Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Maybe This Is Ironic, But Not That

Dude, I loved this song back in 1994. Teenage angst was a perfect match for Jagged Little Pill. But eventually her voice annoyed me, and the way she moves her mouth when singing. But I'm in a '90s nostalgic phae right now. So I dig. Again.

But no, I don't think it's ironic.

Irony: "2a. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: “Hyde noted the irony of Ireland's copying the nation she most hated” (Richard Kain). b. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity."

Bad or unexpected (rather than contrary to what is expected) things happening does not equal ironic.

Rain on your wedding day? Only if you expected it to be sunny based on all the weather reports and the fact that it was a clear blue sky, and somehow a freak of nature thunderstorm appeared despite lack of precipitate cloud matter.

Sucks, but not ironic: Dying two days after you wint he lottery. Black fly in your chardonnay. Death row pardon two minutes too late. Traffic james when you're already late. Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly, but flew anyway--and the plane crashed. He expected to die flying. That's not irony.

I think she's going for "life has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you think everything's okay."

I wonder if this qualifies:

Being Vietnamse, and the daughter of a man who grew up in one of Vietnam's fishing villages, and allergic to shellfish.

My people eat shellfish like the rest of America eats chicken. I grew up eating big tiger shrimp cooked in their shells, with a salty-spicy sauce with scallions. Dried shrimp was in almost every soup to form the base flavor. Big banquet dinners in restaurants always means a lobster. There's always some scallop dish too, along with steamed mussels. Bubba had nothing on my people.

And yet, I can't eat apparently more than two walnut prawns and two scallops without passing out in food allergy lethargy. I feel like my body is breaking down.

At first, I thought it was just a weird fluke misbelief. Like my allergy to mustard may be more psychological than physiological--I choke and want to throw up when I eat it (this happens more than I'd like since it sneaks into sandwiches and salads at restaurants and catered events), but it never makes it's way down far enough for me to see how I actually feel after eating it. Throat constriction usually is enough for me to not swallow, much less retching.

But walnut prawns are delicious. So I'll eat them, get hives, and one hour later, pass out. This sucks. Maybe a little ironic too, considering how much I have to avoid eating at the next family gathering, when shrimp is in every dish and my mom chops it up to make wonton soup.

I think that this, coupled with the fact that I can't eat too much pinapple, makes me the worst Vietnamese person ever.

I should have been German or something.