The day Alanis Morissette released her single “Ironic” was the day everything fell into place. I was 19 and, recently reeling from a teenage heartbreak, couldn’t quite find a term to express the deep, distressing… discombobulation I felt. You see, I waited my whole damn life to fall in the love with a guy, only for my best friend to fall in love with him too, and for him to choose her. Of all the men in the world, of all the friends in the world for this to happen to.. and then I heard Alanis “it’s like rain on your wedding day, it’s the free ride when you already paid, it’s the good advice that you just didn’t take and who would have thought it figured?” In that moment I understood that what had happened to me was ironic, something so damn poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended.

And, who would have thought it figured, that some 14 years later, the source of my life’s irony still stems from my best friend. You see, she and I will be using a TENS machine, for the first time in both our lives, on exactly the same day. Hers will be used to calm the contractions before birthing her first son, and mine will be used to calm the contractions brought on by the first day of my period.

In addition to which, DH is having his second sperm analysis on the very same day my best friend gives birth to her baby. My best friend is married to DH’s brother. Now there’s some irony for us both.

OK, so it doesn’t all involve my best friend:

I got my positive visualisation & conception cd through the post today, it arrived a week late and slap bang on the day I am most negative each month – the day the PMT hormones hit me so hard it’s impossible to convince me of the inherent good in anything, not even Gandhi.

But the most ironic thing, in a way the thing that upsets me most, is that the very thing I’ve been doing to distract myself from all this baby business, i.e. write my book, has utterly collapsed. I realised yesterday that my premise was ridiculous, unbelievable and even a bit silly. But now that I have ditched this fictional world I am without the mental holiday it affords me when baby politics get too much. I need to get back to the drawing board and reign the whole thing into one, solid, believeable emotional journey. My single task is to work out what journey matters most to my protagonist – the journey, that, against all odds, she will finally complete. And that, as I sit here and write about the business of trying to have a baby, is what I call ironic.

But of all the lines in “Ironic” that I still hum when walking down the supermarket aisles it’s “life has a funny way of helping you out when, you think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up In your face” and that’s because I’m still trying to work out what on earth it really means.

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