First World Problems Contest

We are so lucky and have so much.

I, personally, have lived a charmed life.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have problems and complaints, but I’d say my frustrations are pretty minor.

For instance, this morning I stepped in cat vomit as I was getting ready for work.  While untimely and disgusting, stepping in cat upchuck hasn’t damaged me in any apparent permanent manner.  When it happened I had instant access to water and soap to wash my foot, a clean pair of socks, and a designated rag, scrubby brush and special carpet cleaner to make the watery, hairball-filled, partially-digested food mess disappear.

Then there are the frustrating, petty experiences that I can’t complain about, because to do so would would make me look like total a total asshole.  Like my annoyance this morning at having to settle for a Cherry slushie because the regular Coke slushie machine was broken.  What asshole would even put a “problem” like that in print?  Oh…

A broken slushie machine is an example of a First World Problem.

Urban Dictionary defines First World Problems as “Problems from living in a wealthy, industrialized nation that third worlders would probably roll their eyes at.”

Aw, crap, I don’t know which 1 carat diamond encrusted platinum ring to buy!

In my far from exhaustive Bing search I found several websites that catalog examples of First World Problems, a Facebook site, and a Twitter hashtag devoted to these usually intentionally funny anecdotes of the issues that nag at those of us living relatively high on the hog.

As human beings we tend to get wrapped up in ourselves, but we also know that somewhere someone else has it harder than us.  The thing that I like about highlighting our First World Problems is that it illustrates just how silly we can get about our day-to-day experiences, and it serves to remind me that there are bigger problems to address.

So let’s address them – at least in a small way – and have a good laugh at ourselves in the meantime.

I introduce to you, my dear readers:

The First World Problems Contest!

Here’s how it works:

  1. In the blog comments post a First World Problem (FWP) that is plaguing your day.
  2. At the end of the contest I will compile all of the entries and create a poll of my favorite 5-10 FWPs.
  3. YOU, the readers, will have to opportunity to to vote for your favorite FWP.  The submission with the most votes wins.
  4. I will email the winner a $25 Kiva gift certificate! is a microlending website that allows individuals to loan money to low-income entrepeneurs from all over the world.  You go to the website, browse the small business owners or groups who are seeking funds and then you lend your $25 to someone who wants to put it to good use.  The business owner repays the loan over time (if all goes as planned), then you can choose to roll your returned investment into another loan!

The Hubby and I participate in Kiva.  We enjoy learning about the work that others are doing in different parts of the world, and it feels good to be a part of an organization that is getting these entrepeneurs the funds they need to help their businesses grow.

Contest Details and Guidelines

  • Comments are open NOW.  Entries will be closed at 8pm (+/- a few minutes) central time on Sunday (1/9/11).
  • On Monday I will post the poll with my favorite FWPs.  The poll will be open until 8pm (+/- a few minutes) central time Wednesday (1/12/11).   I will tally your votes and announce the winner on Thursday.
  • The Kiva gift certificate will be delivered to the winner by email.
  • Anyone can post, and you can enter as many times as you like, but my top favorite entries will not include multiple submissions from any one contributor.
  • If the winner does not wish to claim the Kiva gift certificate, the contributer with the next greatest number of votes will have the option to accept it.  And so on.

I think that’s it.  Disclaimers…hmmm…I’m sponsoring this contest all on my own. is not involved with this blog.  Once you get the gift certificate, we’re done  – don’t get mad at me if you lose your $25 investment.  I recommend understanding how the lending process works before you get started.  (Kiva’s About sections and Terms and Conditions are a good place to begin)

Thanks in advance to everyone for visiting my blog and for participating in the First World Problems Contest!

First World Problems Contest

22 thoughts on “First World Problems Contest

  1. 2

    My FWP of today is that the wiper blades on my car need replacing. It’s not super important that they get replaced *today*, but I know the time is coming that there will be slush and spray coming from the road and I’ll have to pull off into a gas station and use the window washer thingy, making me late to wherever I’m trying to get to. They have needed replacing since last fall, but I’ve ignored it because it just seems like a pain in the ass of First World quality to slow down long enough to change them out.

  2. 4

    I went through airport security the other day. They used a machine that I’m sure allowed them to see parts of my body that I am very selective about who gets to see them. All that, just so that I could sit in a chair, a cloth reclining chair, and fly through the air at 600 miles per hour to get to a city on the other side of the ocean. Can you imagine the indignity of having to show my body to a security worker that I don’t even know?

  3. 5

    Today, in the well-stocked cafeteria at my comfortable, well-paying job, someone took the sushi I wanted just seconds before I got there! It was either the butt-sushi that was left, or a panini for me!

  4. 6

    I’m annoyed that my internet connection is a bit slower than usual today. Meanwhile, it’s raining and I don’t feel like walking down the road to buy some orange juice. Oh the trials of city life…

  5. L

    I stayed up late last night trying to figure out a feeding schedule for my baby today. That, by itself, could be a legitimate problem. But my issue? I had too many social activities today that I wanted to enjoy alone, or at least without my breast out.

