Isn’t it good luck to get two fortunes in one cookie? So what happens if both fortunes say the same thing? Recently, after finishing my teriyaki chicken, I cracked open my plastic-wrapped-less-than-fresh-dessert, to find that I had stuck the lottery; a two-fer fortune, both reading, “You are never bitter, deceptive or petty.”

Well halleluiah, move over Jesus Christ, there is a new woman in town. According to Dragon Express Chinese Food, I’m the new ruler of the heavens. Okay, okay before I discourage all my atheist readers, let me get on with my point.

Let’s start with the first adjective. Doesn’t it take a certain amount of bitterness to promote change in the world? I’d like to think that even Mother Theresa was a little bitter.

The words deceptive and petty, those are words I’d wish not to be associated with, but honestly, I have been both petty and deceptive and not just once or twice. My father would like to believe that I am angelic (my mother knows better) and that the fortune I received is one that I should have tattooed on my forehead. Except angles don’t have tattoos they have wings. The reality is I have tattoos and neither of them have anything to do with me living a life without pettiness, deception or bitterness.

The key word on the small strip of white paper, which negates anyone from authentically taking this fortune to heart, is the word “never.” A word, which I believe in a way, is a contradiction in itself; it means everything and nothing all at the same time. I mean basically until a person is dead and the evidence shows they have stayed true to his or her statement, we can’t really take it seriously. If you think about it, more than any other word we use, the word “never” has the most potential to result in a contradiction. Given this, using it can not only result in limiting one’s potential, but it can also result in guilt, which can result in shame, which can result in most of the problems we all have. If I believed in my “nevers” I wouldn’t be running my fourth marathon and I wouldn’t be able to say sorry to those I have wronged.

People who have disagreed with me in regards to the use of these absolute words have told me that words such as never and always are a sign of a person’s commitment to whatever they are attaching it to. I have been told that the use of these words is a sign of maturity and self-awareness. But I disagree.

Of course, there are exceptions. I do believe 99 percent of mothers always love their kids and would never intentionally hurt them. But now that I got that loop-hole out of the way, I want each person to think about all the times they have ever said never.

Have you stayed true to your statement? Has it stopped you from believing that you could do more? Has it made you feel guilty for what you haven’t been able to live up to? If I am wrong about this whole thing (but I NEVER am), let me know because I have a fortune with your name on it. And if there is more than one of you, don’t worry, I have two.