First World Problems: A Shoe Thief Among Us
By Judy Balan
First World Problems is a weekly advice column for India’s first world population. Write to Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org (confidentially!) if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately,
or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind.
PROBLEM: I think my neighbor’s daughter has been borrowing my shoes. We live in a building where everyone keeps their shoes in racks outside their doors, and it’s never been a problem. But lately, I’ve noticed some scuffs on a couple of nice, cute pairs of high heels, and they’ve been set wrong in the rack, not how I left them. My neighbor has a daughter in her late teens who goes out at night sometimes, and I think she’s been wearing them. How should I deal with this?
OMG. This is a classic WWCD (What Would Carrie Do) moment. Oh, I know! She’d ask that Big schmuck to get her a shoe closet that she can keep inside the house. What? You didn’t marry rich? Oh, come on. Did you really think that you could afford great shoes and great shoe care with a single income? Sigh. Sometimes, I feel like Sex and the City taught you guys nothing. Absolutely nothing. Anyway, since you don’t have a rich husband and, by extension, a fancy shoe closet, I suggest you make do with one of these. And for crying out loud, keep it inside the house!
But if you want to have some fun with this Cinderella thief, remove your shoes and leave a couple of rodents in their place inside the box. With an ominous note from the disapproving fairy godmother: “Next time, it will be your toes.”
PROBLEM: My husband and I recently went for a party at a friends’ house where everyone brought a different dish, a potluck. We decided to treat everyone to really high-quality salmon. We all met, had a great time, and ate, ate, ate. But by the end, barely anyone had eaten the salmon (as well as several other dishes). When we left, we asked to take the salmon with us; after all, we brought it and we didn’t want it to go to waste (and we wanted to enjoy it). And the hostess seemed a bit offended. Was that wrong?
What? You take the pains to cook fancy food loaded with nutrients for a potluck, and they don’t have the decency to even try it? Now, I’m no expert at social graces but how is this okay, let alone polite? If I were you, I’d have sat them all down and given them a long lecture about wasting food, starving people in Africa and the goodness of Omega-3; then, I would have grabbed my salmon and told them they should probably consider re-naming it potsuck, before making a dramatic exit. Yes. In fact, I’m so wired right now, I can’t wait to get invited to a potluck so I can teach SOMEONE a lesson. Coming to think of it, I have never been to a potluck before. Hmm. That’s weird ’cause I know for a fact some of my friends have potlucks all the time …. Wait … why have I never … OH.
Thanks, you just drew a depressing and completely unnecessary fact to my attention right now, so that makes it two people you’ve offended in such a short span of time. I hope you have enough salmon, though. To stuff the holes in your heart where your friends used to be.