The Midults’ guide to…

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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…

THE OVER­WHELM

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.

THE BRINK

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?

LAKE PLACID

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?

NEVER-SAY-NEVERLAND

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

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