Scott and I entered the Chinese Year of the Monkey with great expectations.
This was gonna be our banner year.
Wealth, wisdom, maybe a little mirth -- we were on our way.
So we celebrated Scott's 60th birthday in high style, thanks to my son Stefan who treated us to a buffet of wonderful treats at Kelsey's, where Stef and his girlfriend Angele work. He also bought us wine, beer, and a bit of whiskey. Indeed, the Chinese New Year was off to a great start.
We're both Monkeys, 1956 edition, in the Year of the Monkey.
What could possibly go wrong?
Lots, it seems.
Since the beginning of the year, Scott has meandered from one bad job to the next. My own employment is also in peril, as the Canadian publishing entity where I edit medical journals has been bought by a company from India. That means instead of having monthly paycheques now, pay day is always a surprise. As in, surprise! No cheque this month!
Things aren't looking up from the medical standpoint, either. I was supposed to be in the queue for a breast reduction, but my paperwork was lost by both the specialist, and the GP. I tried to change family docs, and that paperwork also went into the ether. And the new GP doesn't remember she had agreed to take me, and keeps booting my appointments off her schedule.
When I finally got to see the boob doc, she informed me I had to lose 40 pounds before she would put me under the knife. Forty pounds! That's like, 1000 pints of Ben and Jerry's!
And to add insult to medical injury, I discovered my original doctor had misdiagnosed the bump on my ear. I don't have a bed sore, I have skin cancer!
Yadda, yadda, make me sadda, sadda.
I should have listened to Lainey Lui, the expert on all things Chinese on CTV's The Social.
According to the Canadian gossip maven, being thrown out of our mothers' wombs in 1956 was actually bad luck for us. The 1956 Monkeys are doomed this year.
"Monkeys will not be benefited by any lucky stars (this year) so it might be hard to make gains," she writes in her blog. "Be careful this year of backstabbers. There could be arguments and personal drama ahead."
What the What?
Nobody told us this wasn't OUR YEAR!
Have we been looking at The Year Of all wrong?
Angele Merkle won Time's Person of the Year for 2015. Does that mean she will cast bad luck on all Germans, as Chancellor?
Does winning Actress of the Year mean beetles in a person's cornflakes?
Look at Sandra Bullock who was cuckolded by a walking ink poster. Or Halley Berry who threw shade on black people in the movie business for a decade.
I guess if it's your year, you'd better get a helmet and a club.
According to Lui, the only chance of staving off bad luck in the Year of the Monkey is to buy everybody dinner.
Thanks, Lainey, for telling us AFTER Scott's birthday.
Everybody bought him dinner.
Now we're on the Ferris Wheel of Shit, apparently.
And don't get me started on the health stuff, Lainey.
"Overall, for Monkeys, there is an increased risk of cuts and bruises," she writes. "See your doctor soon after the New Year for a complete physical, including bloodwork, and your dentist for a thorough cleaning."
Well, that ship has sailed.
Been there, done that, got blood all over my T-shirt.
Fortunately, there may be some good news on the horizon.
My birthday is still upcoming.
I can buy wieners and beans for the crowd, hopefully, if I haven't spent too much of my moola on sunscreen and dental dams.
Lainey says a Monkey can actually earn some good luck by "building on your knowledge, increasing your skills, and becoming more attractive to good luck when it arrives."
Time to get to work.
Too bad attractiveness is already out of the question thanks to my skin cancer diagnosis.
Hard to put your best face forward when you have one that looks like it got caught in a hail of buckshot.
Maybe I'll just crawl under the covers and wait for 2017.
In the meantime, if I can't buy you dinner, at least I can give you this.