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COLUMN: Alanis was right: Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you!

March 2nd, 2024 7:00 PM

By Emma Connolly

Alanis Morissette in concert. It’s 28 years since her single Ironic was released. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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A favourite song from almost three decades ago gave our columnist a surprise. But it didn’t shock her enough into getting Easter-ready by going egghunting … though it did make her realise that old friends really are best!

• I HEARD something random the other day that stopped me dead in my tracks: Alanis Morissette’s Ironic is 28 years old this month. Now, that isn’t ironic (or even coincidental, depending on what camp you’re in), it’s just plain scary!

• I can remember clear as day when that song came out and was a mega hit. I had just recently bought a new CD player (I had worked in the office of the local co-op over the Easter holidays just to pay for it, god bless my determination). It was a big black contraption, around two feet wide and three feet long, that took up an incredible amount of space but god did I love it. I played the single Ironic constantly for weeks on end, so much so that I still know it word-perfect, which is pretty impressive, as most of the time I can’t even remember what side of the car my fuel cap is on. There you go, now that’s ironic!

• Something else random that jumped out at me this week was reading about some Google Trends data which showed an 86% increase in searches for ‘he-vage’ between 2022 and 2024. For those who don’t know ‘he-vage’ is a combination of the words ‘he’ and ‘cleavage’ and is used to refer to a man wearing a low-cut top. Don’t feel too out of touch, I hadn’t heard of it either. Stars spotted wearing the raunchy look recently include Barry Keoghan and Paul Mescal.

• I’m not quite sure what to say about it except that I can’t quite see it catching on in West Cork somehow. Although I could be wrong, I mean once upon a time we’d have thought it odd to see a bloke wearing shorts inFebruary and that’s now dead common. Watch this space, but I’m not sure Cork’s man of the moment Cillian Murphy would approve of such antics.

• And what’s all this about people panic buying Easter Eggs, for fear they’ll all sell out? It’s happening apparently. For goodness sake! Is there ever a moment’s peace where we can live in the moment, and not have to plough on to the next thing? I’m going to take a chance that every chocolate egg in Cork will not be snapped up, and wait it out. I don’t care if I’m just left with something like a Smarties egg, either. Besides, it would be far too risky for me to stock up already as I’d probably only eat them all.

• Anyone try the reverse vending machines yet to recycle their bottles and cans? I must confess I haven’t, yet. I’ve an awful fear of anything ‘newfangled’, and that still includes the bread-cutting machine in the supermarket. I’ve a tendency to panic and then do the opposite of what the very clear instructions say and as recently as last week managed to cause a bit of chaos at a local car wash (I would tell the story but you sort of had to be there but it involved me pressing wrong buttons and trying to reverse out when there were lots of other cars queuing behind me. Let’s say it wasn’t my best moment). So if you see me standing at a bottle recycling machine any time soon I’d say give me a wide berth as there’s a good chance some fiasco is incoming. Come back later, or maybe go to another shop entirely, that might be a safer bet.

• Anyway, I enjoyed a lovely few days away last weekend in the Banner county – that’s Clare for those of you who are as woeful at geography as I am (thank the lord for Google maps). I hadn’t been there in years, since childhood I think and I can confirm that, as the song says, it most definitely is a long way from Clare to here ... and yes, it grows further by the day, especially on the way home if you were a bit over enthusiastic about life the night before, like we may have been.

It was worth it though (although the Mallow to Cork stretch of road has to be the longest stretch of road in the country, right?). I almost didn’t make it at all, in fact, because as is always the case when you plan a night away, someone gets sick. I was congratulating my smallie for not succumbing to any bugs in months, but she turned green and started puking when I was T-24. Murphy’s Law and all the rest.

Around 234 WhatsApp messages later from the ‘girls weekend away’ group, it was decided that I should cast the mom-guilt aside and sure by the time I got to Charleville she had done a Lazarus and was at home asking for ice cream, so it all worked out grand.

• Clare is a stunning county with beaches that could nearly (but not quite) rival our own and you’re always in the better of catching up with pals. Three decades of friendship is not to be sneezed at and we literally didn’t stop talking for two days. If the walls of our Airbnb could talk (we’d have a lot of explaining to do)!

Topics of conversation included husbands, hormones, HRT, Gaza, gut health, dinners, air fryer versus the slow cooker, anxiety, sandwiched generation, what to put in your kids lunchbox if they don’t eat sandwiches, how amazing One Day was, how to get better sleep, how to get any sleep at all, and back to husbands and hormones.

We all left pledging to do it again in six months’ time, but it will probably be more like 12 months, as everyone’s busy and we’re a bit exhausted from all the WhatsApp messages it took to organise this getaway. My point is that weekends like that are invaluable to know that we’re all doing the best we can, in it together and all the rest.

We all went home feeling lighter – just emotionally, that is, as there was a lot of cheese and crisps consumed!

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