The Midults’ guide to…

What your bed­side ta­ble says about you

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents -

There is an olde-world con­dom: from days of yore, in a land be­fore time. Would it still work? Wanna give it a go?


These take up 90 per cent of your bed­side-ta­ble space – most were bought dur­ing the 10 years you spent search­ing for your true path. Some have ti­tles like Code­pen­dent No More and The Five Love Lan­guages. There’s the CBT ex­er­cise book that you filled out ju­di­ciously for one night and now stare at hop­ing that doc­u­mented thoughts will mag­i­cally equal Zen-like feel­ings. Plus dog-eared copies of The Rules – still not work­ing. And The Se­cret – still a mys­tery.


From days of yore in a land be­fore time. Past its sell-by date. Wedged in-be­tween two shelves, as a fallen mon­u­ment to hope over ex­pe­ri­ence. Would it still work? Can they really go off? Wanna give it a go?


By which we mean cracked-heel cream, Bliss foot lotion (could be from the ’90s) and the most re­cent ad­di­tion, a foot mask that once would have felt like a step too far but, given the way your heels lac­er­ate your shins on a nightly ba­sis, is now a ne­ces­sity. Also some slightly sticky night socks. Prob­a­bly cash­mere. Def­i­nitely ru­ined.


So there’s a DVD player re­mote con­trol – you no longer have a DVD player but you keep it just in case one emerges one day. A ca­ble that could be for a) a fax ma­chine link-up or b) the sooth­ing breathing night­light you bought for ter­ri­ble insomnia but it just made you feel sea­sick un­til you broke it. Not for­get­ting charg­ers from three iphones ago. WHY DO THEY DO THAT?


One with CBD, one with es­sen­tial oils, an­other with some kind of an­cient English herb. Are they for your sore el­bows? Your sore teeth? Your sore soul?


If you shook your bed­side ta­ble/self, it/you would rat­tle with pills. There is ev­ery it­er­a­tion of sleep­ing pill that isn’t ac­tu­ally a sleep­ing pill: mag­ne­sium (pow­der and cap­sules), mela­tonin (the good stuff from Hong Kong) and two Xanax – you’re hang­ing on to them like a security blan­ket, a bit like those Liberty vouch­ers that you’ve had for two years but don’t dare spend. For if you do, the cup­board will be bare.


Ap­prox­i­mately a mil­lion eye masks run­ning the gamut from nov­elty (Sleep­ing Beauty) to silk and cash­mere. They are all a bit loose and baggy these days: stretched by a cra­nium pul­sat­ing with panic and a skull thrash­ing about on the pil­low. In fact they’re so loose that they tend to slip down and end up wind­ing them­selves around your neck. So that’s re­lax­ing.


A little Moroc­cany pot full of ‘for­eign’ money – lire or US dol­lars from when you used to travel a lot for work. And for fun.


Un­wisely, we have left them to just… roam free in our bed­side ta­bles. Look at them rolling around the drawer, pick­ing up bits of ran­dom dust and hair, which stick to the wax like we are minia­ture doll-mak­ers. Not at all creepy.


All your at­tempts at jour­nalling. Moan, moan, moan, man, moan, moan, moan, man, moan. Maybe you should try to get them pub­lished?


That you will soon take to be mended. Yes, you will. That is def­i­nitely go­ing to hap­pen. And a ‘com­mit­ment ring’ from the man you never mar­ried. Hap­pily, be­cause the gold has rubbed off. Just as your mother said it would...

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