12/30/2016
The luckiest

Today is the final weekday of this year, so the morning shows were filled with features on who would be luckier than others in the year that's to come.

It's all pretty vague, as you'd expect. One sign is luckier than others when it comes to money, or romance, or career. Nobody really talks about family relationships. Perhaps it's all tapping in our unspoken need to break away and be our own man, or person, if you're going to nitpick that. But I digress. Nobody really offers specifics - another unspoken acknowledgement of how different we all are, perhaps, of how our fates cannot be determined by when we're born, otherwise you and all of your peers would have very bad years and very good ones. Although that might explain everything of late.

When I was younger we had Jojo Acuin all over the tail ends of the news broadcasts. His predictions are vague but a little more specific - an actress will get pregnant, a presidential candidate will die, that sort of thing. You spent Sunday evenings huddled around the television set, Mel & Jay devoting ninety minutes (not accounting for advertising) to his predictions. You'll get shocked, momentarily, and then you start wondering who it might be. When it does happen, you don't immediately remember the prediction was ever made. I wonder if Jojo ever predicted his own death?

Well, now you have people basing everything on your zodiac sign, Western or Chinese. Lately, however, the focus has been more on the Chinese side. You could say it's a sign of these geopolitical times, but I think it's more because their system is more complicated. You're not just a Rooster, but a Water Rooster. And, if you ask someone even more knowledgeable - say, a feng shui expert, or a half-Taiwanese girlfriend - there are some more complications.

In our early weeks together, Shalla looked up our compatibility. She's a Water Rooster and I'm an Earth Dragon. The rudimentary Google searches I made suggest that I am confident and ruthless, and she is extremely smart and quite organized. Apparently, we're a match because Roosters plan ahead and are logical, while Dragons are powerful. Well, I'm not sure about those descriptions. I think we're a good match, but for starters, both of us can whip up an emotional storm.

But then there's whether I am a Dragon to begin with. Technically, I fall into it, but I was born in January 1989, and to most, that year is the year of the Snake, never mind that Chinese New Year was on 6 February of that year. That caused distress when I was a little kid. I always insisted I was a Dragon, but my classmates, who all knew I was a year younger than them, insisted that I wasn't, that I am a Snake. It was an early example of being shunned by my peers. I clearly wasn't trained enough to handle it well.

Are Snakes and Roosters compatible? Those rudimentary Google searches say yes, too, but not as much, because there will be clashes - both signs are smart and want to look the part. Okay, maybe we should stop looking at these things. But it's irresistible. Who wouldn't be delighted to be told by some guy who dresses funny on television that 2017 is the luckiest for people of your Chinese zodiac sign? Apparently, this year is the Dragon's year, unless I didn't really pay attention. To be fair, every year was the Dragon's year - well, except for the year we're about to leave in a few weeks, if you ask the Chinese.

And your responses...

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