Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Initially I was thrilled when this whole 'first world problem' thing came about, because we truly did need something to encapsulate how deeply pathetic most of our day to day complaints are. Speaking as someone who is annoyed daily there's not a Waitrose near my house, breaks out in a cold sweat thinking about the possibility of running out of coffee, and yells at people in the street for walking slowly (and being in love, but that's another story), I am happy to put my hand up and say that yes, my problems are largely first world and yes, I am a douche bag. However, where 'first world problems' once acknowledged we should be ashamed to proclaim these issues as genuine 'problems', now it's basically just another way of boasting about things.

Tonight there are 664, 195 post on Instagram that feature #firstworldproblems. I had to look this up to prove my point and truly, there are some things you wish you can unsee. The first is a guy holding two Starbucks cups with the caption 'Too much free Starbucks #firstworldproblems'...Listen Hunter, I drink a lot of Starbucks, so I'm not about to rag on you for drinking from the green straw of the devil, but getting FREE Starbucks is not exactly what I would describe as a problem. The only way this really is a difficult issue, is if you asked for 2 extra hot, half shot, vanilla cappuccinos and you dropped both of them in your lap. I actually hope this happened to you.

Then there's some guy called Olaf who claims he has too many Porsches...I just, I mean, I can't even be bothered to rant about that one. What about Julie, who actually took the time to Instagram an empty roll of toilet paper to complain that it upsets her when someone doesn't replace the toilet roll. To top it all off, she's even used several more hashtags including #shitsmetotears (poor choice of words Jules) and #toilet. I really can't imagine a time I would need to use #toilet on social media, nor for that matter search for it. #gross.

To be fair on Jules, this isn't the worst example I've seen. I mean there are plenty of selfies of really pretty girls complaining about...I don't even know. This 'cometothedarksidewehavecandy' has just posted a really nice picture of herself (above) looking like she's from a hair care commercial, and sandwiched #firstworldproblems right between #healthygirls and #babe. Oh man...I'm just so sorry you're a healthy babe. I might go around to some homeless people in London and see if they can spare some change to buy you a wheatgrass shot.

You're probably sighing heavily and hoping I'll finally get to point instead of just bitching...so here it is. I am proposing an alternative, and I assure you it is already catching on. #shortbread.

Hear me out on this. It all started when I was out having a few drinks with some French friends. It was a sunny day, we were drinking pints and somehow in discussion about things that are consumed on hot days, my friend says (in a thick French accent) 'Ugghh...there is nothing worse, than eating a shortbread on an 'ot day'. That is 'hot day' if you take out the French accent. You can imagine my response.
'Really? Are you sure? NOTHING worse than eating a shortbread on a hot day? Not murder? Human trafficking? Even petty theft?'
'It is just,' he replied dramatically. 'Shortbread is so dry, and when your mouth is already dry because it is 'ot, it is 'orrible.'

You see my point. #shortbread. Here's an example of a time my friend Ruthie has used this effectively via Whatsapp. 'The wifi is shit here. I feel like a pilgrim. Shortbread'. Here's another from my flatmate Jules (not toilet roll Jules) who had something of an issue when she ordered the wrong size hammock stand online. Once assembled and the hammock placed in it, she realised it was way too small and she was essentially just sitting on the ground in an expensive sheet. As a result, she dramatically declared she was giving up her life long dream of having a hammock to enjoy in summer. The next day I bought her a card, and in it I wrote 'Keep Calm and Eat a Shortbread'.

You all know I love a moan and a rant, but I think we all need a reminder there are people out there with real problems who we need to support. It's probably too late for us to reclaim #firstworldproblems, which is why I'm choosing #shortbread. Because there are a lot of things worse than eating shortbread on a hot day, and it pays to remember it.
Images via Instagram

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