Living Columns & Blogs

Some of my best friends are rats!

But I have to admit to being a pig.

Happy Chinese New Year! It very nearly passed me by with no fanfare. In grad school, Chinese New Year was a big deal since probably half of my fellow grad students were Chinese.

See I always thought I was a rat, too. According to the little Chinese paper placemats at so many restaurants, I was a rat. Born in 1972, a rat, a power sign. And the characteristics fit me (or so I thought):

"Charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking, great leadership skills, highly organized, meticulous, systematic, intelligent, cunning, highly ambitious, strong-willed people..."

Then, one day, actually not so long ago... I hate to even admit how recently it was... I put two and two together.

Chinese New Year! Yea! A reason to celebrate in February! (President's Day is really only good for skiing... if you are one of the lucky ones that gets that off.) Yea!

Wait a second...

Chinese New Year... wouldn't that mean that January 1972 was really January 1971 in China?

Suddenly my world was toppled.

After existing as a rat since my first trip to a Chinese restaurant as a kid, I was now... a pig, a romantic sign??

What IS a pig? I had to find out.

"Honest, straightforward, patient, modest, shy, often there to offer support, reserved, trusting, and want to do everything right according to social norms."

That is NOT my sign. Those are all good qualities, but rat fit me better. The Chinese were wrong.

I told myself that over and over.

Note "strong-willed" under rat.

I thought about a class action lawsuit towards the Chinese paper placemat manufacturing company for falsification of data and emotional distress of the afflicted 8.3% of the population born in January.

Now, I just choose to eat better Chinese food than that served in places that actually put those placemats on the tables.

And I have resigned myself as a pig. My husband and daughter are pigs, too.

My son, not surprisingly, is a monkey.