They May Be First World Problems- but They’re MY First World Problems [California Seething]

Let’s keep it real- I don’t have any problems. Not really. I’m not a Haitian earthquake survivor still struggling to rebuild or a Somalian child born into a world of famine and strife or the (former) Head Electrician of the New Orleans Superdome who painstakingly rebuilt his life after Hurricane Karina only to lose everything to Hurricane Beyonce- or should I say Hurricane Mrs. Carter (not to be confused with the former First Lady who has her own Mrs. Carter show “Fuck Habitat for Humanity, could you fix the fucking shelf in the kitchen already?”) And don’t tell me that you believe that “electrical relay” Jay-Z cover-up story- it had to be Beyonce who blew the power with her thousands of lights, dozens of video screens and two super-powerful mind control rays aimed at Michelle and Kelly to keep them from pouncing on top of her and stabbing her repeatedly like Ray Lewis in a production of Julius Caesar (“I come to bury Caesar not to praise him. The only person I’m gonna praise is JESUS!”) No- the only conclusion we can draw is that the Superdome was not ready for this jelly. You’re doing a heck of a job, Beyonce.

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking a lot about people like Haitian earthquake survivors and all the other millions of poor schmucks around the world who would absolutely LOVE to have problems like mine (Oh. I’m sorry? Did I just manage to work this week’s obligatory Fierce & Nerdy “Love” theme into this post in the second paragraph? BOOM! That’s how it’s done, kid. Ain’t no arbitrary theme that I can’t incorporate in a totally half-assed and gratuitous way. Bring on Book Week, motherfuckas! ) because I’ve been really stressed out about buying a couch. As everybody knows, buying a couch is one of the most stressful things you can do as an over-privileged white American in a temperate climate with a steady income, no dependents and a Vision Plan. And I’m not the only one who thinks so-  buying a couch was recently rated as one of the top five most stressful things in life by White People Problems Magazine- right up there with getting that pesky color balance just right on your brand new Vizio 50” LED 3D flat screen; getting the most out of the power management system on your Certified Pre-Owned Lexus Hybrid; finding a new brand of edamame hummus at Trader Joe’s after they suddenly and with no warning stopped selling the only kind that your precious little 2 year old Eamon will tolerate; and trying to figure out why the rest of the world FUCKING HATES YOUR FUCKING GUTS SO FUCKING MUCH. Maybe it’s because you give your kids names like “Eamon” or “Tagg”. Cracker ass cracker cracker.

So, sure, buying a new couch is a problem- but I think we can all agree that it’s a First World Problem. In fact, it may just be the ultimate First World Problem. Consider this- in order to shop for a new couch one must:

  1. Have a couch to begin with. Would you believe me if I told you that 75% of the world’s people don’t own a couch? Seriously? You would? Why??? You think I actually research this shit? When have I ever said anything on this blog that has been remotely credible? You do know there’s no White People Problems Magazine- right?? I mean, you can’t believe everything you see online. Seriously, dude, I’m worried about you and so are your Nigerian business partners and your super-hot dead Polynesian girlfriend. We love you, man. (Oh oh oh- did I just drop another L-Bomb! BOOM! I’m en fuego! Which is Spanish for “being a real jerk about this whole ‘love week’ thing.”)

So- right, I have no idea how many people don’t own sofas. Nobody does. The only people who have access to that information are quirky computer nerds in lazily written crime shows: “We know the killer had no sofa and that he was an amateur competitive hula-hooper who wore a  tu-tu. Garcia- get me the names of all males 25 – 34 in the Baltimore area who don’t have sofas and cross reference that against the list of competitive hula-hoopers who wear tu-tu’s. Now pull out Aerosmith fans- but just the ones that think the band totally sold out after “Dude Looks Like a Lady”. Hey, look at that- we’ve got a match- and it just happens to be the killer. THIS SHIT WORKS EVERY TIME!!” Honestly, in the real world, I would just settle for a list of “mentally unstable individuals who absolutely should never, ever, ever own guns” that we could cross check with “potential gun buyers” – only, of course, the NRA will never actually let this happen because Wayne LaPierre could never buy another gun . Come to think of it, we don’t really need a list of “mentally unstable individuals who absolutely should never, ever, ever own guns” because we already have the list of “NRA Members” and it’s the same damn thing.  Kidding! Kidding! Shit- DUCK!!!!


