How to Delegate the Fortune Cookie Way

Do you like getting a fortune cookie after a nice meal in a Chinese Restaurant? Does it tickle you how we all love to open them? Close your eyes and imagine holding both ends of one and snapping its little, carbohydrate back into two pieces, exposing the secret note written especially for you. Do you delight in reading those messages?Fortune_Cookie

Have you ever saved a fortune cookie note? I know I’ve saved several in my lifetime, and I’ve asked around and found that many have also tucked away the tiny words of wisdom for some personal reason and future reference. 

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten with a group of friends in a Chinese restaurant when we didn’t read and share our fortunes with each other. And why is it, there’s always someone who brings up the rather off-color comment of reading their note and adding the words: between the sheets, to illicit a semi-porny edge to the innocent words? (It’s a tradition I hope our younger generation hasn’t been stuck with.)

How to Delegater the Fortune Cookie Way

Because the whole fortune cookie concept is universally enjoyed, I decided we could take it and expand on it in the realm of delegating housework.

You could get a box of FCs and replace their notes with jobs to do, like vacuum the living room, dust the family room, wash, dry, fold put away a load of clothes, but I’ve got an easier way, and besides, I use that idea for giving money to grandkids on their birthdays and such. (At the end of the blog, I promise to tell you how to open a fortune cookie without breaking it and how to exchange the note with money.)

The Easier Way

First, you’ll need to write a positive thought with the chore you want accomplished. Second, you’ll need to use a container that can be easily opened. I’m sure you’ll think of some ideas, but here are a few suggestions I came up with:


Pill organizer (a week’s worth of jobs)


Plastic egg

Play Doh


Miniature bottle with a cork


Small jar

In my book The Joy of Being Disorganized, chapter ten is titled, Now it’s Time to Delegate! Here’s the beginning paragraph:

In Chapter One, I gave you a brief lesson in the art of delegating, and I said you have to know what has to be done in order to get help. When you finish reading this chapter, you’ll see just what you GET to delegate. I capitalized GET to emphasize that the list of jobs in a home is for everyone who lives in the home and can work for food. Having the jobs you deem important for a peaceful home out of your head and onto a list will make it easier for you to delegate many of those jobs to others.

The task list in chapter ten will really help you and your family see the scope of work involved in running a successful, happy, peaceful home.

To try out my idea, let’s use an envelope (you could maybe use an old card from your stash of greeting cards you’ve collected if it still has its envelope), write on a post-it note, piece of paper or that card itself something like:

Dear Terry,

You are so willing to help around the house and it means so much to me. Please scrub the kitchen floor today. Thank you. Pam

Then be sure to seal the envelope. Part of the magic of a fortune cookie is that you have to break into it to get your message. It’s the same feeling with a sealed envelope.

Just for fun!

This whole idea is to inject some fun into everyday life. Keep your family wondering what you’re going to do next. Maybe the next envelope has tickets to the baseball game. Make it fun and don’t limit this FC idea to delegating, use it to give praise, be thankful, inspire, motivate and love your family!

The Promise

Now, to replace the little note with money for a gift, have the bill, in the denomination you want to give, folded so it can fit into the fortune cookie. Stick a fortune cookie in the microwave for about 20 seconds on high and gently open it with tongs (it’ll be very hot), and take out the note and replace it with the money gently squeezing it back to its original shape with the tongs. Put the fortune cookie back in the box it came in, wrap the box in giftwrap and give with a note that reads. “One of these fortune cookies has a special fortune in it!”





 The Joy of Being Disorganized