Friday, June 28, 2013

Isn't It Ironic?


1  [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-]  Show IPA

noun, plural i·ro·nies.
the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of itsliteral meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had towork all weekend.
a technique of indicating, as through character or plotdevelopment, an intention or attitude opposite to thatwhich is actually or ostensibly stated.
(especially in contemporary writing) a manner oforganizing a work so as to give full expression tocontradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc.,especially as a means of indicating detachment from asubject, theme, or emotion.
an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

Everyone gave Alanis Morissette such a hard time back in the 90s when her anthem about life's little misfortunes hit the charts. 

"No, Alanis," we said, "a black fly in your chardonnay is not ironic. It's shit luck." Of course, "Shit Luck" didn't fly at the record company so they went with something more literary instead. 

Turns out - according to definition 5 up there - yes, ironic can refer to an outcome different than what we expected (i.e. we didn't plan for a fly in our chardonnay, but that it happened, yes, is shit luck, but also possibly ironic. One way or another, just pick the damn thing out and drink up already!)

Anyway, as I mentioned I was having lunch with a friend from ballet class this week. "A" is a gorgeous 30-something brunette with a smart, sensitive, cool personality. We met when we were in class together, always chatting at the barre. (Very different from some of my old drinking buddies - whom I would meet at different kinds of bars.) 

Unfortunately, we lost touch when we registered for different classes and it's been almost a year since I've seen her. But we bumped into each other at the school a couple of weeks ago and were so happy, we decided to do something non-ballet related.  

So Wednesday we took the plunge and hit a patio for lunch. In the last post I wondered if 'the plan' would come up. Or if we'd end up talking about my drinking opportunity at all. (You see, I now call it a 'drinking opportunity' as opposed to a drinking problem! I'm a glass-half-full kinda gal! And it better be at least half full or you're in trouble!)

Truth is, I'm not ashamed about my past or the plan. And I've never had a bad response from anyone about it. However, I just wondered if it would come up with A.

Well ... it came up. 

First thing. 

We got a great table in the shade on the patio of a trattoria overlooking a leafy square. The waiter, nose ring and all, came over to ask if we wanted anything to drink. Right away, A said: "Sorry, not for me. I don't drink. But you go ahead." She looked at me with a  smile. 

"Well, isn't that ironic," I said to myself. Ms. Functional's new friend doesn't drink. 

Just the same, I soldiered on and ordered a 'quartino' (small 8-oz carafe) of pinot grigio. When the waiter left, she said "I hope you don't think I'm weird. I've just never had the taste for it."  

"No! Not at all! I don't think that's weird!" Honestly, I think whatever people have to do to stay happy and healthy when it comes to drinking, they should happily do. 

But - the question was, do I leave it at that? Or do I spring something so 'heavy' on her in our very first few minutes together. I took a bit of a breath and said, "Actually, I wondered if this was going to come up. I might as well just come out and say it. I've had problems with my drinking in the past - big problems ..." And I went on to tell her, as briefly as I could, about those problems, about what I do about it, and about the blog. She was supportive and interested and completely cool. 

Because it may be a tad ironic for Ms. Functional's new friend to be a non-drinker. But unlike rain on your wedding day, it ain't shit luck! We had a great time eating a yummy lunch and talking about things other than pirouettes. Though we talked pirouettes too. And I only had that one serving of wine. 

In the old days, none of this would have happened. Because most of my friends were drinking buddies. One of them was even such a big drinking buddy that she's actually in A.A. now. As you could imagine, we don't see each other nearly as much anymore. ;) 

Whether other people drink, don't drink, drink sometimes, drink a lot, it doesn't really matter to me. It would have in the old days. But it doesn't anymore. Because cleansing helps put alcohol in perspective. Life isn't about drinking anymore. At least it's not just about drinking. ;) And really, the last thing I need is a drinking buddy. Because I'd hate for either of us to end up in A.A.! 

btw, A and I plan on getting together more often. And that one glass of wine was splendid! Believe it or not, nary a fly came near. Guess they prefer chardonnay. 

Hella weekend coming up! Happy Pride! Happy Canada Day! Happy Run-Up-To-The-4th! Use your sunblock, stay safe, have lots of fun but don't end up in emergency having to get your stomach pumped, ok? Because that might be ironic, but it would definitely be shit luck. 

With that ... here's Alanis singing a song that somehow still feels fresh after all these years.  It's also inspiring to see what must be the cheapest mega-hit video ever made! Have a great weekend!