The 12 Stages of A Hangover

1. FUCK. YOU’RE LATE FOR WORK. YOU’RE SO FUCKING LATE FOR WORK. Oh phew, it’s fine, it’s Saturday, you can just streeeeeetch out and —

2. Nope, it’s not Saturday. It’s Wednesday. You did that really renegade thing where you got wasted on a Tuesday night because you’re a total punk (we won’t mention that you were in an uber middle-class private members club drinking lychee cocktails) and you are, indeed, fucking late for work as in your drunken state you set your alarm for 8pm, not 8am. Kewl.

3. Shower – check. Chuck on nearest jeans and then trowel on face. Like, with an actual trowel. The foundation is more like panstick. In fact the more foundation, blusher and mascara – the golden triumvirate – the better. The effect is somewhat terrifying, but your face eats make-up when you’re hangover – how is that possible? Does your face, so parched, just ABSORB it? – so by the time you get to work you’ll look quite normal.

4. Well, THIS is quite cool. You feel fine. A bit giddy, you even do a little skip down the street and join in with the carols coming from a nearby busker (nearby busker not so happy.) Perhaps, like literature and truth, you are post-hangover?

5. Half-way through your commute, with said trowel face stuffed into sweaty man’s armpit, you realise you are so not post-hangover. You are PEAK hangover. Post seems like it might never come. Bit sick, bit sweaty, still stuck in a sweaty man’s armpit. It’s so porous up here. Is this what a baby roo feels like in a pocket?

6. Leave kangaroo pocket and skid into work 14 minutes late. THE TUBES WERE FUCKED, you bellow, as everyone surveys your double denim outfit, your patchwork face and the Diet Coke peeking out of your handbag. Sure, they reply mildly. Weren’t they just. Soon realise jeans were a terrible, terrible idea on account of their restrictive waistband. The ham and cheese croissant from Pret followed by the canteen cooked breakfast chaser is causing your gut to chomp at the denim bit. Everything feels bloated. Even your wrists. All gets a bit worse when you tip your ‘desk advent calendar’ (a thing) upside down and pour the days 3-17 out. Note to self: elasticated waistbands for the remaining festive period.

7. Firmly ensconced in the giggly part of the hangover, you’re being hi-larious on Whatsapp. Everyone is finding you a total card. You’re titillating the office with neat cultural observations, you’re steaming through your work–

8. If your job was translating English into a sort of Japanese patois, that is. Is that actually English? Are those even words? No longer in fun stage of the hangover, you are faced with 4 hours of nonsensical work and a boss who likes to think they are ‘down’ with excessive alcohol consumption (you work in the media; it’s the zeitgeist; no-one’s judgemental (cocaine? Like, who cares); it’s the UK and also, it’s Christmas) but actually starts to find you really annoying. You ignore all of this – until the paranoid stage.

9. So p-a-r-a-n-o-i-d. You’re begging everyone on Whatsapp to tell you what you did last night but there’s an eerie silence in return. Coffee is also having mysterious reverse effect. Can coffee make you more tired? Is that a thing? More importantly, can your colleagues see you under your desk taking a nap? It’s legit to do this, right, you’re on your lunch break. You’re ENTITLED to a lunch break. It’s your legal right. Who are THEY to give you side-eye because you’ve CHOSEN to spend your ALLOCATED hour, in the foetal position, under your desk? Who are THEY to–

10. Well, they do pay your salary. Toss that reality to one side and retrospectively realise that the angry stage of the hangover is in full thrust. Someone gives you a pair of Rudolph ears to wear and you ignore office gesture of good will and chuck them moodily to the side. The Whatsapp camaraderie has dissipated. You’re tired, anxious, and pissed off. Mainly at the world. But more at yourself: you’ve just found a receipt for £87.74 in your pocket. What did the 74p buy you? One olive?

11. Boss lets you leave early because you are actually making him/her develop a hangover. You promise to come in early the next day; swear you’re going home for a bath and an early night (trowel face is now mainly slid down to chin level.) Maybe you’ll do some restorative reading, you murmur. But oh! What is this! The Whatsapp messages have become jovial, again. Possibly even encouraging. There are words about visiting an over-priced Soho drinking spot for your old old office’s Christmas drinks (good to stay in touch, right?). The old old are going out out. Should you go? Heck! It’s Wednesday. Hump day. Half way through the week. [Cliches ad nauseum.]

12. Several mince-pie flavoured artisan cocktails later with a man you like to call ‘The Christmas Special’ (trademark: Dolly Alderton) you realise there’s hair of the dog and then there’s the entire miniature dachshund. But what the hell. IT’S CHRIIIIIIISTMAS!

Listen to The PanDolly Christmas bumper special podcast here.

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