So…like I’m trying to say, there’s a lot of poor schmucks out there without couches, nobody knows exactly how many because how the fuck would anyone possibly know that, and I’ve got it better than all of them. So…yeah, that’s it I guess. Wow. That took a little longer than I expected.


  1. Decide all of a sudden that you’re sick of the sofa that you’re lucky enough to have in the first place and you feel like getting another one.
  2. Have the time and money to go couch shopping.
  3. Have the sheer fucking audacity to actually complain about it. Hey- wanna feel like a jerk? Well just imagine yourself Skyping some poor schmuck in a shack with a leaking tin roof sitting on a straw mat with a small bowl of cassava that he’s too exhausted to eat after an 18 hour day mining blood diamonds for Kay (“every kiss begins with slaves”) and telling him how stressed out and exhausted you are after spending HOURS sitting on the comfy-wumfy cushy-wushy particularly well padded American couch that you currently own while scouring the internet for a NEW comfy-wumfy cushy-wushy particularly well padded American couch to park your comfy-wumfy cushy-wushy incredibly well padded American ass (or, let’s be honest- while your wife sits on the couch next to you scouring the internet for a new couch while  you watch Top Gear re-runs and occasionally lean over to say “oooh, looks good” or “nope. Too taupe.”) And then, horror of horrors, you have to drive around ALL SUNDAY in your recently manufactured, quiet, well designed, fuel efficient, reliable car while listening to your music collection of 1687 songs from the past 40 years all sorted, organized and served up at your bequest on your sleek and remarkably affordable Chinese made music player on reasonably well maintained, well policed roads to one brightly lit, climate controlled furniture store after another so you can SIT in one comfy-wumfy, cushy-wushy, particularly well-padded American couch after another in an effort to determine just which couch is the most, hands-down, no-question, absolutely just right place to plant your fat ass, contribute nothing to humanity and bitch about the color balance on your brand new Vizio 50” LED 3D flat screen. Oh the humanity! Call Bruce Springsteen- throw a relief concert! I’m fuckin’ suffering!

But here’s the thing- it IS fucking exhausting and it IS fucking stressful. And even though I may be LUCKY and BLESSED to have the PRIVILEGE to be able to complain about shopping for furniture in LA, it’s still an incredibly annoying thing to do. Not only does it involve driving around LA trying to get something done- which, frankly, is never a good idea, it involves coming face to face with the two polar extremes of terrible retail experiences. Either dark, musty storefronts on Venice Blvd with names designed to break an English teacher’s heart (Interiors Made Eeezy, Sofa U Love) by torturing the language like a Bush era terrorist- you know, before we just killed them with drones (oh waterboarding. How quaint. Go on, you) shoved between a tire shop and a Caribbean restaurant and crammed wall to wall with velour and pleather and sales people bursting out of their cheap purple suits with Glengarry Glen Ross, “put me on the Cadillac board” desperation. Or vast airy rooms with wood beams and duct work exposed at great expense to give the place an unfinished look like a male model who spends hours in front of the mirror to make his hair look like he just woke up, architectural lighting fixtures- and by “architectural” I mean they cost as much as a fucking house, a thumping techno beat and sales people as poised and as perfect as mannequins and just as fucking useful. I mean, I don’t want to talk too much shit about the place we bought our couch because they haven’t delivered it yet and could still pour cat piss on the cushions (that totally happened to my best-friend’s cousin’s roommate. I swear) so I’ll just say that it sounds like “Groomed and Bored” and that describes all the employees. Seriously, if I wanted to sit on fashionable furniture and be ignored by beautiful gay men I’d go to a Tony viewing party in WeHo with a “Yes on Prop 8” t-shirt. Damn them and their stupid ass face and their absolutely perfect comfy-wumfy cushy-wushy particularly well-padded American couch that we bought as soon as we could get one of the Groomed and Bored mannequins to notice us. Fuck them.

So, yeah, I’ve got First World problems and, whatever, they may be legit, but I still feel like an asshole complaining about them. So what am I supposed to do about that? Well, I suppose I could stop complaining. I mean, that’s one thing I could do. I could also go to the gym and iron my shirts and finally learn to drive and ice-skate through hell and commute to work on a flying pig. Yes, I could do a lot of things- but I’m not gonna. So, what are my other options?

