An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay
It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late
And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think
It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
Who would’ve thought… it figures
A traffic jam when you’re already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It’s meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
A little too ironic…and, yeah, I really do think…
One of my favorite songs to karaoke to is Alanis Morissette’s Ironic. It’s a song chosen partly for amusement, and partly to release pent-up angst. It’s been awhile since my last karaoke session, but lately, I’ve been pondering where I thought I would be in life at age 25. And this song comes to mind.
At 25, I thought I would be happily married in a veritable urban mecca for young professionals. At 25, I thought I would be clear of student debt, with both an undergrad and graduate degree under my belt. At 25, I thought I would be in a boast-worthy profession that would easily render peers and classmates envious. At 25, I expected to tick off major twenty-something milestones – maturity in the form of a fulfilling marriage and stability in terms of a long-term career.
It’s a little too ironic because I’m not quite there yet. Frankly, far from it. I’m not quite where I would like to be, but I’m taking it in stride. I’ve been doused in rain, swallowed the black fly, been caught in a traffic jam, and gotten ten thousand spoons when all I needed was a damn kitchen knife. But this song is a light-hearted reminder that, “Life is too ironic. It takes sadness to know happiness, noise to appreciate silence, and absence to value presence.” In this sadness, amidst this noise, with this absence, I laugh at the irony and ask myself: What is the lesson behind this struggle?