Our Entire Relationship is Ironic

Rachel Rodman

We met at a campus party — a deeply ironic campus party — which didn’t in the least seem to realize how ironic it was. Which was exactly what made it so ironic.

“Look at the irony on that side of the room,” I said to you.

And you, pointing, said, “And check out the irony over there.”

“Pretty ironic,” we agreed.


Many people have never even had ironic sex.

And, with others, the erotic eventually overshadows the irony, even when they set out, initially, with the most ironic of intentions.

But, for us? The irony never wavers. For us, the irony is always foremost.

“Ironic,” you whispered in my ear, soft — that first time.
“Really fucking ironic,” I agreed, a bit later.


The theme of our wedding was irony. No set colors, no special songs. And neither of us even bothered to inform the caterers, who prepared for us, nonetheless, as if on cue: watercress sandwiches.

God, that was ironic.


“This is going to be super ironic,” I said, stroking my stomach. When, ironically, we decided to have children.

“O, the irony,” I said, with a wry smile, while giving birth to them.


Twins? I mean: really?

Textbook irony.


“There’s a lot of irony, going on in that room, right there,” I observed, as they screamed and screamed and screamed, for no discernible reason at all.

“It’s spectacularly ironic,” you agreed, as you emptied out the diaper genie.


Irony is famously difficult to define. But the third kid? That was probably the most ironic thing that ever happened to us.

Ironically enough, though? The fourth kid wasn’t quite so ironic.


But they grew up. Kids do that — as we often had occasion to observe, with various shades of irony.

And I guess they were more-or-less ironic, in doing that. Ironic T-ball, ironic bake sales, ironic Suzuki.

But they didn’t grow up as ironically as we grew up. Which–we both agreed–was pretty ironic.


“Ironic,” we whispered into the silence after they all had moved away.

“Ironic,” we said, or rather, thought because, in that particular case, words would have been gratuitously ironic. So instead we simply looked at one another, lips twitching, while giving brief, ironic side glances at our grandson’s seventh birthday cake–a cake that had to be (could there be any question?) the most ironic shade of green that anyone could even conceive of.


Your cardiac episodes, one after the other, each one ironically timed to coincide with my knee replacement surgeries? Can an entire decade be ironic? It can, ironically enough.

It can.


But irony only thickens, as plots do. That’s why they call it dramatic irony, after all.


It’s not just to be ironic.


And so…everything that presumably lies ahead of us, together? Ironic dementia, ironic incontinence; our two pairs of gnarled hands, laid one against the other, palm to palm, with a slow, deliberate irony, for the very last time?

I can only imagine that that, too, will be almost unbearably ironic.

So, you know: looking forward.

Rachel Rodman (www.rachelrodman.com) writes fairy tales, food poetry, and popular science. Her work has appeared at Fireside Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, Expanded Horizons, and elsewhere.


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