It’s like rain on your wedding day. Ah, the debate over the ironic content in the so-called ironic situations laid out for us in Alanis Morissette’s same-named song. I was driving to my Hush Puppies job in the Montgomery Mall almost twenty years ago listening to some dee-jays discussing it on the radio. While the predicaments set forth by Morissette could certainly be considered bummers, the jocks said, they definitely weren’t ironic. Even Morisette herself sees the point, though she alleges dictionaries are now changing their definitions of ironic to include such sentiments as the ones in her song. Say what what? The lords of the English language conforming to the ideals set forth in a pop song written by a twenty-year-old? I have yet to research the validity of that statement, but considering this is the twenty-year anniversary of her pop music landscape changing Jagged Little Pill (yes, I have it and played the shit out of it way back when, especially that a capella little ditty tagged onto the end of Wake Up about crying in a man’s shower and leaving salt in his bed), I will tackle some of the situations in Ironic that carry the most ironic potential and make them, indeed, ironic. Let’s start with that first one:
It’s like rain on your wedding day . . .
Yeah, this may suck, but it’s not ironic. What’s ironic would be if you’re so afraid it’s going to rain on your wedding day that you go all bridezilla on the wedding planner and have her construct this beautiful pavilion under which to have your entire ceremony and reception. It’s beautiful outside the day of your wedding and you’re stuck inside. Then one of the smoking members of your bridal party is dying for a ciggie and lights a match too close to the sprinkler systems and they go off, raining all over everyone inside. Isn’t it ironic?
Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly . . . he waited his whole damn life just to take that flight, and as the plane crashed down he thought, “Well isn’t this nice?”
Tragic, but not ironic. Maybe even a little self-fulfilling prophecy. Murphy’s Law. How about if the dude was afraid to fly so he drove to his destination and died in a car crash. Isn’t it ironic? Don’cha think?
A traffic jam when you’re already late . . .
. . . is a great excuse for being late. How about leaving your house to get to work early, giving yourself an hour when you only usually need fifteen minutes and because of the traffic jam you get there the same time you always do. A little too ironic.
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife . . .
Lunchtime at work. Yum. You’re starving. You brought yogurt, but you’re not in the mood for that. Besides, you forgot to pack a spoon. Earlier in the break room you noticed Stan’s birthday cake. You’ll have a little sliver of that. You give Sally your yogurt and make the trek to the break room, open the drawers where the plastic utensils are kept to find a knife to cut yourself a piece and . . . only spoons. Isn’t it ironic? Yeah, I really do think.