Monday, October 3, 2011

Affluent White Person Problems Make Me Grouchy and Unproductive

Comedian Louis CK has some great bits about "Being White" and "White Person Problems" and "Everything's Amazing & Nobody's Happy" that I cannot do justice to, so look them up.

However, they were on the forefront of my mind for most of yesterday and Monday ALL LAST WEEK as I threw my (fortunately high-impact-secure) cell phone across the room and cussed to make my Mom blush at my land line and Internet service. (At least I had the decency to not cuss directly at the people despite being walked through the hard restart of my modem and my laptop as if I were an idiot AFTER I had explained that I had already done so.)

[Addendum: I wrote this last Wednesday and have since had continued problems until (HOPEFULLY) today when my modem was replaced and reset with a whole password thingy.  Needless to say, I've lost a week's worth of tutoring wages.  Now, for the below paragraph, I'm not likely to lose my house or anything, so my point still stands  OTOH… that's a week's worth of wages!]

[Addendum 2:  Also, the Husband-of-Awesome lost a day of work (and he makes WAY more than I do) and several nights of work trying to get the Internet to work, replacing the modem--TWICE!--and still cooking me dinner so I could get other deadlines done at Panera Bread on their free WiFi.]

I just want to add to the comedian's parameters that these are not necessarily White Person Problems; there's definitely more privilege involved.  They're definitely Affluent White Person Problems.  Not to say such affected people don't stress over money problems each month--we certainly do!--but more that the stress is: "Can we make payments on all of our various debts without ruining our credit?" as opposed to, "Can we survive better without electricity, heat, or going grocery shopping this month?"

In any case, I was having a pretty sh*tty past few days WEEK because I couldn't do my job or get work done.  [Addendum3: I just barely made an article and grant deadline… while at Panera Bread.]

You know, because not having this magical connection to the rest of the world at my fingertips in an immediate fashion is such a HUGE DISASTER.

It's not like I had healthy well water on tap, [Addendum 4: Ok, my faucet IS leaking pretty badly, but still, I have the water],
gourmet coffee I could make while waiting between calls to service people,
a cushy chair or yoga ball to sit on,
a pretty decent roof over my head,
a legal husband-of-awesome who has me on his health insurance and who I can kiss in public without worrying about potential hate crimes,
food in my refrigerator and pantry,
a job that, while I will struggle to catch up, isn't something I'm likely lose at the drop of a hat,
hell—a job and career I LOVE,
and, to top it all off, an adorable, beloved, money-eating HORSE* that I own and can escape to.

Sooo, I added another whole layer of craptacular guilt for feeling sh*tty on top of the general sh*tty sentiment that you really can't rationalize away because, after all, humans are selfish beings who, once they taste a certain level of comfort, feel entitled to it.

[Addendum 5: The fact that I lost a week's worth of wages adds another dimension that doesn’t quite stack the same way.]

On the other hand, this level of objectiveness, as flawed as it is, is still useful in understanding character motivations.  So, at least on a writing level, things were useful.  Gotta stay positive, right?

At the very least, it makes for a comic goldmine of contradiction.  Right, Louis?

In any case, my phone is fixed, and the Internet connection seems to be working.  I can return to being a more productive relatively affluent, white member of society. (Or so I hope!)

* What, you didn't know that money is the primary diet of the domestic equine?


Luc Joseph said...

Sorry that your week was so chaotic, Trish, but I'm glad to see that you're back in the saddle again (pun intended). While I may not be affluent or white, I can understand the frustration that comes from having a job that depends so much on technology and have that technology fail on you. I had the same thing happen to my wi-fi service in the house yesterday. Luckily for me, I slapped it into submission and all is well again.

Trisha Wooldridge said...

Well, it's down again, and I'm back on the phone with my ISP. Any luck you can send is much appreciated... I'm exhausted and now a step beyond grouchy and into cranky... bordering on murderous insanity if I lose yet another day of pay.

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