The New Year of First World Problems

This year I spared myself the pain of failure of New Years Resolutions by cancelling them out totally. This is demonstrated by the fact that this post was started in January as a “New Years Resolution post“ but is only successfully published in March, Why? Because the pressure to follow through with blog posts  is WAY less.

For the past couple of years, I’ve had some hipster feelings about New Years Resolutions. People tell me all about theirs and I just sink into an emo abyss. New Year Resolutions are soooo oppressively mainstream. I came to this conclusion when I miserably failed at my lenten resolution a few years ago. If I didn`t have the willpower to keep my daily coffee intake to under three dessert bowl sized coffee mugs for 40 days, why cause more self-inflicted low self-esteem?

In my last post, I told the world that I became one of Canada newest landed immigrants. I’d like to think that the patriotic honeymoon phase will last eternally but the truth is, my newly minted Canadian status has been lacking some of its intial lustre lately.

Hardly two months after I became a resident and all the hoopla of immigration died out and my all friends stopped offering to take me for “celebratory coffees”, reality set in that my life hadn’t changed one bit.

The weather still displays asshole-like behavior, I still ride the same buses and Rob Ford is still the mayor of Toronto.

Mayor Rob Ford

Mayor Rob Ford

But I feel a sense of pride to be able to call myself a Torontonian even if the word ‘Torontonian’ sounds like a name given to baby T-Rex.

One of the things that became very apparent now that I’m an official resident was an overwhelming realisation of first world problems. They were always there and they`re now significantly magnfied since I don`t have third world problems to deal with anymore.

Here are some of the worst first-world problems I`ve had to deal with. Read it and weep for me.

1) The “high“ setting on my hair dryer is not high enough.

How hard is it for Sears to carry a brand of  hair dryers whose high setting doesn’t feel like a pair of butterfly wings fluttering around a lotus flower in the morning sunshine? Now I have to wait for this shitbox piece of crap to burn out until the next useless Conair I buy on sale. Life is pain.

2) The inability to cut avocadoes.

Anybody else think Canadian winters are the worst time to buy avocadoes? Those little bitches are hard as nails to cut up. Anyways, being the overflowing wellspring of patience that I am, I thought of a genius plan of quickening the avocado ripening process. Put the avocadoes in a brown paper bag and use my useless hair dryer to blow bursts of warm air in the bag. Fruit likes warmth right? Is avocado a fruit? My parents, past science teachers or anyone with two and half functionally firing neurons would have probably sighed with hopelessness at the sight of someone blowdrying avocadoes. No guacamole till April. Life is pain.

3) When your lipstick is done perfectly and you have to Roll up the Rim:

Every year, Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons contributes significantly to seasonal depressive disorder by inflicting the ever popular “Roll up the Rim” upon overcaffienated Canadians. Throngs of people line up at Timmies every morning, noon and night for their double-doubles with excitement and anticipation at the prospect of biting off the rim of a paper cup to see just how much of nothing they won. It’s like the shittiest orgasm in the history of life. You keep building up to the promise of something sweet ( a free stale carrot muffin) only to have all of it crashing to pieces around you when you get nothing. Because there is nothing like the words “Sorry, please try again“ to pep up your mojo.

No stale muffin, no lipstick and no orgasm. Life is pain.

Here’s one my co-worker Kat ranted about the other day:

4) When you go home after a long day at work and your mother has dinner waiting for you but it`s something that you don`t like:

“I absolutely HATE it when I go home exhausted from work , and my mother has dinner waiting for me and it`s cauliflower. Yuck. So what if I`m still living at home? At 27. Rent free. ” Life is pain.

And for the grand finale…

5) When the hardest life choice you have to make comes down to deciding beween a coffee maker and toilet paper:

My coffee maker died right around  the time I ran out of toilet paper and I felt the world closing in on me. Since I do not own a vehicle, I could only carry home one of the bulky items from the store…toilet paper or a coffee maker. It is important to note that this impossible decision took two whole days to make, during which I exhausted all my emergency TP.

In the end, toilet paper won. Shit happens. For everything else, there’s Starbucks. I came up with a plan that was winning at life: I ordered the coffee maker online so it would be delivered straight to my house and went out to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy toilet paper. I wouldn’t have to lug home a large coffee maker box and toilet paper was light enough for my delicate frame to lug home.

But of course this first world universe had to shit on my parade. The very large bulk supply of toilet paper that I brought home that night turned out to be all paper towels instead (because I clearly cannot read labels). Three days later, I found a note on my front door telling me that Purolator dropped by to deliver my coffee-maker but since I wasn`t home to sign for it, I would have to go all the way to the post office and pick it up my myself.

