Have you ever had something minor bother you to the point of functional insanity? That is a real First World problem. Something in our ancient evolutionary development tells us that we will not survive if one thing or another is not driving us crazy. So we let the little things get to us.
Here is a short list of molehills that easily become mountains:
You bite your lip or your tongue. It hurts for a minute and leaves a rough, sore spot. Later, two of your teeth catch that bump, and you bite it again. The sore begins to heal. You accidentally bite it once more. This process continues for a couple of days, not helped by the fact that you keep playing with the bump using your tongue. Finally, you become so conscious of that damned sore that you stop chewing on that side of your mouth. That doesn’t work because the teeth on the other side of your mouth move along with the ones you are using, and two of them catch the sore again. You give up and go to bed.
Your coffee gets cold too fast, and you don’t feel like getting up and going into the kitchen to microwave it. You take a few big gulps to try to drink it all before it turns from lukewarm to icy, but there is still some left. You take more gulps. You choke. You finish choking and put the mug down. Five minutes later you take a sip, hoping that the coffee has heated itself by magic. The divine liquid is as cold as January in Alaska. You check the level of coffee in the mug to decide if there is enough left to bother with. If there isn’t much left, you let it be. If there is enough, you reluctantly get up, bring the offending brew into the kitchen and nuke it.
It’s winter, and it’s cold. You are wearing eyeglasses. You pull your scarf up over your nose to keep from breathing the cold air. The steam from your breath fogs up your glasses. You take them off, wipe them with the edge of your scarf and put them back on again. This time you cover your nose with your hand and try to direct your breath away from your eyes. Passers-by give you odd looks.
You walk around your house talking on your cell phone, all the while looking for your cell phone. Variation: You frantically search for your eyeglasses, only to find them on top of your head. You slap your head and giggle, to cover up the fact that you are embarrassed as hell.
You are trying hard to finish something with a deadline, and a ticking clock keeps reminding you that you don’t have much time left. The damned clock makes you so nervous that you make a mistake and have to do part of the task over again. You finish it with only minutes to spare. You reward yourself with a stiff drink and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
You buy some cookies, or crackers because the picture on the box looks delicious. You eat one, and it tastes like cardboard. You mutter a few choice words, remembering the money you spent and how much you were looking forward to a gourmet delight. You put the stuff away in the cupboard, thinking you might feed it to the birds tomorrow, and hoping the birds won’t take Hitchcock-style revenge on you for feeding them such swill.
You are talking excitedly on your cell phone, and you suddenly realize that the other person has already hung up. You blush with embarrassment and hang up, wondering if you have gone over your limit of minutes for the month.
You give your dog or cat a couple of treats, then you hold your hands up and say, “All gone.” The animal, who doesn’t speak English and who knows better anyway, continues to look at you. That makes you feel guilty, and you give your pet a few more treats, along with the stern warning, “This is all you’re getting!” Again, the furball knows better, and he/she will follow you into the kitchen the next time you go there.
These are just a few of the many annoying things that we who live in the wealthiest places in the world have to put up with.
Many thanks to Karen De Bonis, Jerie Briggs, Melissa Gray Hooper and Laura Milcsic for giving me ideas upon which I based some of the above examples.