Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Food for Thought: First World Problems

My current Internet meme obsession is the growing list of complaints being posted to various boards with the hash tag #firstworldproblems.  Idea behind "First World problems" is that Americans complain about things that would cause folks in the Third World to roll their eyes - or kick us square in our collective nards, if they were in range.

Here's a sampling:

I don't have enough dip for my chips, but if I open another container I won't have enough chips for my dip.

My hand is too fat to shove into the Pringles container, so I am forced to tilt it.

Someone in the office heated up fish for lunch, and now the office smells like fish.

I'm single, because my culture doesn't practice arranged marriages.

I never know what to ask for for Christmas, because I always buy things that I want when I want them.

I forgot to take my iPhone into the bathroom, so I was bored while I was in there.

This software update requires me to restart my computer, but I have a bunch of programs running that I don't want to close.

My GPS routed me through the ghetto.

I dare you to tell me that you haven't complained about these, at least once:

"United States" wasn't at the top of the dropdown menu, so I had to scroll all of the way down to "U."  (I curse the existence of Tennessee every time I try to check out of an e-commerce site, and typing "T" to bring up the name of my state generates two options.)

My feet are cold, but I can't put socks on because I just painted my toenails.

I missed the Thursday night comedies last night, and had to wait until this morning to catch them on Hulu.

The following items off of actual "First World Problems Web" sites happened to me this week, and I complained about them, a little, in my head:

It was raining this morning, but then it stopped, and now I look like an idiot carrying an umbrella around.

There was no traffic today, so I ended up arriving at work too early.

Facebook keeps telling me I have a message, but I already read it.

LinkedIn's icon is too similar to other blue icons on my smartphone, so I keep clicking it accidentally.

I also took note of these First World problems highlighted, somewhat ironically, on the Web site of the "Occupy Fort Worth" protest movement:

There is now a table with electricity setup so those with cell phones, cameras and laptops can get a recharge. This helps because yesterday, many had to use a car to get a charge, with some running to keep the batteries from going down.  (This prompted a friend to note, "So I guess all corporations are greedy and evil . . . except Apple.  And Motorola.  And Samsung.  And Canon.  And Dell . . . .")

_______________ is arranging some porta-potties to facilitate the nature calls that we all have from time to time. More information on that as it comes in.

The last one, I think, definitely would elicit a nard kick out of the collective populace of the Third World.

It's been a heck of a week, and it's only Wednesday, so it's helping me to cope by focusing on the fact that, really, all of my problems are First World problems:

I sleep on the left side of the bed.  At the house, there was a plug on the left side of the bed, but in the apartment the plug is on the right side - so if I am sitting in bed working on my laptop and the battery charges down, I have to move to the right side in order to plug it into the wall.

I have too many Junior League-related time commitments this week, but I have to get as many hours in at the resale shop this month as I can, in order to reserve sufficient time in November and December for packing and unpacking.  I really want to attend a networking happy hour tomorrow night, but it conflicts with Parnell's tennis league.  And the charity luncheon that I am attending on Friday conflicts with Rotary Club, and I really miss my friends from Rotary Club. 

I needed to find a specific provision to incorporate into a contract today, but the search term involved was too generic to effectively use Microsoft's search feature.  Thus, I had to manually search files for a document with that provision.

The contractor hasn't told us when the floors will be 100% removed, so we can't provide the plumber with a time window for replacing the plumbing, but the plumber hasn't given us a bid, anyway, and we still don't have a bid on the kitchen or an idea of how many square feet or linear feet of material we will need, which sucks, because there is a sidewalk sale at a kitchen place nearby, and if we see something that we like and that's scandalously cheap, we won't know how much to buy. 

(Note to self:  When stressing over the mechanics of replacing plumbing, take a moment to be grateful for actually having plumbing when others have to use a hole in the ground, or, in the case of certain local protestors, a hole in a shed.)

I frequently remind clients who are whining about the tax implications of their successful business ventures that paying taxes is a good problem to have - it means that you are doing something right.  And I frequently give myself a similar lecture:  most of the "problems" that I have aren't problems so much as minor annoyances that accompany things that I am incredibly lucky to have.  Things like:  a loving family, an expansive network of good friends, a great job, multiple opportunities to serve my community, a roof over my head, food in my fridge and clothes on my back.

An embarrassment of riches, really.

And my new shorthand note to self any time I lose sight of the embarrassment of riches with which I have been blessed:  #firstworldproblems.  Boils the lecture down into one convenient hashtag.

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