In the dictionary, next to the colloquial phrase First-World Problems, there is a photo of me taken at 5.00pm yesterday.
Beneath the photo is this caption:
Mother of 10-year-old girl slumps in resignation upon learning that the Alice in Wonderland costume, ordered online in desperation after No Other Suitable Costume Could Be Found, will not arrive in time for Book Week 2016.
How did it come to this? Indeed how does it come to this every year?
My long-suffering husband, who waited at his workplace until 5.00pm (having arrived that morning at 6.00am), where said costume was to be received, was philosophical about it.
“You did your best honey. That’s all you can do. Hey didn’t we end up at K-Mart the night before Book Week last year? At least we’re consistent.”
Consistently foolish perhaps.
In that same dictionary, next to the phrase First-World Solutions, it could read:
- Jump online
- Pay ridiculous amount of money
- Involve as many people as possible
- Placate child
- Race down to K-Mart
In this instance we didn’t find anything suitable there either though we did get some Alice-like shoes as well as shoes for my other 10-year-old’s costume (they are twins) so it definitely wasn’t a wasted trip.
In the end, the previously unsuitable costume using things we already had at home stopped being Stupid, Embarrassing and Are You Serious? and became It Will Have To Do.
And when the 10-year-old put it on (she had obstinately refused to even try it on before this), she suddenly loved it because she felt great and looked like Alice.
And that’s a First-World Ending isn’t it – complete with money, access, resources and options as well as a mother who can shield her (generally ungrateful) child from disappointment and a child who can’t imagine what true disappointment is like.
Where do I live? In the First-World of course. But just as Lewis Carroll poignantly reminded us: life in Wonderland can be very confusing. And scary too.