Why first world problems never get old.
By CARIN MOONIN
I make really good banana smoothies. I know this isn’t a cooking site, but I have a point. They taste like bananas nabbed from the sunniest island tree mixed with melty banana bread whirled in an ice cream maker hand-cranked by lowfat angels.
This morning I made a really good one. As I was drinking it, I thought two things:
1) I’m hoping this will be a great start to a wonderful day!
2) Fuck. This better not be the highlight of my day.
Because I’m writing this column as the Hater, I bet you can guess which it was.
I’m in a bad mood. I’ve got more first world problems than I can shake an iPhone at. And I don’t care.
Is the concept of problems-not-really-problems overplayed? Probably. I feel like I hear the term more than I ever did, though Louis CK brought up the concept like forever ago (still love this excellent clip). And this Facebook page dedicated to them has been around a couple years yet still maintains some pretty fresh first-world concerns. Mashable posted some funny comics about them last week, too.
I assure you that I’m not making up shit to be upset about. They’re real, valid concerns. At least for me.
For example, ever since I turned 39, things have been going wrong. Overnight. Literally. I am currently elevating my foot for a problem I didn’t have just four weeks ago—at 38. I can’t run the marathon I’d been training for. Wah. And the other day I was getting into the pool at our local community center and someone thought not that I was taking the gentle recovery water aerobics class, but that I was its instructor.
I wonder if this is some cosmic preparation for hitting 40 next April. Because that might be like a fucking picnic compared to my one month of being 39.
First world: No one gives a shit about your demographic.
Third world: You turned 39. That’s like, 99 in some countries. And running marathons is a hobby, not a primary means of transportation. Get over yourself.
Yeah yeah, I’m happy I’m alive. I’m glad for the roof over my head and clothes, and banana smoothies, a mate, and a job, and much more. This isn’t Thanksgiving, but I know I have a lot to be thankful for. I get it.
But that doesn’t make me stop bitching. And why should it?
Acknowledging thanks for what we have can be so treacly and boring. Sites like White People Problems bond us. Are they shallow? Sure. Who gives a shit? Shallow first world problems—they’re funny. Just be happy that you can relate.
Because isn’t that the point of the internet? To shamelessly share what shames us?
Carin Moonin is a writer living in Portland, Ore. Sometimes she’ll even tweet about things she hates at @carinwrites.
Photo by Chris Pederick/Flickr
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