I took that note and walked in the cold to the post office to pick up my brand new coffee-maker.

Now I have limp hair, seven rock-hard avocadoes, wasted lipstick, back pain from lugging home a coffee maker, frost bite, and a shit load of paper towels. But life is definitely less pain when you have coffee and toilet paper.  

What are some of your first world problems? 


I wake up just so I can smell the coffee

Its been about five weeks since I’ve been off work due to la broken foot. For those of you that know me well, this might come as a bit of a shock (though an amusing one) but I miss going to work. It’s not something I consciously acknowledged. Its something that just hit me a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t place my finger on what exactly it was that I missed.

I have been living the life of a certified couch potato blogger. I wake up at 11:30 in the morning whenever I so please, eat prepared (but healthy) microwaved meals and even manage to suck the sympathy from my friends for this useless, non-contributing lifestyle whenever an opportunity arises. There is really nothing to complain about.

What was it about work did I miss?

Maybe I missed waking at 5:30am and commuting an hour and a half? (I don’t know. Give me a minute to think…)

Maybe I missed ultrasounding old people’s groins and feet? (Jury’s out on this one too…)

Maybe I missed being too tired to have a social life? (This is harder than I thought)

Or maybe I just missed coming home after a 12 hour work day only to find that there is no hot water for a shower? (I think we found a winner)

Sarcasm aside, the many things that I didn’t miss about work were blocking me from figuring out what I did miss. I missed pay cheques, I missed joking around with my favorite patients and I missed the satisfaction that only I enjoyed when I folded a pillowcase to perfection. But wonderful as these things were, it wasn’t enough to actually miss the everyday routine.

It wasn’t until one morning a couple of weeks ago that I finally figured it out. I woke up one morning at 8am desperately needing to pee. I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep until the deed was done so I strapped on my boot cast and hobbled over to the bathroom.

And it was on this fateful journey from bed to bath, right there in the middle of my basement apartment when I smelt the sweet aroma of freshly brewed coffee from upstairs that I came to enlightenment to what I was missing.

I missed the day-changing experience of drinking a cup of coffee. It probably also explained why my body felt that there was no reason to be up so early in the morning…or be up in the morning at all. Apart from having nothing to do, there was no coffee to accompany idleness.

Now that I knew what was missing, I also realised that there was nothing I could do about it. The nearest Starbucks was a 10 minute walk if you had two legs, a 90 minute walk if you had one and a half leg and a $7.00 cab ride if you walked on your hands.

What’s more, I had committed the ultimate sin by not having a coffee maker at home, a fact that horrified a lot of coffee drinkers. But if not having a coffee maker was a crime, then it was a crime only second to drinking instant to pacify the withdrawal. Yes, I drank instant. But it was a low point in my life and I’d rather not talk about it.

I related my plight to my good friend Serena. Serena who laughed at one instant and was overcome by pity in the next, vowed that I would have a coffee maker by the end of the week to put my caffeine-less misery to an end. I waited for the end of the week like a first time expectant mother waits a week before her due date…with excitement and anxiety.

Where would I put my new coffee producing baby? Could I actually handle one? Would I be able to take care of it so it gives me joy for at least the first 18 years of its life?

The day before my boxed bundle of joy was to arrive, I cleaned out the top of my microwave. This was where my coffee maker would stand. I even cleaned the insides of my microwave, although this had nothing to do with the coffee maker I thought I might as well since I was on a roll.

The big day finally arrived. As soon as Serena came, she tore off the plastic and began washing the pot. We ran water through the filter and mounted it on the microwave. But soon I realised that this was not the perfect place for it. The cord was shorter than my hair. There was no way I would be able to plug it in unless I had an extension cord, which, for some reason I didn’t have lying around.

“No worries”, I said dryly and placed it on the floor which is where it has been for the last few days.




These days I wake up at socially acceptable hours of the morning. My daily cup keeps me company while I check my email and waste time on Facebook.

I still haven’t found an appropriate place for the coffee maker without having to succumb to an extension cord. My microwave top however, still remains empty and spotless.

Somedays I look at my coffee maker and wonder how I ever lived without it. It was sort of like discovering the love of your life was the guy next door. You may have exchanged the first smiles of the day with each other every morning but you never would have realised how he perked up your life until you broke your foot and he had to come inside your home and give you a reason to wake up (at a respectable hour) every morning.

I can only hope that when I meet the actual love of my life, he’ll be just as comfortable in the kitchen.