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Photography by Nadia Bedzhanova


26 June 2024



‘I called my boss daddy last night,’ my friend recounted in the car on the way to a three-day festival, which we had all skived work to escape to. 

Our darling Polly was reminiscing, not so fondly, on last night's work drink antics. Sat in little disbelief we all giggled and joked, emphasizing it’s not the worst thing we’ve all done while drunk. Trading our own stories like top trumps for the next hour it dawned upon me, hangxiety is one of the sillier emotions we all share. 

The ‘Sunday Scaries’. More common than the flu. 

Drinking one too many the night before is habitual ground everyone can stand on. Only the weight of a whole friendship group doing so can end in a sinkhole of shame. The coziness of knowing your colleagues in crime also harassed the kebab shop for extra ketchup last night, is a somewhat better painkiller than the two paracetamols you popped for that crippling headache. 

Speaking of headaches, the reminder served by your camera roll is splitting – practically debilitating. That one friend who embodies the presence of David Bailey’s finest prodigy, documenting our behaviour like wild gorillas in a BBC Planet Earth special. The screen brightness is too high, blaring in your eyes whilst connecting the puzzle pieces from last night's evidence, discovering exactly where you got that bruise from. 

However, in reaching the age of 21 I’m starting to think: at what age will I settle into more mature behaviour? By mature, I mean not throwing up while pissing behind the recycling bins of our favourite club at five in the morning. You’ve got to leave your mark somehow. In all seriousness, when do the mornings of rotting age into… Well, simply mornings? Probably when I inevitably sign up for a half marathon (with not quite enough commitment to Strava for the full 26.2 miles). 

My mother gifts little consolation on the matter. Reassuring me that in her 50s she awoke with a looming fear from the atrocities of past nights, once, frantically panicking about what the village council had thought of her one-too-many G&T conversations. I’ve been asked by her to acknowledge that those poorly measured cocktails were not poured herself, but rather, by her indisposed neighbour who had a loose concept of what qualified as a shot. Another fallen soldier that night, from what I can gather. 

By the sounds of it, the council meeting seemed rather hilarious. I’m looking forward to the new planning permission for the local duck pond! Meanwhile, a very sore-looking, blushing mother, usually distinguishable for her primed decorum, is subject again to hangxiety.

The worst is when you can't quite place your finger on why you have that churning feeling in your stomach. The washing machine of spirits to which you've reduced your stomach probably isn’t helping the psychological effects. Was it the conversation with the bartender about the boy from three years ago, while using the counter as a crutch? Or running down the main high street – where you usually walk to Zara – but this time naked, because Becca from Uni dared you? Or maybe the Uber trail, which led you around the city like a dog hunting a stick, in a frequent chase for ‘afters’.

Hangxiety itself is not the worst thing on earth. Actually, it's something that completes the night, in my opinion. A final giggle amongst friends reminiscing your worst behaviour. 

With love and hanxious relief, 

Anastasia Rolland

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