Sunday, December 7, 2008

Year of the Tiger

This post might've been better saved for Chinese New Year's, but I'm thinking about it now. Delayed gratification? Not my thing.

I don't set a lot of store by zodiacs. I don't completely dismiss them either - how arrogant would I be if I presumed something so many believe in to be unworthy of consideration? Lately I've been thinking about the Chinese zodiac and how it relies on the year in which you were born rather than the month in which you were born to determine your characteristics.

For a long time, I thought this made even less sense than a monthly zodiac. But recently I've been thinking about how we label entire generations and assign characteristics to them. Depending on who you talk to, I'm a very young Boomer or a very old GenX-er. You probably got a little stereotypical mental picture when you read each of those terms. For the purposes of this post, stereotyping, something I am usually pretty adamant about my distaste for, will probably be more than a little bit necessary.

Recently I was talking with an old friend from high school. Remember, please, that my dad taught at my high school. That wasn't traumatic or anything. Whatever. (Whatever - the GenX-er in me showing its face...) She said that, upon looking at some pictures of folks from our class as opposed to pictures of folks from classes a few years behind us - a few years younger than us - she felt that our class as a whole was aging more gracefully. I told her my dad would probably have a theory about that. He taught at that school for several decades and he still maintains that our class was the biggest bunch of slackers to ever grace its halls. And while some of us did go on to achieve some level of success in our chosen fields, it really does seem true that we were - if not slackers, certainly late-bloomers. As a whole. Don't start telling me about all of the exceptions. I'm sure there are some. I already said - we're going to be talking in broader stereotypical terms today. But hey - apparently it's manifesting itself in less wrinkles and gray hair. So that's cool, I guess.

So could there be something to it? Could the day, or month, or year, or generation in which you are born have an effect on your lifelong personality and characteristics? Does telling you I'm a Virgo Tiger Boom X-er tell you anything about me? When I look at the characteristics associated with each of these things sometimes I am struck by how well some of them fit. But some of them do not fit at all. I suspect I might have similar results if I compared myself to other signs. Or would I? Does it have, perhaps, less to do with the alignment of the planets and more to do with the world into which we were born and into which we come of age?

And does any of this matter? Really? If it didn't, would we keep trying to find apt labels? Too many questions, not enough answers.

Virgos do tend to over-analyze situations, you know. So I can't help questioning. And Tigers hate to be ignored and like attention. So I can't help blogging about it. I don't really care one way or another if the questions ever actually get answered, though. Gen X attitude coming through. See? It's all starting to make sense...


Kelley @ magneto bold too said...

Gen X-ers are aging quicker cause all of the formaldehyde in the hair gel we used.

Or that we partied harder.

mommakin said...

Bwah! Blame the Aquanet!