I Don’t Need to Be Reminded That My Problems Are Occurring in the First World

10.27.11 6 years ago 184 Comments

Yesterday, the AA battery that powered my wireless mouse died, and because I didn’t have time to search my apartment for batteries, I worked for about 30 minutes using my laptop’s touchpad, a loathsome task for me at work because I’m completely dependent on the click-wheel. After I finally dug a new battery out of my toolbox, I was going to write a humorous tweet about it, complaining about the AGONY I had just endured.

But then I stopped myself, because I just KNEW that someone would have replied “DURRRR #firstworldproblems” or “#whitewhine” or some crap like that. And to the people who might be inclined to do that, please accept this message from the bottom of my heart:


I don’t need to be reminded that I live in a first-world country, okay? I don’t need to be reminded that I’m privileged to lead a life of relative ease.

I lived in a tent for two months in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert. I’ve worn a MOPP suit in 115-degree heat during a four-week period in which I didn’t have access to a shower. I went three months without a drink of cold water. I once made one of my Marines take a shovel and move the rotting dog carcass away from our position because the smell was too intense; it left a black smear on the pavement, speckled with the white of maggots. I’ve spent a month in the moonscape of the Egyptian desert. I’ve vacationed in warm second-world countries that have nice beaches, and it makes me thankful that our roads are paved and not patrolled by packs of feral dogs. I lived in a sheep field in Iraq, where I once spent a night simultaneously pissing out of my ass while vomiting up the crackers and water I ate between bouts of diarrhea. When people complain about rain, I say, “It’s really not so bad unless you have to sleep in it,” because I have slept in it, and it fucking sucks. I’ve felt the suffocating burn of tear gas. I’ve walked on feet so blistered they looked like raw hamburger. I’m aware of radiation poisoning in Japan; famine in East Africa; the devastating earthquake in Turkey.

There is a gigantic, unfathomable collection of pain and misery throughout the world, and none of it lessens the cramping in my wrist from working on my laptop’s touch pad. So go ahead, fucking tell me I’ve got first-world problems, asshole. +1 to you, twatcunt. You’re oh so incredibly witty.

Hey, I get it. It was funny for a while. And it serves a purpose for people who are sincerely complaining that the champagne’s not Korbel. But I’m not bitching about how hard it is to find a milliner who makes top hats with sufficient velvet. I’m trying to joke about small annoyances that might resonate with other people. It’s already understood that it’s a first-world problem. That’s why I’m sending it out on Twitter, and not calling UNICEF.

You ever break an iPhone before you had the chance to buy an iPhone cover? Been fucked over by a cable company? Waited in line at the DMV? Walked down four flights of a walk-up building only to realize you left your grocery list upstairs? Tipped someone even though they gave you shitty service? That shit is REAL, goddammit, and it’s annoying as fuck. I shouldn’t have to say to say, “Well, this isn’t as bad as the polar ice caps melting, but road construction woke me up early this morning.” Let me have 140 characters without perspective, okay?

So unless you’re tweeting at me from a humanitarian station in Somalia, lay off the shithead @ reply, because you’re not any fucking better than me. I’ve got first-world problems, and just because they don’t suck as much as an AIDS epidemic doesn’t mean that they don’t suck. Fuck you.

And don’t get me started on #humblebrag.

(image via)

[Your Week 8 Meast is Drew Brees, with an honorable mention to DeMarco Murray. Both players put up huge numbers against shitty defenses, but Brees gets the nod because he did it in primetime and he’s having an incredible season. Your Least is Philip Rivers. While we respect Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer combining for six INTs, Rivers losing track of the down and throwing the ball away on 4th down to lose the game is the kind of Leasty moment the award was made for.]

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