Thursday, April 23, 2015

My First 21st Birthday

On October 12th 2014 I turned 21. All year I'd been thinking about what I wanted to do to celebrate seeing as 21 is an age at which one is obligated to make a relatively big fuss. I decided that I wanted to have two separate parties, one for all of my close friends and one for all of my family.

While that might seem like an obvious avoidance tactic, it was more because the only appropriate venue I could think of for a massive group of people was my grandparents house which is about 2 and a half hours drive out of Wellington.

It seemed to make sense to host the larger family event there and to have a group dinner followed by a night in town with all of my friends for the sake of an optimal invited guest to attending guest ratio.

The first of these two events was the family one which took place the week before my birthday so that it fitted in with Mum's school holidays. Pretty much my entire family was invited along with a few close family friends who I consider to be my family. I also invited Clemmie along because I thought it would be fun to subject my new girlfriend to the terror of meeting my entire extended family a month into our relationship.

I had work the day of the party and caught a ride with my big brother Campbell and his fiancee Linda after my shift. We arrived a few hours before the scheduled start time which gave me a few hours to get some much needed sleep before I had to be presentable and lively.

When we arrived Mum and the grandparents whose house we were borrowing for the evening were busy finishing off decorations and organising food prep. I said a quick hi to them all before I disappeared upstairs to crash out.

Clemmie was one of the first to arrive which was nice for the both of us. It gave her time with not that many people around to slowly be introduced to everyone rather than having to walk in and meet a hundred strangers all at once. It also meant I didn't have to worry about her getting lost trying to find the place for very long.

The place filled up pretty quickly and it was good chatting with everyone and revisiting my entire life through photos over a few drinks. Mum did a really good job of organising everything over the course of the evening and we had a constant stream of good food circling around the house.

About halfway through the evening, after dinner had been served, everyone was rounded up for the whole presents and speeches thing. I've always found it hard to pay much attention to compliments so having several important people in my life all make speeches about how proud of me they are was hard to sit through without bursting into tears but I think I did alright. It was really nice having both of my parents there particularly during this part of the night too. I haven't had a huge amount of significant life events where both of them have been around so that was cool.

I got a lot of really cool presents as well, from stuff that will prove exceptionally useful in future travel, to things with meaning that actually did make me cry, I even got the laptop that I'm typing this blog post on (thanks mum).

My family 21st was a great night and I'm glad I had so many people that were able to come along and celebrate it with me. I had an awesome time, ate great food, got exceptionally drunk, all the things that should be done at a good party. It was the perfect way to celebrate 21 years of life with a group of people who have known me for most if not all of those 21 years.

My next post here will be about the celebration I had with my friends for my 21st birthday.

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