It is the phone call intro that I hear every day, usually multiple times a day - "this is gonna sound weird, but........"
What follows that intro varies from day to day, but none of it sounds weird to me anymore. For nine years now, I've been managing the family business, which just happens to be a psychic tea room, so after about 20 calls a day for six days a week, 52 weeks a year, by now I've heard just about everything.
What makes the following list interesting, to me at least, is that in the vast majority of cases, these are sincere requests for information, not prank calls. (We did once have a brief spate of heavy breather calls, but that only lasted about a week.) These calls are from people who have real questions about what may or may not be real situations in their lives, looking for an honest answer that will help them make sense of something they can't quite explain.
Here are some of the phrases that have followed the quotidian "this is gonna sound weird, but........" call:
"....are you guys for real?"
"....do you make house calls?"
"....do you worship the devil?"
"....I need an emergency exorcism performed, can you do that over the phone?"
".....I think my house (insert garage, potting shed, cabin, or sailboat...I've heard them all) is haunted".
"....seriously, can you tell me where I left my car keys (insert engagement ring, plane tickets, deed to the house)?"
".....my son (insert daughter, husband, wife, or dog) is seeing ghosts (spirits, poltergeists, demons, entities, fairies, leprechauns)
"....I think someone (insert my boss, my boyfriend's ex-girlfriend/wife, my mother, a co-worker, a gypsy, or my personal favorite 'a woman from my church') put a curse on me, and I need you to remove it."
Taking each call one on one, it's easy for me to be sincere and try my best to help my clients figure out how to proceed. But when I look at the list as a group, I admit it seems kinda odd, and maybe a even a little silly. I'm definitely not curing cancer, here, am I? What I am doing is trying to help people, including myself, find meaning and connection and joy in their lives, whatever form that may take.
This work is not what I thought I'd be doing when I was little; it's not even what I thought I'd be doing 10 years ago, but it is surprisingly gratifying, always challenging, and makes for great conversation at cocktail parties. I've been invited into my clients lives, met amazing people (both living and dead), performed weddings, blessed homes, channeled spirits, and these days when someone someone asks me what I do, my answer starts like those daily calls: "This is gonna sound weird, but I'm a professional psychic." And proud of it.