of being misunderstood. Of not being able to communicate with those you need to.

Which leads me to ask you, my dear, how is your waking life with your co-workers? Are you feeling misunderstood? Out of place? Do you need to practice your Swedish lessons more regularly?

In my many years of experience, inner voice dreams raise more questions than they answer. The trick is to look at your life in your waking hours and see how it connects to the visions of your sleeping ones. Look beyond the actual pictures, and attend to the way you feel in the dream. This is the most important part. If you feel simply confused and frustrated in these dreams, perhaps you need to develop your communication skills more. If you are scared that no one understands you, this may indicate a waking fear you have of being misunderstood. I recommend spending some time with your little voice. Self awareness is the key to interpreting these types of dreams.

I hope that this interpretation has helped somewhat. If you would like a more in depth reading, come back and see me with those three gold coins. Don’t tell the Baker though, simply place them under your dish before you leave.

Until then, sweet dreams my dear.

– A. L. –

The Advice Fortune Cookie humbly thanks Mme. Liddell for her ageless insight–gratis–while we are visiting her home country of Australia. You can read all of her other Fortunes here.

I’m not sure how I feel about his idea. Help?

My partner wants to become a sperm-donor. I understand why he wants to do this, but we don’t have children of our own yet. I’m not sure about how I feel regarding this. Help?


Elementary, my dear Diner.

06-13-35-39-49 / 01


Hello Diner. In your Order, you tell us that you’re not sure how you feel about your partner’s plans. This at least tells me there’s something about his idea you don’t like. If you articulate what that something is, it will not only inform how you feel, but it will give you concrete points you’ll certainly want to resolve with your partner. We highly recommend doing that second part.

If you don’t know what that something is and need help from me, I’ll need more information on what you’re thinking. But short of talking to your food in the middle of a crowded restaurant, Diner, you can’t give me more. Don’t worry–I won’t leave you hanging. I can try some deduction with what you did provide us.

You left a very interesting clue in your Order. Of all the details about yourself, your partner, and the situation, the only information you gave–aside from the fact that your partner wants to donate sperm in the first place–is that you two don’t have children yet.

This is especially interesting because of all the effects donating sperm has, it has literally no impact on whether you and your partner can have children in the future–a fact I’m sure you know. This may mean you don’t like the idea of strange children having the same ingredients as your future children. Alternatively, you may not be comfortable with the idea that your children may not be the first batch.

Both of these reasons may seem “selfish” to you–which may be why you’re having mixed feelings. Again, we Fortune Cookies, as a rule, do not judge our Diners, and I suggest you don’t judge yourself either. These are your reasons. If you keep them to yourself they won’t be resolved.

If my exercise in deduction completely missed your reasons, let that mistake remind you that if a magical Cookie can’t read your mind, your human partner won’t be able to as well. Collect your thoughts and parse your reasons–all of them, no matter how petty they seem. Then together you and your partner can decide what will be best for your family now–and the larger one in the future. If you need a tiebreaker, seek out someone you both trust and respect–but understand that you two will ultimately make the decisions.

Trying to live with doubts about your partner’s decisions is something we will never recommend. Not only do I care only for your happiness, Diner, it can easily turn to resentment in the future. That does your relationship no good, and you will definitely need that cohesion to reinforce behavior or levy punishments in a consistent way with your future children.

Fortune Cookies, as you may imagine, do not have children of our own. We are simply products of our Baker’s ingredients. In addition to sugar and flour, our Baker mixes within us his desire to help you, our Diners. That’s why we’re here. You have your own reasons for adding to your family. And even though your children’s goodness will have little to do with their ingredients, I hope yours will nonetheless carry your goodness with them. Good luck to your family, Diner.

How do I cope with a selfish loved one?

My sister has nothing to do with me. The only calls or texts I receive are from when she wants something. I have tried everything, from texting, to calling, Tango, Voxer, and even Facebook. Still, she does not really talk to me or anything. She’ll post up occasional statuses, but she never has anything to say to me. I find out everything about her, including her marriage, on Facebook, because that’s they only way she tells anyone. How do I move on from this? It’s been hurting for so long.


Give no power, and no one will have power over you.

03-04-13-32-43 / 05


Hello Diner. We Fortune Cookies don’t have what you’d call siblings; we have batchmates with whom we can share thoughts. Being made out of the same dough, you can even say we’re all one in the same Cookie. People have this strange belief that they too have this natural bond with their siblings. That simply can’t be true. You are independent beings whose communication has to be cultivated like any relationship.

Like any relationship, there are beginnings, middles, and ends. Sibling relationships don’t necessarily last a lifetime. What’s worse, those siblings didn’t choose to be together to begin with. People take time to decide how well they like someone before starting a friendship–and even those end. Remove that decision making, and the only things some siblings may have in common is where they grew up and a bit of genetics. Ultimately relationships are people who choose to stay connected.

I say all this, Diner, because you take how your sister treats you very personally. You mention that you have hurt for years. That’s a long time to carry hurt from someone who–if you get down to it–is just selfish. The more personal it is, the deeper it hurts. Despite your genetics; despite your childhood, your relationship now just isn’t working.

Change your perspective.

Understand that she is free to choose how she treats you–no matter who you are. You may be a good person who may not deserve it. However, you can decide how much that affects you.

I challenge you to ignore for a second what culture says about how much a sibling or even a close friend is “supposed” to mean to you. Now ask yourself how hurt you would be if a casual acquaintance treated you the same way. I’m guessing you’d just be a little annoyed. Why would it be any different?

The difference is you give them that power, and you can take it away just as easily. Think about how much power you have over your sibling. It’s probably not as much as she has over you. Why not? Simply having a connection with you should not entitle them to so much power.

Now maintain boundaries.

You may also feel hurt because she seems to take while you give. You mentioned she only contacts you when she needs something. Being a dutiful sibling, you probably give her what she wants. This is a very unbalanced relationship that will only cause more hurt. Go back to that earlier exercise. Would you drop everything to give whatever this person wanted? You can say no. Understand that a large part of being mistreated in many cases is allowing the person to mistreat you. Don’t let them.

I hope this Fortune gives you a new way of looking at your relationship. I know change will seem difficult because your dynamic with your sister is pretty set. But change–even when so much history is involved–is never impossible. Good luck, Diner.