Time’s flying. Hard to believe we’ve been here for 7 weeks. The thing about traveling for this long is that you forget about packing or planning for certain things. Like eyebrow tweezers. Just try to act out “what kind of store sells eyebrow tweezers” in charades with your French teacher. And, oh yeah, toenail clippers. I was about to have to go up a half size in shoes. Finally, there’s this little matter of grey hair and the need for hair color. Which leads me to an explanation of this post’s title “First World Problems”.
First world problems are those issues we privileged folks like to whine about but are so ridiculous in the scheme of things that persons living in a third world country would appreciate having them. Joan lost a diamond ring (it was later found): first world problem. My Visa card wouldn’t work the day I needed to refill my Paris metro pass: first world problem. Our housekeeper in Paris shows up late every week: first world problem. Well, you get the jest. We’ve been reminding ourselves every time it’s tempting to throw a tantrum of some sort that every problem we have is nearly laughable. It makes for an easier life and an all ’round better attitude.
Solving our first world problems has not been difficult. The grocery store sells tweezers and clippers. A phone call to Chase Bank fixed my credit card issue. And with a little research I found someone to cut and color my hair. The location was suspicious: somewhat deserted and located outside of Paris in a warehouse building. But FUSAC and a book I had read had both recommended this place–Style Pixies– for hair emergencies. My stylist was Denis. He was French but spoke perfect English. This was wonderful because he sat me down in the chair, took a quick glance at my hair and announced: “You have wicked cowlicks”. Yes. A first world problem and one I’ve lived with my entire first world life. It was like he told me I had a severe heart condition. “Can you work with me, Doc? Can you save me?” Indeed, he could. He slapped a glass of champagne in our hands (Joan was with me) and away he worked. The cut and color were good, he was fast and efficient, I felt complete confidence in his abilities. The blow dry was something else. As if he needed to prove that he had not oversold his ability to work on “wicked cowlicks”, he dried my hair for a full hour. He used two brushes, seven angles and two speeds on the blow-dryer. In the end, I was pleased with my shiny new ‘doo. I would recommend this place especially if you speak no French because frankly, how would you translate “wicked cowlicks” into French. However, they are in a remote location, do not take credit cards, and do not take walk-ins so their “Hair Emergency” tag line might need rethinking. I suggest: First World Problems are our First Priority.