It actually occurred to me after I'd mentioned it yesterday that actually the story of New Year's Eve 1983 is so funny, that perhaps I should retell it. (Mind you I am hoping here that no one who was actually at that party, barring Mad Twin, will pop out of the woodwork and remember it too...)
It was one of those funny evenings that happens when you're young free and single. I was eighteen, on what would now be called a gap year, just about to leave home for the first time to do voluntary work. Most of my close friends had spent their first term at college and we had spent Christmas catching up.
As usual at this period in my life, I fancied a bloke who didn't fancy me. I was a past master at that. Most of the time the object of my affection was in love with a very good friend of ours. Everyone was in love with her. It was most annoying. For her and us. And had it not been that she was (and is) exceptionally lovely she might not have survived her teens.
This particular object of my affection, though didn't fancy my friend, but was in an on/off relationship with another girl also annoyingly nice. That Christmas the relationship appeared to be off, and I had entertained ridiculously high hopes that he might look my way. So it was with some disappointment that I witnessed his arrival with said girl at the start of the party.
There was only one thing to do after that, and it was to enlarge my acquaintance with vodka and orange, which that night tasted like nectar. It also didn't taste of alcohol, so I didn't quite realise how much I'd had.
So it was that I found myself pouring my woes out to a friend of Mad Twin's. Now the problem (sometimes) with having a twin is that people muddle us up, and forget which one they're talking to. Or in the case of this particular friend, he'd fallen head over heels for MT, but not for me. But I was talking to him, MT wasn't (I can't honestly remember what MT was up to, but I'm sure she'll tell me), and he sort of thought I might be a good replacement. The problem with this approach to dealing with twins, is that we are very different. And I was the wrong twin. But he kissed me anyway. In the garden where I had retreated after midnight in a moment of post countdown misery.
At the very point that he kissed me, the kitchen door opened and the poor bloke who at the time fancied me (and I didn't fancy in the slightest) saw me snog someone else I didn't fancy in the slightest. He was a bit of a depressed kind of chap, so then I went into a flat spin thinking I'd made him even more miserable. Then I looked at the lad I was kissing and thought, why???? Oh god, too much vodka that's why.
Next thing I remember I am sitting in the bathroom balling my eyes out (as you do when you're eighteen and have overdone the booze), surrounded by my best girlfriends who were doing everything they could to cheer me up.
It was at this point another friend came in the room, presumably also to do his best to help with the cheering up process.
By now I'd gone through the misery stage and was in a boiling hot rage as to why the guys I fancied NEVER EVER fancied me, and what did SHE have that I didn't?
My friend's polite question as to whether or not I was allright led to me clouting him on the nose and sending his glasses spinning across the floor. I still have no idea why (but if you do perchance happen to be reading this, I am really really sorry.), but New Year's Eve's a funny old time, and anything can happen I generally find...
After that, thankfully it is all a bit of a blur.
Till the moment that I remember best, and still makes me laugh after all these years.
As my longsuffering friends tried to get me into a car and take me home before I did anymore damage, I spotted a lamppost, which suddenly called to me. Dance round me, it said. So I did. I span round and round and suddenly I was laughing out loud, and all the misery and stupidity of the evening fell away, and I felt free and flirty and young and it didn't matter anymore that I was in love with the wrong guy, had kissed the wrong guy and the wrong guy was in love with me.
I was eighteen, it was a New Year, and anything was possible.
And it was then that it came upon me in a moment of utter clarity that I'd been setting my sights at completely the wrong target. The person I truly loved was -
Well that didn't work out either.
But hey ho, by the following New Year I was coping with the embarrasment of having snogged another wrong guy at the end of term, fancying someone else who didn't fancy me, wishing this year would be the year where I met the man of my dreams.
And funnily enough it was...