The kids had a spirited debate about irony in the car the other day (which was ironic, since the Actual Ghost in the Car didn’t bother to participate). While they bantered cleverly, it struck me that their conversation would be the perfect lead-in to my New Year’s post, but because I am old, I promptly forgot the specifics of the conversation the minute I pulled into the driveway.
“Hey you guys,” I said to the kids a few days later. “Remember that spirited debate about irony you had in the car the other day?”
“No,” two of them said.
“Maybe,” said the third. Then she made the noise French-speaking people make when they shout their word for “egg,” which is very similar to the noise English-speaking people make when they’ve been elbowed in the stomach by their brother.
“Why do you want to know?” asked the Daughter with the Straight Hair. “Is this for your blog?”
“No,” I said.
“She’s lying,” said the Actual Ghost in the Car.
“I knew it,” said the Daughter with the Straight Hair. “Oh my God, Mom, get your own material! Isn’t your blog supposed to be about buying a wedding dress, anyway?”
“You,” I said, in a tone both chilly and commanding, “ARE my material. I made you, and now I will use you as I please.”
The children cowered in terror before helpfully shouting out useful details from their spirited debate about irony, which I faithfully reproduced here, segueing easily into a discussion about why I had to buy not one, but three wedding dresses (only to have none of them fit on my wedding day).
“She’s lying,” says the Actual Ghost in the House, who, because of this stupid Polar Vortex, has been allowed to leave the car until the windchill rises to zero and/or the kids go back to school, which is, apparently, never.
“Duh,” says everyone.
“What really happened,” says the Exposition Fairy, warming her hands over a nice cup of Irish coffee, “is that the Daughter with the Wavy Hair made a case to her siblings that up to a point, it couldn’t hurt to try to help their mother with her blog, and while the Son wanted to define that particular point, the three of them agreed that they would try to resurrect the spirited debate about irony on the off-chance that their mother might someday be able to earn a living from her writing, and buy them stuff. Only nobody could remember what it was they’d said.”
“Which is,” says the Actual Ghost in the House, pouring more Kahlua into his cup, “like, totally ironic.”
“No it isn’t,” says the Exposition Fairy. “That’s not irony, that’s just coincidence.”
“Dude, coincidence with a twist! That’s totally irony. That’s the definition of irony.”
“You can’t call me ‘Dude,’” says the Exposition Fairy. “I am the Exposition Fairy. I have been around since man first stepped out of the cave and conveyed information through unlikely but helpful dialogue! You should show some respect.”
“Oh yeah? Well as a literary contrivance, you should totally know the definition of another literary contrivance, Dude.”
“You want to know what’s ironic? What’s ironic is that you’re not even alive, and you’ve drunk nearly all of the Kahlua.”
“That’s so not ironic. Being dead is not the opposite of drinking Kahlua.”
“What does being opposite have to do with drinking irony?”
“Who are you talking to, Mom?” asks the Daughter with Wavy Hair, peering around the doorway to my writing nook. “And why did you forget to wake us up? It’s after nine.”
“School’s cancelled. Again. Go back to bed.”
“YES!” shouts the Daughter with Wavy Hair, ironically waking her siblings in the process.
“Dude, that’s not really ironic, either, unless you’ve explained to your readers that you can only write when the kids are in school, or asleep.”
“Well, that would have been explained, if the Exposition Fairy weren’t so busy getting drunk and arguing about the definition of irony.”
“Yeah, but wasn’t that kind of helpful, since nobody could remember the actual discussion about irony, which was sort of similar, but with swear words?”
“True. But honestly, I don’t even know who’s speaking at this point. Is the Daughter with Wavy Hair still in the writing nook?”
“Yep. Can I have some coffee, too, Mom? It smells really good.”
“No, because that will keep you awake, and I can’t write about the irony of having gained back the weight I didn’t want to tell the readers I’d lost in explaining why it was that I had to keep buying dedding wresses if you’re awake and not at school.”
“Shhhh. You’ll wake the Exposition Fairy.”
“Wouldn’t that be ironic?”
“Umm. Maybe. I think.”