I've been going to a lot of 21sts this year and am gaining more and more of an education on what a 21st should be like.
The official guests begin to arrive around 7/8pm, while the close friends and family have been drinking/setting up since late in the afternoon.
Everybody screams when someone new arrives. People work out whose driving and who isn't. People ask each other what they got the special 21ster. They eat, drink, complain about the music, drink and gravitate towards a socially safe corner of the room before getting out their phones to text and look important and popular.
The more guests that arrive, the louder the music gets. The food starts to disappear and it becomes gradually harder to find your favourite beer or wine as the guests may take a step or two away from their own safe corners to attempt mingling with a larger proportion of the other guests.
People are standing up more by 10pm and maybe even one or two are attempting a-deranged-boot scoot, stepping from side to side and blushing when they miss a beat in the song.
Guests who were in the safe corners have suddenly realised how much they need to piss so wander off to find the toilets and end up in front of the collage of photos of the 21ster. "Ohh look at her/him there! Sooooo adorable!"
Then there's the endless "So how do you know [insert 21ster's name]?"
"Oh! I go to work/school/uni/cat-flinging competitions with him/her. What about you?"
"Oh! I used to live/play footy/masturbate with [insert 21ster's name]"
*both drink and look around*
"Oh there's Kate/Joel/fat tosser I hate but rather talk to him then endure this silence with you. Nice meeting you."
"Oh yes! You too"
Around 11pm a shout rings out and a thick murmur settles over the party as everyone seems to instinctively know that it's speech time.
Mum/Dad/brother/sister/perverted uncle stands up and raises their voice, kicking off the introduction to [insert 21ster's name]'s life.
The family tells the story about the time the 21ster ate a bug when he/she was a tot, ran away from home when all the ice cream ran out, shitted on the neighbour's cat, etc and everyone laughs.
The friends get up and tell the story about the time the 21ster got drunk and vomited in a taxi before taking a dump on Mr Lawson's front lawn, the time he/she lost their shoes on a night out, the time he/she got a flat tyre out near whoop whoop and was stranded for three hours, etc and everyone laughs.
It's pretty much a night of showcasing your entire life at 21 to everyone whose opinion you give a shit about (or are meant to give a shit about).
I mean, what do people that have no piss/shit/vomit stories do?
Do they just wake up a week before their 21st and go "right, gonna get me some 21st speech fodder today"?
Before getting drunk and heading out to shit, piss and vomit till their heart's content/camera memory card is full?
It's just so much pressure. I'll be 21 in less than two years and I'm already thinking about the bloody thing and stressing. ehhkkk.
If everything went to plan it would go like this:
Guests rock up to farm whenever the fuck they want to already find already find me smashed and riding my favourite sheep around wearing cowboy boots and some spanking hot expensive dress with a long neck bottle of VB in my grubby hand.
The old man has fired up a bonfire or two and thrown a couple of dead sheep into the flames and assures everyone that the fire will clean out the taste of maggot.
Other guests on sheepback are playing polo cross with shovels, chasing the rats that had been living in the ashes of the fire pit for the past few months across the paddock, screaming "Come up on the wing! He's headed for the fence!"
My best mates are in the wool shed that's been decorated with empty beer cans and drawing up the tally for the farm-to-pub horse/sheep race and arguing over who the favourite is. It's naturally me, but a rumour floating around says that dirty Wagga has been feeding his pony steroids for a week. The jury is out until Wagga rides down the driveway on a big Angus bull and he's tipped $1.25. I try to argue this infringement of the rules but Bode and Rod have taken my farm-to-pub horse/sheep race rule book and used it for rollies. Fuckers.
I then ditch my sheep, Woolly and go get my pony from the back paddock. He's firing from all cylinders after the redbull I put in his feed and before I can yell "ready, set, go!" he's cleared the top rail of the front gate and half way down the road. The rest of my guests soon follow. Some have a sheep as their ride of choice, some have a horse while others decide on riding each other in the machinery shed and skip the race entirely.
And I figure I've still got another two years to create the rest. Have a feeling I'm going to be disappointed by the real thing though.