A little less than a year ago, Joanna and I were navigating the world of spit up, blow-outs, and insomnia as new parents to a one-month old. Our whine-o-meters were at full throttle, so we sat down and realized that despite the high volume of bodily fluids raining forth from our daughter, life was wonderful. Everything was amazing. And in that spirit of gratitude, we wrote a post about all of the incredible things we enjoy in the 21st century that we have absolutely no business complaining about.
We still find a lot to whine about. The bipolar 60-degree-today-30-and-snowy-tomorrow spring is our whineworthy subject of choice at the moment. So as a self-help treatment to quell our whining tendencies, we bring you our second installation of “What in the World Are We Whining About.”
“Why didn’t this stupid GPS tell me to turn right before the turn?!”
Well, it did… but you were too busy singing Ace of Base to hear it. The Global Positioning System — the soft-spoken navigator that plays villain to our every driving-related problem, despite the fact that many of us don’t even pay a dime to get this tech-wizardry on our phones. Remember printing off MapQuest directions 10 years ago? Or using an atlas 15 years ago? Or using a once-journeying pioneer’s skeleton as a sign to your wagon party that a U-turn is advisable? Whatever. We are well within our technological right to complain until our GPS finally adds a middle-aged female Australian voice option.
“I swear, if Unsolved Mysteries has one more commercial break…”
…then what? You’ll turn off the TV? And the free show you were watching? While I’m just as susceptible to criticizing commercials (as evidenced here and here), I have a hard time criticizing the business model. For one, I work in advertising and I’m not about to bite the hand that feeds me. Second, I realize that without those 30 second blips of annoyance, we wouldn’t get to watch the Super Bowl, Lost, Full House, The Bachelor… ok, nevermind — die commercials!
And just as a reminder: some commercials are really good. Yeah, they’re still trying to sell something, but having worked in the industry, the goal is to marry art and commerce. Most of the time, clients scrap the art part. But other times, beautiful words and picture like this one are made:
“I thought it was supposed to be sunny today! This weather app is the worst.”
That quote came directly from our mouths two hours ago. So the weather app isn’t perfect. Ok. But let’s just put it this way — on most days, weather forecasters and the folks who bring us those weather apps would have been accused, tried, and convicted of witchcraft in Salem a few hundred years ago. Now we feel entitled to know the temperature five days from now within a margin of error of three degrees. Man, us 21st century humans are the worst.
Meat, Dairy, Produce
“At the price we’re paying for a gallon of milk now, you’d think the cow’d come with it.”
On a monthly basis, the budget category that gives us the most grievance is food. But here’s the thing. No one’s stopping us from planting seeds in the earth and growing our own fruits and veggies for practically nothing. No one’s saying we can’t go and hunt animals. But thanks to those places called “grocery stores” we don’t have to do all that stuff unless we want to. People’s every waking moment used to be spent hunting and gathering. And now it’s all just nicely packaged, shelled, skinned, sliced, homogenized and what have you right down the street from us. It’s pretty incredible, and we just expect it and complain that the mini Cadbury eggs aren’t in stock.
Yes, we will probably start complaining about something five minutes after posting this. No, we will not stop looking for the best deal, despite the insignificance of the savings for the product/service we’re getting in return. But we’d all be well served to remember that we’re trading that green paper (or no paper) for some pretty amaze-balls stuff. *cue “The More You Know” jingle.*
What other modern day costs would 19th century folks want to slap us in the face for complaining about?