Confession: My Extreme First-World Problem

I woke up this morning and spent a good ten minutes processing the dream I’d had. It involved the revelation that Callaghan and I are geniuses via the supernatural elderly woman who transformed herself into a giant, fiery flower waving to and fro in our direction on a cold, cindery street corner, city unknown. Later, in the back room of a small shop, it was revealed that she was eastern European, but she’d resided in Quebec the last half of her life, so she was technically a Québécoise with a Slavic accent. Once we found out that she’d lived in Quebec, the dream language switched to Quebec French embellished with the beautiful, curly linguistic mood of Hungary or Romania or wherever it was she’d originally called home. But the shop – their family business – projected such a powerful Old World vibe, I felt like we were back in Europe as we sat drinking tea with the woman and her grown son.

It was her son who explained that when his mother transformed into a giant flower made of flames (we could just see her face in the center of it, her mouth opening and closing rhythmically in a mysterious mantra-like communication we couldn’t hear nor fathom in any other way) and waved herself in our direction from the street corner, we were able to see her because we were geniuses. “Only geniuses can see her when she transforms,” was how he put it. It wasn’t the first time we’d seen her, either. Earlier in the dream, she’d appeared on another street in the same city, also transformed, but differently, intoning the same unintelligible sounds at us, trying to tell us something, the same thing, words that were never deciphered. We just understood that they comprised a warning of some kind.

We were not pleased to learn that we were geniuses, because the price of that “gift” was this wraith-like figure in the shape of a flower on fire chanting ominously about what we assumed would be our ultimate demise… something horrific, for sure. Better to be dumb and happy, we thought. Ignorance is bliss.

There was a lot more to the dream, but I’ll leave it at that because the dream was not what I wanted to talk about today.


Today, I wanted to make a confession. A humorous little piece about “extreme first-world problems” recently surfaced on my Facebook feed, which got me thinking… what would be my own most extreme first-world problem? The answer came easily, as it’s something I’ve been lamenting for a while now.

Let me preface this by saying that I tend to think we should be allowed to kvetch a little when life’s inconveniences snag the flowing fabric of our day without feeling guilty because OH MY GOD THAT’S A FIRST-WORLD PROBLEM, but there is a line, as with everything. There’s always a line. It’s the extreme first-world problems that should warrant our guilt, and I certainly feel guilty about mine.

Are you ready?

My most extreme first-world problem is this: I’ve been to Paris five times, but somehow, inexplicably, I’ve never visited Jim Morrison’s grave.


Stock photo of Jim Morrison's grave. Not mine. WOE IS ME.

Stock photo of Jim Morrison’s grave. Not mine. WOE IS ME.


This is a ridiculous complaint by anyone’s standards, so I think it qualifies as extreme. I mean, try to tell me it does not put some of the extreme first-world problems cited in that article to shame. I’m not proud of this, but it is what it is. What kind of an American am I to have been to Paris five times and failed to EVER visit Jim Morrison’s grave?

To balance things out here, I must say that I’m grateful for every one of my many visits to my beloved Eiffel Tower, and I never take her for granted.

I’m sure as hell going straight to Jim Morrison’s grave the next time I land in Paris, though.

2 thoughts on “Confession: My Extreme First-World Problem

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