Well, one great way I’ve found very recently to make myself feel like less of an asshole for complaining about First World Problems is watching Downton Abbey (not to be confused with “Downtown Abby” who was a V.J. for a short while in the 1980’s before she died tragically in a curling iron accident). And, yes, this is three years after the rest of the world discovered it so please DON’T TELL ME WHAT’S HAPPENING. LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU I CAN’T HEAR YOU I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT. Please tell me what’s going on. Do they break the entail? No! Don’t! Must resist! Does Mary find love? Does Bates find love? Do the two old ladies finally stop fighting and just make out already? NO DON’T TELL ME. LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU) because whatever First World White People Problems I think I’ve got, they can’t even begin to compare with the First World White People Problems of Lord & Lady Grantham and the rest of their brood. Hell, the British invented the First World (by colonizing the rest of it) – and, let’s face it, nobody’s whiter than a bunch of pasty faced British aristocrats thanks to hemophilia and inbreeding. And, while I may be stressed out about buying a new couch, at least I’m not trying to figure out how to ensure that my wife’s fortune remains a part of my ancestral estate while ensuring my daughter’s future prosperity so that nobody in my family ever has to contemplate the horror of GETTING  A FUCKING JOB. Now that’s some First World bull-shit! Hell, compared to those crackers I’m a Chinese factory worker. Even the servants have First World Problems- I mean, sure they’re working hard and all- but they’ve got like the greatest boss in the history of mankind. Seriously- what do you have to do to get fired from that joint? It’s like:

Mrs. Hughes: Lord Grantham, the cook is going blind- we simply must do something.

Grantham:  I couldn’t agree more. Let’s send her to London for eye surgery!

Mr. Carlson: Lord Grantham, we have incontrovertible evidence that Thomas has been stealing and trying to frame the Valet who is one of your oldest friends. We simply must let him go.

Grantham: I hate to create that kind of disturbance when things are so unsettled. Can’t it just wait ten or twenty years?

Mrs. Hughes: My lord, we’ve discovered that Mosley has been dismembering the village girls and burying them under his rose garden.

Grantham: My word! That is serious! That must be how he gets such magnificent roses. We simply must award him the Grantham cup at this year’s flower show.

No wonder they’re always plotting against each other and stealing wine and causing miscarriages- they’re bored out of their minds! They have no real problems at all to worry about except for working every minute of every day of every week of their entire lives for a bunch of useless rich ingrates who can’t wipe their own ass without a valet, a chauffeur and a Second Assman until they drop dead of “scurvy” or “dropsy” or some other adorably named turn of the century disease (who can forget the legendary Victorian “Dropsy the Bear” books including Dropsy the Bear Goes Fishing, Dropsy the Bear Goes to London, and Dropsy the Bear Coughs Up Blood in the Hospital and Dies Painfully which is a total rip off of Alice in Wonderland with less creepy little girl fixation and more preventable death.)

The point here is- no matter how good you think you’ve got it, the good people at Downton have it way better- so no matter how petty, insignificant and trivial you think your problems are- theirs are a whole lot more so.

Plus- look at it this way. Sooner or later, some seriously bad shit is going to happen to most of us. Wars start, fortunes are lost, aristocracies topple, hurricanes strike, the earth quakes, diseases ravage us. And when seriously bad shit like this does happen- one of the things that consoles us is thinking back on the silly people we used to be and all the stupid things we once stressed out about. Now, do you really want to deprive Future Real-Problem You of the opportunity to scoff at Present Petty First World Problem You? No! You’d have to be some kind of bastard to do that, like Thomas. Is he still a bastard? SHUT UP! DON’T TELL ME!!!!

And you know what else? I don’t need an excuse to complain about my first world problems-‘cause they’re MY first world problems- and I’ll whine if I want to, whine if I want to, whine if I want to. You would whine, too- all of you poor couchless sons on bitches- if they happened to you. No matter how many of your there are.

P.S.- I hereby reserve the right to write a post a dedicated Downton Abbey just as soon as I’m caught up. I’ve started to really love that show. Hey- how about that? Another L-Bomb. BOOM.

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