The Midults’ guide to…
Navigating emotional landscapes
WE SPEND OUR emotional lives constantly on a tour, of sorts. There are no arenas or groupies. There’s no itinerary. There’s no guide. We are never dressed right and we always feel jet-lagged, but round and round we go. Sometimes we land in uncharted territories and don’t know where the hell we are. But we have certain well-trodden emotional territories, which include…
Sorry, this is just us trying to excel at our careers, maintain all our relationships (even with people we don’t like very much), drink enough water, have a social life that lasts beyond 9pm, wear clothing of some kind, text everyone back within three to five working days, and stay sane-looking enough that we don’t scare people. So excuse us if we are mostly living in the realm of the overwhelm right now. Sorry.
THE AMAZON JUNGLE
This is the part of our world where missed-delivery slips are stacking up so high that we really are living in a house of cards. The part where we cannot walk into our houses for all of our neighbour’s parcels. A land where sodden packages are found behind the bin nine years later. And what in holy hell is that constant ringing? Oh, it’s the doorbell. Terrifying. *Shudders*
THE WILD, WILD COUNTRY
Every now and then we like to ride into the wild, wild country. Yee-haw! This is where we abandon all reason. We throw caution to the wind and really roll around in the mud. Be it artisan doughnuts or tequila or putting too many The Vampire’s Wife dresses in our online shopping baskets, we are credit-cardtoting, pierced (another one?), tattooed (another one?) badasses with heads for business and bodies for sin. Oh, and hangovers for days. Weeks. Years.
A dark place where our irritations micro-needle us like savage fascists. Sorry, facialists. Clearly THE WHOLE WORLD is getting to us. We are being trolled by everything: from our feelings, to the traffic, to the person walking incredibly slowly in front of us, to the passport-renewal form, to that blob on our nose. And our bags are so heavy, and those are just the ones under our eyes. And in our hearts. And have we mentioned yet that we are at capacity? And what happens when we go over the brink? And are we nearly there yet?
Imagine you are floating, blissfully relaxed. Relaxed enough to briefly consider a deckchair. Relaxed enough to watch someone take a parking space exactly when you need one and not cry hot, angry, disappointed, ‘why me?’ tears. Relaxed enough to have a conversation with your health-insurance provider without unleashing hell. Relaxed enough not to go cross-eyed with fury every time Trump comes on the telly. Our visits to Lake Placid are getting less and less frequent. Is it shrinking?
By now, we know that we should never say ‘never’. Never say no to Botox, because one day your mother might well turn around and say, ‘Not even for that M4 between your eyes?’ Never say, ‘We’re done with therapy.’ Never say, ‘We’ll never have an affair,’ ‘He’ll never have an affair,’ ‘We’ll never get a puppy,’ ‘We’ll never move to the country,’ ‘We’ll never get an Alexa,’ ‘We’ll never eat refined sugar again.’
THE DENIAL RIVER
We like denial. Look, here we are just having a little dip in denial. Oh, what are we doing right now? Well – glad you asked – we are in denial. Fancy a swim in denial? We are just going into denial. We feel so happy right now. (That was a nice six minutes.)
I’m Absolutely Fine! A Manual for Imperfect Women, by The Midults, is out now (Cassell, £16.99); themidult.com
We throw caution to the wind. We are credit-card-toting, pierced, tattooed badasses with heads for business and bodies for sin