Tuesday, January 6, 2015

First World Problems and Mis-Matched Dishes

Last Saturday, I went shopping in the city with a friend. I was in the market for a pair of black boots and a pair of brown boots. Of course, I was in the city, and all the post-holiday sales were on...so I came home with much, much more than that. New Year's resolutions always include a bit of a wardrobe makeover, right?

After running by my house to drop off the bag...okay, the bags (with a capital S at the end), I called to check on my son, who was spending the night away from home, and let the dog out. My friend was waiting for me to freshen up, as we were joining another for a grown-up evening out at a new cafe and later, a local pub. I decided it would be the perfect time to wear my snazzy new brown boots, but when I took them from the box, I noticed the sales clerk had forgotten to remove the ink-filled security tag.


I should mention the city I refer to often in my posts is about an hour's drive from here. Not only was I not going to be able to wear my new boots right away, but I was now going to have to drive all the way back to the store to have the bloody security tag properly removed.

For a few moments, I was so unbelievably irritated... then I realized what a true and total first-world problem this really was, on par with 'how can I keep red wine from spoiling once I open it?' (Answer: wine preserver) and the fact that my dishes don't match.

Eclectic, no?
While I did invest in the wine preserver, which I saw as a better solution than drinking an entire bottle of red wine in one sitting, I have opted not to buy a matching set of dishes. And yes, if you follow my blog, you know that I host a lot of dinner party-esque gatherings, at which I proudly use my hodge-podge of dishware not because I'm trying to seem bohemian or clever, (I'm already well-known for being both, of course), but simply because these mismatched dishes ground me.


They don't let me forget where I've come from, and how to bring the lessons learned there into where I'm going.

There were some really lean years when I could never have afforded to host any kind of parties, much less take off to the city for not one, but two new pairs of boots. I don't like to think of those times too much, but it does humble me to remember them at least once a day, usually when I'm setting the table for dinner. This old assortment of dishes remind me to be so, so grateful for where I am now.

So, while it's quite a luxurious first-world problem, this whining about having to make a two-hour round trip just to have a security tag removed, it does me well to remember from time to time that it's quite a luxury to have such a benign, first-world problem to begin with. If this was the major annoyance of my week, well, I'd say it's a pretty blessed life these days!

Happy first work week of 2015, everyone!


Virginia ("Ginn") said...

When the man and I returned to the USA after our Peace Corps adventures, that expression (first-world problems) dominated my life. I was sooooo overwhelmed by all the STUFF available here in the USA and how people blithely disposed of things. And how many clothes people had! Holey-moley! Your mismatched collection of plates always reminds me of those 2 1/2 years living among people who valued sharing, singing, dancing, telling stories and eating, eating, eating...no one EVER apologized for having mismatched dishes... You cannot buy happiness and the bus to perfect does not stop here... I would much rather be among people who are in touch with what is really important. People like you. <3 - Ginn

Sannamari said...

I agree and I love your dishes! I often complain about many benign issues but I always remind myself how small these "problems" really are in a much larger scale.

I have a printable on my wall which says: 'if you want to feel rich just count all the things you have that money cannot buy', it's a great reminder of what's really important in life. A Finnish rap singer also sings that "some people are so pour that they have nothing else than money". :D