Friday, March 16, 2012

Pop quiz; or, why I haven't posted for a while.

Time for a pop quiz!

Which of these situations contains actual irony?

1. Rain on your wedding day.

2. A traffic jam when you're already late.

3. You grow up in Utah and love it there. Love the dryness, love the seasons, even love the snow as long as you don't have to shovel it or drive in it too much. You marry a guy who grew up in Florida. He complains about the lack of humidity in Utah and any hint of a snowflake (what he terms "the enemy from above") causes him to frantically scour the Internet for job openings in Florida. This goes on for seven consecutive winters, you watching him search for jobs that are in close proximity to palm trees while you're curled up on the couch with a blanket, a good book and some hot chocolate as the snow falls gently outside. Every winter, you worry a little bit about what would happen if he actually found a good job in Florida, because, as previously stated, you love it in Utah. And then the eighth winter comes along and . . . it's like winter forgot to arrive. Christmas is brown and green and dry. You get a little bit of slushy flakes in January but no real snow until late February/early March. For the first time, your husband isn't constantly searching for jobs in Florida, because the snow isn't driving him to extremes. And then, out of the blue, a sister company for the company he works for says, "Hey, we have an opening for a job in Tampa. Do you want it?"

4. You live in Utah where it usually snows all the time. You have a toddler who likes to play outside. You'd rather keep the toddler and the snow from having too much direct contact so you start shopping for snowpants (he's already got a coat and mittens and a hat in the shape of a penguin). You find the exact kind you want—cheap, durable, not pink or purple—and the store is ALWAYS out of his size. You wait and keep checking because it hasn't snowed much yet this winter so it's not urgent that you have these snowpants right now and by waiting you can avoid having to pay shipping by ordering through the store's website because paying for shipping just kind of seems immoral to you now that you've got Amazon prime (and why doesn't Amazon make it easier to find size 18m snowpants in non-girly styles, anyway?) but finally there's a forecast for a big storm and you really want your little guy to be able to build a snowman so you just bite the bullet and order the boots and the snowpants and pay the shipping and then they arrive and the snow sort of comes and you build a snowman with your waterproof toddler once. The snow all melts the next day and within a week and a half your husband calls you and says that a sister company for the company he works for has just told him out of the blue, "Hey, we have an opening for a job in Tampa. Do you want it?" It snows a couple more times in the next few weeks but the snowpants don't see any more use either because you're frantically packing for a cross-country move or your toddler is sick or both.

5. A sister company for the company your husband works for tells him out of the blue that they have an opening in Tampa and asks if he'd like the job. You say yes and start planning for a quick but organized cross-country move. Then your toddler gets a major ear infection, contracts the stomach flu, and gives that flu to you and your husband. Your family spends the better part of a week and a half recovering. Then your husband is flown out to work in Tampa early, leaving you alone with a toddler and a house to pack. Your babysitters get a nasty bout of illness. Your son gets RSV and ends up in the hospital overnight so they can observe his difficulty breathing. Husband comes home the night after toddler is discharged from hospital. All semblance of organization in packing and moving goes irrevocably down the drain; the only overarching theme of this cross-country move is "If it can go wrong, it will." We should just call it Murphy's Move to save time. The day you start packing the moving van, you get the worst cold of your life (because, let's face it, it's probably actually your son's RSV) complete with nasty cough (like unto one which hacks up a lung) which hangs on and hangs on and hasn't left yet.

6. You somehow manage to get to Tampa with your husband, your toddler, two cats, and the bare essentials which you took on the plane with you to tide you over until your furniture and other stuff arrives hopefully on Tuesday. Immediately your air mattress springs a leak.

7. You have a palm tree growing outside your bedroom window and a tiny lizard lives on your deck. Your toddler loves the new apartment and even though you have uprooted your entire life, have no idea where anything is in this town, have to learn an entirely new city, have no friends and are miles away from your family, your home and everything you've grown up with, you start thinking, hey, maybe living in Tampa is going to be fun after all.

8. Ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife. (Note: you are not in any kind of silverware factory.)

Hint: By my count, only one of these is actually ironic. The others involve bad timing, bad luck, Murphy's law, odd coincidences, frustration, facepalms, and, thankfully, a bit of fortuitousness.