All photos by Emily Bowler.
We’ve all been there. Quarter to midnight, and squaring up to the very real prospect of seeing in another New Year stood looking at your phone in a corner, as you wait for the mate who dragged you to this shit party to surgically detach herself from the mouth of "Josh" from Tinder. It’s a grim prospect, and you’re pissed, so you look around for someone to slouch yourself over for a few minutes. A buffer from the all-too-quick passage of time.
Maybe you find someone but by that time, you’re so drunk you throw up on their shoes. Maybe your crush appears and you have the movie kiss of your dreams, only to discover they have absolutely disgusting breath.Everyone has a terrible New Year’s kiss story, so I did some digging and compiled some of the worst here for your reading pleasure – or at least to make you feel a bit better about your own. Happy New Year!
I can't remember what year this was, but I spent NYE in Vodka Revolution with a small group of people – one of whom was a guy I had been dating but wasn't particularly interested in. He felt more passionately than that. I don't know why, but half way through the night – definitely before midnight – I just ran off and got talking to someone in the smoking area, ended up sitting on his lap and then snogging him, and this guy I’d been seeing was just stood there, like, waiting for me to finish, essentially? Then I was like, "Oops, lol. Sorry, I'm really drunk." And we just continued with the night as normal. Amy*, 30.
"I ended up sitting on his lap and then snogging him"
My best friend kissed his girlfriend at midnight, and then once we got back to our friend’s house where we were all staying, he woke me up to try and kiss me! It was accompanied by a gross line about how he wished I’d been his NYE kiss. They stayed together another fortnight, until finally having a huge break up at my birthday party – which she had invited herself to, despite accusing me of stealing her boyfriend the previous two weeks. The guy and I are still friends but nowhere near as close, ha. Annabelle, 20.
"He woke me up to try and kiss me"
It was NYE 2007 and I arrived to a squat party in a derelict block in Shoreditch half-an-hour before the midnight countdown, having not had a single drink yet. So, I decided to play catch up by downing a shit-tonne of 80-percent vodka one of my mates had just brought back from Russia. Somehow, within half-an-hour, I had also managed to pull someone and spent the countdown getting off with them. About ten minutes later, the vodka really started to hit and I ran off to throw up. I spent the next hour violently puking and blacking out. My friends eventually managed to carry me outside, where I also threw up on the stairs of the block, fell in it and saw the guy I was getting off with earlier walk past me. Then my dad came and picked me up. Leila*, 30.
"I threw up on the stairs, fell in it and saw the guy I was getting off with earlier"
I’ve always hated that moment when the countdown is starting and you're just trying to avoid eye contact with all men. One New Year, I was vindicated because this guy put his arm around me and my friend and said, “How's about a three-way kiss to enter 2014?” I ran away and just sort of… nuzzled my face into the back of my friend's hair as she snogged her boyfriend. Scary stuff. Annie, 24.
“How's about a three-way kiss to enter 2014?”
I had fancied this guy for so long, all my friends knew, and it was actually a big deal for me at the time. One New Year’s Eve, at a club in my hometown where they play like, Tiësto, I kissed him. I was gassed – I didn't really want anything more than a kiss but I just thought he was so attractive (none of my friends agreed). A year later, I was browsing Instagram and I noticed he’d posted about his one year anniversary with his girlfriend around the 30th of December. I thought it was funny in a way – I’d been so buzzing with my conquest and he turned out to be a dickhead. The illusion was shattered and I sent the screenshot to my group chat and everyone was a bit shocked. I felt kind of bad too, but it wasn't that deep because it was meaningless. They're still together now. Looking back, I'm pretty sure he'd taken a pill. Maisie*, 21.
"I was gassed, I just thought he was so attractive"
I was dating – and was completely obsessed with – this lad last December. He invited me to his friend’s New Year’s Eve party which turned out to be quite a calm, board game vibe. Anyway by this point, I’d been drinking for, like, 19 days straight, so when some girl there said she liked J.K. Rowling, I shrieked at her and called her a fascist. The next day, said lad dumped me in a Caffé Nero. NYE and Caffé Nero are now both cursed to me. Sophie*, 28.
"Some girl said she liked J.K. Rowling and I shrieked and called her a fascist"
I kissed a v cute boy while still crying as a result of drunkenly calling my ex in a fit of New Year cheer. As Harry Potter says of his smooch with Cho Chang: very wet. Lily, 24.
"I was too traumatised to tell anyone until literally almost a year later"
So, my friend was having a New Year's Eve house party and I began the night at a fairly standard level of NYE messiness, by getting with a guy I'd been inadvisably sleeping with a bunch of times, who at one point went off to have a "happy NYE" phone call with the girl he was seeing. I, being the fool that I was, happily continued when he came back. The party began to wind down and we had earlier identified an empty spare bedroom in which to have a very depressing shag. I needed to pop to the toilet, so said I'd meet him there in a minute. Hammered, I went into the darkened room a few minutes later and, seeing the barely-decipherable-through-the-dark shape of a man lying in the bed, proceeded to get into bed with him and started CARESSING him, when he suddenly turned around and reveals himself to be my friend’s FATHER who had been kicked out of his mum's room because he was being too annoying when they both got home earlier, very drunk. I then fled the room and was too traumatised to tell anyone until literally almost a year later. Caroline*, 24.*Names have been changed.@hiyalauren