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Sunday, September 18, 2011

The 20th Anniversary of My 21st Birthday

Turning 41 isn't very exciting. 

Certainly, this time last year I was full of excitement and anticipation for my 40th birthday party that evening, which was so much fun.

So, I thought, why not celebrate the 20th anniversary of my 21st birthday instead?

I had just returned from my very first overseas holiday to Europe and the UK. Fresh off the Contiki bus, I had my party at a local hall. Some friends helped me blow up a bunch of helium balloons which we positioned over the dance floor, with curly ribbon hanging down. It took aaaages, from memory, and I had to leave part way through to have my tresses tended to.

My brother-in-law - a bit of a whizz in the kitchen, especially when it comes to seafood - arrived early with his own microwave and large platters adorned with banana leaves, on which he later served prawns and all sorts of goodies. (Friends talked about how good the food was at my party for years afterwards.)

I wore a ridiculous dress I reluctantly had made in Singapore at the end of my above mentioned  holiday.

The girl I was traveling with was getting some clothes made, and she suggested it. Sitting there, waiting for her to sort out what she wanted, I guess I eventually decided to jump on the band wagon. Of course, the dressmakers never finished it in time for my departure, and my Mum had to attach the tulle underneath the skirt. It wasn't cut properly at the neckline either (there was supposed to be a small 'v' in the middle), so sat awkwardly across my chest.

I hated it. (Amazingly, years later I was talking to a work colleague about the dress and she said, "Wait! That sounds exactly like the dress I had made for my 21st!" She brought in a photo the next day. Exact. Same. Dress. Hers, though, had the 'v'.)

At the end of the evening - with my dress stained orange after someone accidentally spilt a cup of orange juice all down my front! - I took it off and threw it in to the corner of my bedroom where it sat for a very long time before I finally picked it up and threw it out. (What a waste!)

A highlight from the night was a gift a bunch of high school friends got together to make for me. It was a photo album, and everyone took a page or two and decorated it especially.

Don't you love my castle?

My friend, Ralph, put together a mix tape of one song for each year
since my birth. Some had a little explanation with the song. Cute!

My friend Teresa made this one. A bunch of pics photographed together then pasted
in to a cut-out '21'. Check out the daggy pic of me, top LHS, in the
multi-coloured jumper with a RIDICULOUS perm to boot! Hello, 80s.

One friend put together a page of photos with this pop up in the middle.
I love that it looks like I'm sitting on the letters. 

There are some others not shown here. My friend, Tim, was supposed to do a page for me as well, and promised to do it later but never did! Shame, because he was a graphic artist, and I'm sure it would have been fabulous. ;)

My Mum made my birthday cake - a traditional key - which she always made for family members who turned 21 or 18. (Thanks, Mum!)

I gave a speech, in which I explained to everyone how I was a 'surprise baby', and I then thanked my mum and dad for the 'dirty weekend' they undoubtedly had when I was conceived. Classy stuff.

At the end of the night - after a good many hours of dancing like a maniac, swishing my skirt around (one positive of the dress), and sipping Cointreau and lemonade (my drink of choice at the time) - I turned back offers to party on, and instead went home to open up all my amazing presents. Many of which I can still remember. The stainless steel cutlery set my sister and brother-in-law gave me is still in use today as our every day set. (Actually, just yesterday I had to buy an additional set as some of the forks have mysteriously gone missing as of late. They're probably hanging out with the socks somewhere.)

Great memories.

Did you have a party for your 21st birthday? Details, please.

~top image~


Mum on the Run said...

I loved reading that - as if it were yesterday.
It could have been - you haven't changed a bit.

I look back at my 21st photos and cannot believe I wore a white shirt - like business shirt boring white shirt!
My folks put on a great show at our half renovated place and the flaggons of wine went down a treat!! Fond memories.

River said...

Your 21st looks like it was a lot of fun!

The dress? Hmmm. Looks a bit like you borrowed someone's wedding dress and it didn't quite fit.

Naomi said...

I'll never forget my 21st. I sat uni exams. Yeah, I really went all out!
I had a small break in study and went with friends to have coffee. I wore a tie dye orange shirt. Yes, I was that awesome!

Lisa said...

This post is like a walk down memory lane (except the contiki tour... I never got to do that). Eighties fashions are regrettable aren't they!

Because I was married with two babies by the time I turned 21, my party was a BBQ lunch at home with friends & family. My baby son (who was 8 mths old at the time) slept through the entire event!

I hope you enjoy the 20th anniversary of your 21st! :-)

Christie said...

Happy Birthday Anniversary Jodie!
My 21st was pretty good, nothing huge, but spent with family and a few friends. Like you I totally regret what I wore...it was shiny and dark purple, oh and I did something crappy with my hair too for the occasion; slicked back. NOT a good look.

Thea said...

You were so cute!!! And you haven't changed a bit! I love your dress. You knew I would, right?! ;)

Yep, I had the big 21st in the backyard. Mum made my cake too, but it wasn't a fancy key like yours. I got the 'wooden' cardboard key that everyone signed inside.

Happy anniversary and happy birthday lovely lady. xxx

ClaireyHewitt said...

A strapless dress and a cassette. Oh happy days!

Enjoy your anniversary.

Donna said...

Aw look at you and your smiley face - you havent aged a bit!

No party for yours truly - took the cash on offer instead and hopped aboard a Contiki bus bound for a drunken European holiday ...

InkPaperPen said...

A mixed tape!!! Awesome

Happy Birthday/Anniversary, Jodie

Gill x

Tania McCartney said...

This is priceless, Jodie! Love it! I could outdo you with MY outfit I had made in Singapore around the same age... cobalt blue leather pant suit(!). You looked gorgeous by comparison! Happy happy 20th 21st. 40 is amazing. xx

Megan Blandford said...

Happy 20th anniversary! Your 21st looked like lots of fun. Me? Nothing - it just passed as another day, really. We'd had our housewarming and engagement a couple of months before, so I didn't feel like organising something else!

Littlemissairgap said...

Just think of how much time & effort went into making those pages your friends did. No no computers, no photoshop, no printing photos at home! What a great memory for you.