Maya came home from school and was excited to tell me that she was learning all about irony in English class. She couldn't remember the song, but knew I listened to it - the one with all the really great examples of irony. Eighth grade. Aren't you going to read "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry? I understand the attempt to appeal to the students with something a bit more contemporary, but that story has stuck with me for more than 30 years. It was old-fashioned even when I was a kid. I think we watched a film strip after having read the story. Beep.
When I think of irony, I think of cutting off my hair to buy my husband a chain for his pocket watch only to find that he has sold his watch to buy the fancy hair combs that I always wanted. But now I have no hair. What a beautiful, romantic story of love and sacrifice.
And when I think of the song by Alanis Morrissette, I think the only irony is that there is not one good example of irony in the whole song. Rain on your wedding day? People say it's good luck just to make you feel better. Good advice that you didn't take equals poor judgement. Meeting the man of your dreams and then meeting is wife? It was never meant to be, Honey. A black fly in your Chardonnay? That's just gross. Ten thousand spoons when you need a knife? Dumb luck. I really like the song and I really like the teacher, but I just don't see the irony here.
And so I came up with my own example for Maya. I was going to report on how much I have learned from Cesar Millan and how successful my efforts have been dealing with separation anxiety. I was ready to state that I have completely rehabilitated Lucky. But, my part-time job went full time with overtime so guess what? Relapse. No time for adequate doggy exercise and much longer periods of separation. And as the Dog Whisperer will tell you - the dog reflects your energy. I have not been able to maintain my new calm assertive stature. My job has increased my anxiety level to maximum capacity. I feel so stressed out, maybe I'll start gnawing on the front door?