    So I created a feeding schedule that allowed me to leave my kid in the offered childcare while I was at bible study and then the gym, and allowed me to enjoy knitting club without having to feed him during that time. Oh yeah, and make sure I didn’t have to wake up any earlier than 6am to shower and get dressed before waking him up at 7am.

    When I finished this schedule I went to bed, thinking about how HARD it is to be a mom. Thankfully, I did realize at the time how silly my “problem” was.

  6. 8

    My CD player in my card decided to trip out, so I was stuck listening to crappy music on the radio. I was pretty pissed about that for about 10 minutes until I reached my destination :/

  7. 9

    My iPod tragically went missing just before Christmas. Despite searching the car, house, and nearby snowbanks, it remains MIA.

    Yes, I still have CDs (I love my albums). Yes, I can still listen to my Macbook at home.

    But I can’t get my Wait, Wait – Don’t Tell Me! podcast fix in my car.

    Life without Carl Kassell. #firstworldproblems

  8. 10

    I woke up to this morning to find that I am out of Sprite. Hubby has the car, and I am too lazy to walk to the store to buy any. It’s ruined my whole day. Day without Sprite = cranky Diva!

  9. 11

    My First World Problem has a lot to do with what is wrong with us as a society, and though I am trying to avoid it at all cost, often I am just as guilty as so many other “First World Citizens”:

    I’m talking food here. And the effects of commercials such as the one for Yoplait Delights that seems to have solved the age-old dilemma of Delicious? or Low Calorie by claiming “Now, you can have both.”

    When did our goal in become to stuff our faces with calorie-reduced chemically altered snacks like overweight chipmunks on speed instead of eating nutritious meals to sustain our life? Why are we so obsessed with food in the first place? I don’t want to sound like a broken record and say what all of us grew up with, but really: What about those children in Africa? Would they choose whole milk or low-fat milk? Neither! They’d never had taken the fat out of the milk in the first place just to make it less nutritious just so that they can drink more of it. See how twisted that is?

    Seriously, shame on me.

  10. 12

    @Jana: We became obsessed with food because we, as animals, are programmed to seek food out. We are not biologically programmed to ignore food.
    It’s only been within the last ~century that any large subset of humans has reliably and consistently had more than enough to eat. We are hardwired to seek out food and consume it to prepare for the famine our instincts were developed to expect. It is as hardwired into us as our instinctive fear of fire or large predators. When faced with a temporary excess, our ancestors would also stuff themselves like your chipmunks…because they didn’t know when they would next see any food. The idea of “too much food” is as evolutionarily foreign to humans as breathing underwater.
    While it is unfortunate (and a problem that I don’t know how to fix) that many Westerns overeat while others go hungry, the cost of shipping our excesses to another continent would be so exorbitant as to bankrupt any nation that tried on any scale that would make a difference.

  11. 13

    Ok, I feel like a fatty after the last two posts about food….but my current FWP is: I’m out of potatoes.
    I was going to make them for dinner with chicken. I’d been looking forward to it all day.
    But. We are out of them. So I had a private little hissy about it because I can’t get to the store since I”m home alone with the kids and no one is here to watch them for 15 minutes so I could go to the store for some, and I ordered a pizza instead. A $25 fix to a problem I just don’t want to think about. Stupid potatoes.

  12. 14

    The worst day of last year began quite simply. I was out of diet coke. No problem. I had to get some gas, so I took the car up to St. Francis to fill up and buy diet coke. Got to the C-store, and they had no cold cans of diet coke. I went back home and got dressed, and got back in the car to go into the office. I stopped at the C-store in Anoka for a donut and a diet coke. There were no cold cans of diet coke. At this point, I’m wondering if I’m going to have to settle for a cold bottle or if I’m going to have to buy a warm 12-pack. I get back in the car and drive to work, stopping at the local stop and rob near my office so that I don’t go to work under caffeinated. I go to the refrigerated coolers, and start looking for the diet coke cans. They were out. I showed up at the office with a 20-ounce bottle significantly unhappier than I had a right to.

  13. 15

    My first world problem: my head hurts because too many people bought me drinks last night and I had to wake up at 6:00 to get ready for the Adult Entertainment Expo. I didn’t want to leave the warm white cocoon of my comped hotel room to be coiffed and made up and styled and dressed to spend the day signing things for horny porn fans.

  14. 16

    My laptop that has MS Office on it’s stupid battery is dying and the other laptop doesn’t have Office because I’ve been too lazy to bring it to the guy in uni who will install it for free.

  15. 17

    I like to have a banana every day and they only grow commercially 4000 miles away, so I have to buy them at the grocery store. When I buy them, they aren’t ripe enough to my liking for the first two days. Then they are perfect for about 4 days. Then they are overripe. But I buy them in bunches of 6 or 7. So some of every bunch, I have to eat either too ripe or too green.

  16. 18

    I bought a brand-new shiny smartphone just before Christmas and I’m still having trouble making it work. The touch keypad is endlessly annoying, and it makes my texting slow and full of spelling errors. I also find it annoying that I now have to carry a charger around with me because all the fancy applications drain the battery faster. I actually looked longingly at my old flip phone the other day because this new smartphone is just too smart, and it’s making me feel/look stupid.

Comments are closed.