Who's asking: Paul Tomme, Arlington, TX
Irony, for those of you who never saw "Reality Bites," is the use of words to express something different from (and often opposite to) the apparent meaning. It's also an incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs.
I overuse it, mostly as a crutch to hold myself aloof and pretend I don't care about things I care deeply about -- so much so, that friends don't always recognize it when I am being sincere, and take offense when I really do mean to compliment them.
9/11 was supposed to be the end of irony, but turns out to have been only a temporary interruption.
Anyway, the Alanis Morissette song is full of things that are disappointments, but not ironies:
A black fly in your Chardonnay (not ironic)
A death-row pardon two minutes too late (maybe, but only if the person being executed was a hanging judge)
Rain on your wedding day (not ironic -- in fact, good luck in many cultures)
A free ride when you've already paid (possibly ironic)
Good advice that you just didn't take (not ironic, without additional information)
Ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife (not ironic)
Meeting the man of your dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife (story of my life, but not ironic)
Two situations in the song do meet the criteria for irony, I think: the man who won the lottery and died the next day, and the man who was afraid to fly whose plane crashed.
It's another beautiful day, and I might go look at seedlings this afternoon. Someone has offered me garden space, and hope springs eternal.