The Midults’ guide to…

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Chat­ting with plants and other inan­i­mate ob­jects

ROY­ALS ARE MEANT to feel ‘other’. That’s the point. But there are mo­ments when they be­come re­lat­able. Like Prince Charles and his plants. Be­cause we talk to ev­ery­thing, too. Charles, it turns out, doesn’t merely chat to his plants, he ‘in­structs’ them. Is this where we are go­ing wrong? Do we need to be more re­gal in our in­ter­ac­tions with, say, the toaster? ‘Do you know who you’re deal­ing with? Be­cause this is not good enough.’ Might it work? This is how we tend to ad­dress the stuff in our lives…

THE PHONE HA­RANGUE

‘Hello, phone. One minute you are a mul­ti­task­ing whizz ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing a pod­cast, an In­sta­gram scroll and a PPI phone call – the next you are a SHELL, frozen, on a go-slow or on emer­gency calls only. Is this a cry for help? Is it your mul­ti­ple per­son­al­ity dis­or­der? Why can’t you just be NOR­MAL?’

THE DISH­WASHER NE­GO­TI­A­TION

‘What is your prob­lem? What do you need? Do you need salt? Do you need rinse aid? Do you need one of those ex­tor­tion­ately ex­pen­sive deep-clean­ing things? Are you feel­ing OK? Do you need us to wash the dishes first? Be­cause at this point we will get you any­thing you need…’

THE JEAN PLEA

‘Oh, please zip up. Just this once. Go on, lovely den­imy crea­ture. No, no, don’t stop at the thigh, don’t be shy, you can do it. OK, we will lie down and wrig­gle. No, we are not sweat­ing. Or cry­ing. OK, we are, but they are happy tears. Happy th­ese-jeans-may-stilldo-up tears.’ We beg for a space to re­veal it­self: ‘Come on, park­ing spot, ma­te­ri­alise be­fore us like Je­sus in front of the dis­ci­ples, that’s how much we want you. We will pray to gods, any of them. We will in­voke our dead grand­moth­ers or the ham­mer of Thor if it means find­ing some berth for the Mini. You drive a hard bar­gain, park­ing space, but, OK, we’ll take a 30-minute-max-stay slot.’

THE TELE­VI­SION TIRADE

We curse you, Sky, be­cause you’ve lost sig­nal again and we can’t find the re­mote ANY­WHERE. We curse you, Net­flix, be­cause you can’t re­mem­ber our pass­word and you keep for­get­ting what we are watch­ing. We curse and point and curse and point and then we won­der if we’ve been cursed our­selves. ‘Why us? Why tonight? Why? Why?’

THE KEY COM­MAND

We start off all sing-song. ‘Where are you keys?’ Gig­gling. It would be so Midult to have put our keys in the fridge, and it’s a jolly game of hide and seek. ‘Come out, come out, wher­ever you are.’ Like Glinda to the Munchkins. Then we start to feel less twinkly, more Jack Ni­chol­son in The Shin­ing, with mad eyes and an axe. ‘WHERE ARE YOU, KEYS?’ (Fifty-seven per cent of the time at the bot­tom of our bag, 13 per cent in the door, 30 per cent in an­other coat pocket.)

THE EYE­LINER EN­COUR­AGE­MENT

Qui­etly we cheer our eye­liner along as if it was a sur­geon op­er­at­ing in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions, or one of those Olympic lugers in those scary ice tun­nels. ‘You are do­ing great, take that flick gen­tly, easy on the speed, OK nearly there, steady, steady… Oh.’

THE DI­ARY DI­A­TRIBE

‘Hold on. This is to­tally unac­cept­able. Who on earth au­tho­rised you to book two nights out back to back, on con­sec­u­tive weeks – and agreed to go to the cin­ema for a 9.30pm screen­ing, and agreed to a 5k char­ity run at 8am on Sun­day? Plus that meet­ing is across town at 5pm and dear God, is that a hen week­end in Barcelona? Di­ary, you’ve gone MAD.’

THE PIL­LOW TALK

‘Oh,’ we moan with de­light at the sight of our bed. We look at our plumped pil­lows and sigh with sat­is­fac­tion. ‘We love you, bed, we love you, we love you with all-con­sum­ing pas­sion.’ And so we like to whis­per it at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity, so you know you are num­ber one, and as we slide into your cool sheets we say, ‘thank you’. And then we lie awake all night, wor­ry­ing. I’m Ab­so­lutely Fine! A Man­ual for Imperfect Women, by The Midults, is out now (Cas­sell, £16.99); themidult.com

There are mo­ments when the Royal fam­ily be­come re­lat­able. Like Prince Charles and his plants. Be­cause we talk to ev­ery­thing, too

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