10 Feb

Gong Xi Fa Cai (or Gong Hey Fat Choy if you speak Cantonese rather than Mandarin)! Happy Chinese New Year! Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Snake, which has not been a particularly auspicious year in past lunar cycles (2001-September 11 attacks, 1989-Tiananmen Square Massacre, 1977-Elvis died, 1965-Malcom X assassinated, 1941-Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, 1929-stock market crash). I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to take a shower this morning (apparently on the first day of the New Year it washes away good luck), so I’m hoping to recover by wearing bright red and setting out a bowl of oranges. In the meantime, TOMW suggested I consider my animal sign in the Chinese zodiac, and analyze which traits are true for me.

Back in high school, I learned from the paper placemat on the table of the first Chinese  restaurant in which I ever dined that being born in 1972 meant my Chinese zodiac sign was the rat (⼦). This did not please me, especially as my brother was gloating over his tiger sign, given that my only images of rats were as wet, squeaking, ravenous villains scampering through sewer pipes in horror movies or as red eyes and scaly tails darting around laboratory cages in my biology class. I could not see any qualities in common between us, but subsequent study does reveal that I do indeed possess several traits that the Chinese identify with the sign of

Here’s a list of rat characteristics from an online source:

~very charming (I like to think so, but not in a smarmy way)
~gets more done than most (on a good day, when I’m firing on all cylinders, I can be incredibly efficient)
~adapts well in most environments (yep)
~good eye for bargains/discount shopper (I love sales, coupons, and auctions–rarely do I buy at full price)
~intellectual (yes, I believe so–not on par with a rocket scientist, but I can hold my own)
~good at concealing or hiding things (not to be deceitful, and only if it benefits someone close)
~secretive (I can keep a secret, but I don’t think I’m sneaky or conniving if that’s what they’re implying)
~creative (yes, if you count writing and crafty projects)
~talkative (about 95% of the time I’d have to disagree with this one)
~always in “alert mode” (yes, but I get lax when I’m tired)
~analytical (I usually try to look at all angles before choosing the best course of action)
~seeks power (I don’t really seek it, but I don’t run from it, either)
~great debater/gets point across (I try to stand my ground and present my argument logically, but usually think
of something else I should have said after the fact)
~honest (if nothing else in this list is true, I hope this is)
~takes advantage of others/opportunist (I don’t see this in myself, and I hope if others do, they will point it
out when it occurs)
~argumentative (not just for the sake of arguing, but if I firmly believe in something, I will politely and
respectfully defend it)
~materialistic (not in the sense of being greedy…another website suggested that Rats love to surround
themselves with knick-knacks and mementos to create a warm home environment–that sounds about right)
~anxious (sometimes)
~nervous (sometimes)
~very observant (as long as I’m not overly tired)
~quick tempered (not compared to other members of my family!)
~little hotheaded (yeah, okay, I’ll cop to this one on occasion)
~stingy (looking back on our childhood, my brother would probably say, yes, but I hope I’ve outgrown it)
~worrier (yep)
~good advice giver (I do give it, but don’t know how good it is)
~great imagination (until I sit in front of a blank computer screen…)
~resourceful (yes, I take pride in this one…there’s not much I can’t do for myself, and I thank my granddad for
setting that example)
~avoids manual labor (NO…I’d rather not break rocks in the hot sun for a living, but if something needs doing
around the house, I’m all over it)
~loves to travel (yes, I do, and luckily I have a husband with the same love)
~thirst for knowledge (definitely…always reading, listening, watching and storing tidbits of information)
~perfectionist (*sigh* yes, I am…more demanding of myself than others,I hope–one day I’d like to be a
reformed perfectionist)
~difficult to please (I don’t think so)
~good organizational skills (always in my mind, but they don’t always translate into physical results)
~dominant (only if the situation demands it…I think I’m equally willing to be passive)
~aggressive (no, that’s not me)
~does not seek advice from others (not true…I often seek advice from many sources, then analyze the results
to make my own decision–which can look like not taking advice, I guess)
~quick witted (sometimes)
~a doer, not a talker (I strive to be, because it frustrates me when others don’t follow through, but I know I don’t
always achieve this)
~great writing skills (we’re putting ’em to the test this year!)
~likes seclusion or solitude (yes, “me” time is important to maintaining mental balance)
~socially active (not a party animal, but I enjoy quality time spent with friends and family)

I’m in good company as a Rat–Shakespeare, Mozart, and George Washington were all Rats. But, unfortunately, so was Jeffrey Dahmer, so I guess that horror movie image isn’t completely wrong after all.

1 Comment

Posted by on February 10, 2013 in On Me



One response to “Rats

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