Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Chinese Zodiak

Cutest ox picture I could find.
“What are you? I’m an ox.”
    There are a bunch of different categories for personality types. Did you know that? We’re each listed under several colors, or types or different sections of the brain. If you’re left-brained that means the right side of your brain is where you keep the stupid stuff. I suppose.

I was with a group of friends a few months back and each of them had taken a test to find out what personality color they were, One would say, “I’m green.” Everyone, except me, would laugh and comment about how obvious that was.

There are a few topics I have less interest in than personality labels. Food spoilage is the only one I can think of at the moment, but there are bound to be a couple others.

Kay and I were eating at a Chinese restaurant last week, and she decided to read the place mat. Right in the middle of my discussion on “Game of Thrones” she asked me if I knew what animal I was. It upset me a little, but I finally guessed sea bass. I was wrong.

I’m an ox. If you were born in ’49, ’61, ’73, ’85, ’97 or 2009 you are also an ox. Oh, and if you’re going to be born in 2021, you’re gonna be an ox. You might want to take that into consideration.

The Chinese Zodiac is chopped full of interesting things. Not unlike twice cooked pork. Did you know that oxen are not supposed to marry one another? I think we can marry snakes… maybe dragons, but not another ox. I’m glad I didn’t marry a snake, even though they’re supposed to have the ability to discern herbs. (I did not make that up.)

Unfortunately, I knew nothing about the Chinese Zodiac when I married into my own herd. Yep, Kay is also an ox… an oxennette. Forty-one years I’ve been yoked with that girl. Let me tell you, that yoke has been stretched. 

Except for our taste in sofas and our disdain for jerks, Kay and I have very little in common. I don’t know which one of us is more ox-like, but the other is definitely more like a goat or monkey.

Take reptiles, for example. Kay like’s ‘em. She’ll pick up frogs and lizards and play with ‘em, but she’s scared to death of roaches. I don’t know that she’s ever smashed a roach in her life. She’d rather yell and run. 

Me? I don’t like to touch lizards or frogs, but I’ve actually smashed roaches with my bare feet. It’s been my experience that if you wait to find a shoe to put on, the roach will be gone. I think OJ’s lawyer, Johnnie Cochran, came up with that saying. “If you put the shoe on, the roach will be gone.

Kay enjoys the TV program that allows viewers to watch couples shop for houses. I don’t care if they’re looking in Portugal, Kay finds it fascinating. I find it the fourth level of purgatory.

And, I must tell you that there is a vast difference in our handling of Birthday, Wedding, Christmas and Get Well cards. A bottomless chasm separates us. It’s a chasmizamal difference.

Kay and I were on our way to a wedding last year… or last month. (Male oxen get time all mixed up.) In all our years, we have never filled out a card ahead of time. It’s always last minute. That’s because Kay waits for me to write the thing, and I always wait till the very last minute because I absolutely hate to think up meaningful stuff to say. I literally tug on what little hair I have.

So, I told Kay to write the card on the way to the church building. She took out a piece of scratch paper and started thinking. I told her not to waste her time on scratch paper; to just write the thing. That’s when she said, “Would you like to do this?” Sometimes she acts like she was born in the year of the horse.

So, I’m pulling into the parking lot when she reads me what she’s got. “Best wishes for a wonderful marriage.” --  I said, “Tell me you’re joking. What was the inscription that came with the card?” -- She said, “Hoping you have a wonderful life together..” 

So, I had to dictate some touching, personal, sentimental words that she transcribed onto the card. She’s got great penwomanship for an ox. Before stepping into the building, Kay had to pat my hair down on the sides. Cautioned me about tugging on it all the time.

As we were waiting in line to sign the guestbook, I said, “You didn’t really come up with, ‘Best wishes for a wonderful marriage’ did you?” – She said, “Of course not. What do you take me for?”  -- It was one of the few times she reminded me of me.

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