The Midults’ guide to…

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Dou­ble lives

WE ARE ALL more than one woman, right? But it’s not as sim­ple as be­ing many things at once. We can dis­play ac­tively op­pos­ing qual­i­ties. And it’s OK to be all these strange and con­tra­dic­tory things. Some­times you just need to be kind to the hero and zero in your per­son­al­ity. Be­cause nei­ther is go­ing any­where.

A mas­ter­piece and a work in progress

You’re mag­nif­i­cent. Such wis­dom. Not to men­tion orig­i­nal-so-orig­i­nal. ‘The thing about [in­sert name] is…’ peo­ple say, fol­lowed by your stand­out qual­i­ties. And yet you’re also a bit, hmmm, rough around the edges. Re­ac­tive, per­haps. En­vi­ous, maybe. Petty, oc­ca­sion- ally. Rage­ful, of­ten. You wax and wane like (and some­times with) the moon.

In control and a mess

Just look at you par­al­lel park­ing while tak­ing a con­fer­ence call and turn­ing the oven on, thanks to your new-fan­gled app thing. Can this be the same per­son who jarred their back step­ping off the pave­ment and now can’t get into the shower, and is re­ly­ing on baby wipes and dry sham­poo and the hope that ev­ery­one is too busy to no­tice the white residue on your scalp? Of course it can.

Em­pa­thetic and ruth­less

It’s as though you have no skin. You feel their pain as they talk you through the lat­est tribu­la­tion. How con­fus­ing. How frus­trat­ing. How up­set­ting. You care, you get it. Or maybe you don’t. Not now, not to­day. You couldn’t care less. You think they should pull them­selves to­gether be­cause it’s all a bit much. And then they cry and you cry and you’re breath­less with sym­pa­thy and… oh God, this re­minds you of the time that…

Amus­ing and dull

You’re hi­lar­i­ous and you have such an un­usual yet in­ci­sive take on that thing and ev­ery­one is laugh­ing and this is great. Un­til ev­ery­thing you say is slightly wrong and you seem to be talk­ing peo­ple through your train times and ex­plain­ing how real ale is brewed, and sud­denly you no­tice that no­body is ask­ing you any open-ended ques­tions.

In­nu­mer­ate and Stephen Hawk­ing

Judg­ing by your over­draft, you are strug­gling with the most ba­sic of eco­nomic prin­ci­ples – you mustn’t spend what you do not have. Noth­ing adds up. And when you have to cut the right amount of but­ter, even with those help­ful 50g lines? Well, it’s a strug­gle. BUT then some­one asks you about tim­ings of the Gatwick Ex­press and ex­change rates, and sud­denly you are Stephen Hawk­ing. For a brief mo­ment, the equa­tions of the uni­verse are at your fin­ger­tips. Un­less you over­think it…

Mother Teresa and Teresa May*

(* The porn star, not the Prime Minister.) Which would you rather? Have sex ev­ery night for a year (oof) or never again? The an­swer rather de­pends on the day. Some­times very vamp­ishly the for­mer, and other times very em­phat­i­cally the lat­ter. No one should ever as­sume any­thing about the state of your un­der­wear, your li­bido or your pec­ca­dil­loes. They are ever-shift­ing sands.

An ex­pert and an im­pos­tor

Of course you can take the meet­ing, of course you can run the work­shop, of course you can de­liver a TED Talk, ne­go­ti­ate a pay rise, and strate­gise a five-year plan that will trans­form the for­tunes of ev­ery­one in­volved. But can you, though? The last pre­sen­ta­tion was a bit meh, wasn’t it? And that thing you said at the brain­storm? It wasn’t very sharp, was it? Pretty ba­sic stuff re­ally.

Lonely and claus­tro­pho­bic

Gosh, you feel lonely. Too much time iso­lat­ing on the sofa and watch­ing re­peats on telly. Or lis­ten­ing to the A Star Is Born sound­track and ugly-cry­ing. And yet, the phone rings and it’s WHY CAN’T PEO­PLE JUST LEAVE ME ALONE?

I’m Ab­so­lutely Fine! A Man­ual for Im­per­fect Women, by The Midults, is out now (Cas­sell, £16.99); themidult.com

Ev­ery­one is laugh­ing and this is great… un­til ev­ery­thing is wrong and you’re talk­ing peo­ple through your train times and ex­plain­ing how real ale is brewed

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