Love in the Year of the Monkey

Happy Lunar New Year! Welcome to the year of the monkey. If you’re not aware, each year in the Chinese calendar is assigned one of twelve animals and the babies of 2016 are going to be curious, clever and mischievous little monkeys. All around the world, Chinese people will celebrate the new year with parades, fireworks, family visits and breathtaking Lantern Festivals. If you’ve been lucky enough to witness the new year celebrations in New York’s Chinatown, you know it’s a feast for the eyes, and for the stomach.

You too are a monkey if you were born in 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 or 2004, and you’re in good company. Some famous monkeys? Well there’s Julius Caesar and Demi Lovato to name two very, very different monkeys. Much like the astrology you might be familiar with thanks to your daily amNewYork and your obsession with Susan Miller, the Chinese zodiac also subscribes to the notion that people born under the same sign share certain characteristics, and some signs get along better than others.

Are you a monkey? Are you in a relationship with a monkey? Are you considering marrying one of the 2016 monkeys in 2034? Well that’s horrifying, date someone your own age! Unless you’re a two year old reading this. In which case I have so many questions. Like: How? And, are you a government experiment? And, are you now on the lam in order to save yourself from a lifetime of observation and testing? Also, how’s my grammar, genius baby?

Let’s take a look at all the Chinese zodiac animals, and see where love will blossom …

SNAKE – Born 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001

No one’s jonesing to be called a snake, but according to the Chinese zodiac, being a snake is where it’s at. Snakes are decisive, organized, intuitive and ~elegant~. It’s no wonder Taylor Swift is a snake, am I right? Have you seen how organized her hair is? Even after the gym? Should snakes and monkeys get together? Um, I don’t know do you think Taylor Swift (snake) and Jake Gyllenhaal (monkey) were a good pair? They were not. She left her scarf at Jake’s sister’s house and that led to a breakup and then Taylor wrote “All Too Well” about him. Or so I overheard from several tweens in line ahead of me at Starbucks. So no, I would not say snake and monkey is a good pairing unless you want to get your heart broken and then become a very rich popstar off the heartbreak. Dump that monkey and get yourself a rooster. Is Calvin Harris a rooster? He is not, Taylor. He is not. Hint, hint.

HORSE – Born 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

Horses, much like actual horses, are adventurous, strong and adaptable. They make great partners and can jump over tall fences. Horses and monkeys get along fine, but they’re not a perfect match. If you really want to ride off into the sunset (get it? You get it.) horses should look for tigers. I would not recommend horses, the animal and tigers, the animal get together in real life though. Also, definitely do not google “would a tiger attack a horse?” because it would and you don’t need the image I now have burned into my brain forever, in your brain as well. Why is the circle of life so very cruel?

GOAT/SHEEP– Born 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003

To be fair, from a distance, could you tell the difference between a goat and a sheep? Even from close up, I’m not totally confident I could, so I don’t blame the Chinese zodiac for not nailing an animal down for this one. Also apparently goats and sheep can have babies together so googling things doesn’t always end in a horrible blood bath. They’re called “geep” because no one wanted to spend more than one second brainstorming the name. Goats/sheep are warm, sensitive and calm, much like Ugg boots. Again, getting together with a monkey wouldn’t be a terrible mistake, but is it going to fireworks and rainbows? Probably not. Goats/sheep should be on the lookout for rabbits, pigs or horses. Basically, keep it on the farm and love will find its way.  

MONKEY – Born 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992,  2004

Monkeys are clever, creative, curious and the stars of 2016. They need action and adventure and get bored pretty quickly. They might not be into a ten part documentary on Netflix, but they’d be really up for breaking into the abandoned house in the sketchy part of town where someone definitely got murdered in the 80s, or so says the legend. Their best matches are dragons and rats.

ROOSTER – Born 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005

Roosters are energetic, flamboyant and confident. You know, like actual roosters. They’re also very honest, as I know a barnyard rooster would tell you if you looked fat in your overalls, given the ability to speak. Roosters need a good match to balance out their dominant personalities. In addition to snakes like Taylor Swift, oxen and dragons make for a good match.

DOG – Born 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

Oh man, what luck to be born a dog, arguably the best actual animal and the best zodiac animal. Dogs are, not shockingly, loyal, courageous, diligent and lively. Dogs need a loving match for their overflowing puppy hearts. Tigers and dogs get along great because they’re both laid back and share the same styles of communication. I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering, is that my dog growling at an imaginary squirrel or did an actual roaring tiger break into my house, because for the love of god so what if there’s a squirrel in the yard, who cares, just chill out.

PIG – Born 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

Pigs are determined, sincere and sociable. They know how to both plan a party, and be the star of it. Should pigs and monkeys get together? Have you ever seen a pig and a monkey together?

Ok, but other than that? No you haven’t. Pigs and monkeys don’t really hang out in nature and they do not make a good love match. This isn’t just a blah relationship, this is heck no don’t date that monkey, you pig. You want a rabbit or a goat/sheep, little pig, that’s where love will flourish.

RAT – Born 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Historically, rats have a bad reputation what with spreading the bubonic plague and infesting homes. But they really turned their PR around last year when one tenacious, progressive reformer dared to drag a piece of pizza down a set of subway stairs. Sure one viral rat can’t completely wash away the sins of all the, um, actually viral rats that came before him, but man did he try. But we’re not talking about real rats, we’re talking about zodiac rats. Some of my favorite people are rats, and by “my favorite people,” I mean me. Yes, I’m a rat and a divorce lawyer. I’ll wait while you workshop some jokes and go giddy with pride. Pleased with yourself? Great. Rats are characterized as charming, adaptable and artistic. Are you imagining a rat in a beret with a paint palette? Me too. Now, should a monkey and a rat get together? Yes! They’re actually the best pair!

OX – Born 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Oxen are strong, reasonable and determined. Their shy nature might make it hard to meet people but once they open up, their loyalty cannot be shaken. And while they might not be the one wearing a lampshade on their head and dancing on a table at a party, they’re also less likely to rack up a ton of credit card debt and disappear into the night. An ox’s best match is a chatty, gregarious rooster because they balance each other out really well.

TIGER – Born 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Tigers are courageous, ambitious and confident much like their real world counterparts. They pair best with horses and dogs while they get along worst with monkeys. Why? Because tigers and monkeys are too much alike. Both want to be the star of the show and there are only so many good karaoke duets.

RABBIT – Born 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Rabbits are empathetic, diplomatic and sincere. Plus they’re so cute. Rabbits are really into family which makes sense seeing as the typical rabbit household has two hundred bunnies. Rabbits should steer clear of roosters. Roosters are a terrible match because they have a tendency to pick at soft bunny fur, metaphorically. Roosters can be too harsh and rabbits need a gentler partner, like a goat/sheep or pig.

DRAGON – Born 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Dragons are imaginative, artistic and charismatic. They’re stereotypically loners, what with living in caves and the hazards associated with fire breathing. Dragons can be a little hard to get along with as it’s often their way or the highway (see: fire breathing) so they need a dynamic partner to match that strength. Who is that perfect partner? Why the monkey of course!

Were you and your ex-spouse a terrible zodiac pair? Did you defy the odds and create a wonderful pig and monkey marriage? Do you think Calvin Harris is the one for Taylor? Let me know in the comments below, on Twitter, or on Facebook!

James J. Sexton