I know that there is, somewhere in the universe, an enormous scale of problems ranging from “Porsche not the leather trim color I wanted” to “Zombie apocalypse and completely out of bullets.” And on the internet, if you are to complain about anything one unit on the scale below another person’s problems, well, boy, get ready to get “First World Problems Hashtag Hashtag Hashtag!!!!” screamed in your face until they pass out from lack of oxygen. I know that there are greater problems than these, but damn, if they don’t just chap your ass for the rest of the day when they happen.
1. When you start running out of hot water halfway through your shower. I don’t know what it is exactly, but when I am standing under my shower and what was, only two short minutes ago, a scaldingly beautiful sauna of personal joy, has now become an increasingly tepid stream of water — I want to kill someone. It’s just this feeling that everything is changing out from underneath me and I have absolutely no control. There is no happiness in a lukewarm, even cold, shower. And I feel that if someone were to kill a roommate in a fit of fiery rage, using all of the hot water on a regular basis would be a perfectly acceptable defense.
2. Not getting some breakfast in the morning. I used to be one of those people who never eats breakfast. I was also, strangely enough, one of those people who sort of collapses at her desk around 11:30 every day. The thing is, I really don’t have much of an appetite when I first wake up, but you pretty much just have to force yourself to get something down. If you don’t, you’ll start shaking like a whippet a few hours into your day and then proceed to eat your weight in pasta at lunch, at which time your metabolism will have already switched into “starvation mode” as you have not eaten in 15 hours, and be sure to conserve every last carb you even look at to punish you for your sins.
3. Slaving over a text to someone you like, only to get one word in response. We’re generally talking about the kind of texts here that you have to sort of close your eyes and hold the phone away from yourself as you press “send” so that you can’t stop yourself from doing it. That text that you’ve spent about 45 minutes crafting so it’s the perfect combination of coy, detached, flirtatious, intriguing, witty, and sexy, that ends up sounding so desperate you can hear yourself sweating through the screen. What do you respond to “ok?” Or the dreaded “lol” with absolutely no context? At this point I usually consider that person a loss on every possibly level and avoid them for the rest of my natural life, like an adult.
4. Wanting one food all day only and not being able to attain it. Personal story time here: Recently, a Chipotle opened here in Paris. As you can imagine, this was similar to being 5 years old and having a Six Flags open up in your living room, only much, much cooler. The day I found out it was available (and didn’t have a line wrapping the block for the stupid opening promotion they were doing), I mentally prepared myself to get a sweet, sweet barbacoa bowl from the moment I woke up until the moment I made it down there around dinner time, after I had gotten everything done that day. All work, errands, and personal commitments had been taken care of, allowing for me to just sink into that plastic chair and let the grace wash over me. I arrived to find said chair being put up on the table, as they had just served their last burrito a mere five minutes ago. I had missed it. I had missed my Chipotle, and all of the months’ worth of preparation was for naught. I don’t want to say I cried, but I might have cried.
5. Wearing an outfit you realize is bogus the moment you step out the door. There are few things worse than realizing, the second it’s too late to back and change, that your outfit looks like something your grandmother would have dressed you in as a child, shortly after her cataract surgery. Whether it’s ill-fitting, not ironed, mismatched colors in the harsh light of day, or simply still bearing that red wine stain you could have sworn you’d gotten rid of, it sucks. You walk around all day longing to just jump into the nearest shopping mall and roll around on the racks until you come out wearing something that at least looks like a functional adult put it together. Essentially, you just feel like the nerdy kid at school for the entire day, and wish you could go up to everyone and be like, “I don’t normally look like this! I’m normally an acceptable member of society!”
6. Forgetting to put on deodorant in the morning. Oh, god. The moment when you feel the prickly sweat coming, and realize in a moment of pure terror that you are, indeed, not wearing a lick of anti-perspirant, is one of the worst I can think of. Not only is it unpleasant in itself, but it proves to be an incredibly vicious cycle. You get worried that you’re sweating, so you sweat, so you freak out that you’re getting sweat marks, so you sweat some more, and eventually it looks like someone just doused a bucket of water on you while you were walking to work. This usually happens, it should be noted, when you’re wearing a light top. God wants to ensure maximum humiliation potential.
7. Having a plan you were really looking forward to be cancelled last-minute. I think the worst part about this, despite the acute disappointment and what is likely the wasting of a cute-ass outfit, is the fact that it’s socially unacceptable to respond with the real amount of anger. You can’t just call the person and be like “You unbelievable human cyst. We’ve been planning to go to this new restaurant for two weeks, and you cancel literally 3 hours before we’re supposed to go. This is why everyone secretly hates you and, frankly, me even agreeing to go out with you was getting some charity. It’ll be a tax write-off at the end of the year. Go to hell.” Of course, this probably isn’t true, but it’s certainly what we feel at the moment–especially if it’s a date we’ve been particularly pumped about. In that case, I think it’s acceptable to kill the canceller in his/her sleep to make an example of them.
8. Realizing there is something you still have to do the minute you curl up in bed. Whether it’s an essay, a work assignment, or just some stupid personal paperwork, there is nothing worse than having your eyelids slap open as you’re just getting comfortable, reminding you that, no, you have miles to go before you sleep. Is there anything harder than peeling yourself out of bed and setting everything back up, pulling up to your desk in your jammies as you put yourself back into “civilized human” mode and try to crank out some work as fast as possible. If it’s for work or school, you can be sure that that thing is going to barely scrape the bottom of the literacy barrel and be just passable enough not to make whoever’s reading this question your home life. It’s at moments like this where we seriously consider why we’re even in school, or what purpose these jobs really serve. As our eyes struggle to stay open in front of a glowing computer screen in a darkened room, it’s the moment where we honestly think, “I bet drug dealers and prostitutes don’t have to file progress reports.” And you know what? I bet they don’t.