Gin, Tonic, and Cups

Is the plural gins and tonic? Gin and tonics? Either way, I’ve had two, because I am On Vacation, with my parents, who may or may not secretly be the heroes of early-century SF/horror (Dad went wandering around the Arctic, studied mushrooms, and then taught weird math; Mom was into archaeology and Latin) and have also been spending some quality time in a hot tub.

Cups, Number Seven: Bright luck–that is, luck that appears good–in matters of water. A dude contemplates seven cups in a cloud, and each cup has a thing coming out of it, which varies depending on the deck. A snake is pretty common. So are castles, fruit, dragons, a disembodied head, etc.

This is about dreams and visions. A lot of the time, it’s sentimental daydreams, in a “castles in the air” sense, like, okay, you bump into Chris Evans at the deli and it’s a whole thing. Or it’s wishful thinking: yeah, they totally Meant Something in the interview when they said they’d let you know.  Wanting things can cloud your judgment: everyone who buys a lottery ticket thinks they know the winning numbers.

That said, daydreams are important, and healthy. Every couple months, some hand-wringing dudebro or dudebro-adjacent lady publishes a piece concern-trolling about romance novels giving women “unrealistic standards,” which…I have a lot of opinions on, and many of them involve the phrase “oiks who think cargo shorts are formalwear and won’t go dancing,” but the relevant ones here are:

  1. If you know daydreams for what they are, they’re fine. We all need something to think about in meetings, or while we’re trying to get to sleep, or when Uncle Frank is telling us about the Packers. Most adults know they won’t win the lottery or bang Anne Hathaway; it’s cool. Like everything, in proportion and moderation, daydreams are nothing to worry about.
  2. Properly managed, some daydreams can be helpful. If you’re a stockbroker and your elevator thoughts are all about moving to a farm in Montana…don’t do that. Not all at once. Reality always sucks more, and then it’s 3 AM and you’re doing unspeakable things with a cow and you hate your life. But take a small step in that direction, like maybe a job with less pressure, or one that lets you work remotely so you can live in the country. If you’re looking for a boyfriend, or the one you have isn’t measuring up, consider what elements of the Chris-Evans-at-the-deli fantasy most strongly appeal to you, and to what extent you can reasonably look for them in a dude.

Dreams and visions are good far-off guides, but not so great when you want to know what’s actually going on at ground level, is the point.

The other thing the Seven of Cups means is choice, or priorities. There are a lot of things coming out of those cups. Maybe having a snake and a disembodied head is not going to work out for you. If you want a job that gives you a bunch of free time, you might need to take one that pays less, or has less status. The selection of romantic partners available when you want commitment and/or kids may be different from the ones you get when you don’t. Some of these choices are because the current system sucks ass, and I’m all for overturning it in a lot of ways (nationalized health care and child care FTW), but that’s its own struggle, and some choices are just the way things and/or people are.

So the Seven of Cups speaks to getting to the core of things, and finding the truth inside the daydreams: whether that’s what’s going on, or what you really want, or what bargains you’re willing to make.

Next week: the Eight!


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I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.

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