Isn’t it Ironic?

imageAlanis Morissette had it all sown up when she wrote the song ‘Ironic’. Anyone else remember the album ‘Jagged Little Pill’? I think she had me in mind as that song ‘Ironic’ just about sums up the things that happen to me on a regular basis. Alanis knew what she was talking about and I’d say there are many of you who would back me up on this. I can’t be the only one who feels like a ‘Victor Meldrew’ clone, as I try to go about my everyday business with the minimum of fuss? Now thankfully, I haven’t had the misfortune of winning the lottery and dying the next day (unlike the poor sod in Alanais’ ditty) nor meeting the man of my dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife. No, nothing as extreme as that. However I do experience ridiculous situations I’d rather not be in. I get easily embarrassed on other peoples behalf, not only when I’m in the spotlight but also when the ‘faux pas’ isn’t of my doing.

You can guarantee that if I deliberate over buying a parking ticket ‘when I’m only going to be two minutes’ is the time our friendly neighbourhood parking attendant will slap a parking fine on the windscreen. I could kick myself with the amount of times this has happened to me. I usually have no change if it’s a longer stay and the card thingmy is out of order – of course it is! Nobody rushing up to me that day kindly giving me their ticket as they don’t need it anymore and it’s still got two hours left on it. Recently, the sensors on my car decided to play up and cause the back window to stay at half mast. We’d been having  beautiful weather, so not much of a problem, you might think. But of course, Mother Nature intervened and decided it should rain that very day AND the next AND the next, until finally, I could get it booked in with a mechanic.

We live in a 19th Century house, and although the electrics have been modernised somewhere along the line, they like to keep us on our toes. I guarantee you every time we are having people to stay, lightbulbs seem to blow like fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Sometimes they blow so hard, they drop from the fixings and smash spectacularly onto tiled floors, sending the dog running for cover. I now have an impressive store of bulbs and fuses for these occasions, but you can be sure I will have every kind of bulb in my collection, apart from the one I need for the particular light fixing that is feeling mischievous. ‘Ten thousand spoons, when all you need is an knife’ – see? Alanis was spot on again…

Sometimes, if I’m trying to avoid someone (you know that feeling?) when you’re just not in the mood to listen to them. You can bet your bottom dollar, I’ll walk straight into them at the next corner, almost as if by willing it not to happen, the message got reversed somewhere along the line. I don’t know which is worse, crashing straight into them or having to walk toward them with nobody in our path for a few hundred yards and with no choice but to make eye contact and engage. This happens me a lot and at one time, it always seemed to be with the same person. I began to think they were putting themselves in my path intentionally – the pain of it! Come on, I can’t be the only one who squirms in these situations? I delight in many things that have made life so much easier. Email for example, is the best thing since sliced bread, in my humble opinion. However, sitting comfortably in second place is caller ID. And while it’s been around forever, I still think it’s magic! Once upon a time, a long time ago, I would answer my phone in complete ignorance as to who was calling. Imagine! Well what a relief this has been for me. I can go all day not answering the phone. And as for blocking nuisance callers, (known and unknown) it’s wonderful!  Pre my caller ID and blocking life, I’d had many a painful conversation when caught on the hop- well, that part of my life is but a distant memory…

Airport runs are another instance when the best laid plans normally go to pot. Over the years, we have missed flights, got the flight times wrong, got caught up in horrendous traffic. Expensive cock-ups, yes- something that happens to us all, so I do draw some comfort from that. I am usually the person who books all the flights, does all the on-line checking in, passport policing etc so I invariably end up feeling responsible. If you knew me well, you would know I HATE being late and so, many times, I have pretended the flight is earlier than it actually is, just to get us there on time. However, this rarely works (it’s not me, it’s everybody else gov!) A few years ago, I had the most stressful journey to catch a flight for my sisters’ wedding. My husband was already at the airport as he went straight from work, so I was making the trip with our boys. I left home in plenty of time and even factored in an extra half an hour, just in case. I have never encountered such an appalling traffic jam. There were roadworks one particular stretch that caused excrutiating delays. I had my eldest son on the phone to my husband giving him updates, time was ticking on, we were bargaining over the phone with the check-in desk as to how long we’d be etc, etc. We did make it but holy moly! I’d like to dump that particular responsibility firmly in someone else’s lap forever (not my husbands, we’re as bad as each other). Another airport calamity occurred when travelling to Paris for a conference a few years back. Myself and my travelling companions were having such a nice time in the bar, having arrived at the airport in plenty of time, gone through security with the minimum of fuss, only to find our flight had been called and we’d missed it! Oh, the shame! I can laugh about it now, just…

The days I hang a full line of washing out before I rush off to work, quickly reassuring myself it won’t rain – are the days it definitely will rain. Sorry, yes, that was me. I particularly love putting out the wrong bin for collection and discovering my mistake too late only to see the truck disappearing around the corner into the next road. It’s a whole two weeks before they will collect again. Bastards!

Of course, everybody experiences some kind of crap in their lives, some more serious than others and mine is certainly trivial but enough to send me to the corner. And while rocking in the corner for a spell is fine, I find as long as I come out of the corner, dust myself down, probably laugh about it afterwards, I can press the factory re-set button and be better prepared for more of the same – Just Sayin’



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