August 23, 2006

Suburban 21, Tuesday Night Special Edition

What did you do to celebrate your 21st birthday? Personally I can't recall my own. Way back then, turning 21 wasn't a big thing. Eighteen was the big deal as it represented becoming a legal adult for all things great and small.

About the only new thing when one turns 21 these days is the ability to purchase and drink alcohol legally. That's not to say youth of today wait until they are "legal" to imbibe, but turning 21 is a coveted landmark in that regard.

Then there is, of course, the whole symbolic passage into Real Adulthood. I am reminded of a Pink Floyd lyric: "Welcome, my son, welcome to The Machine." Yet life doesn't have to be that way. I hope for my son it never is.

We hosted a party for The Boy on his 21st. A kegger. Yes yes. I'm not sure what that says about us as parents but obviously we don't think it says anything too terrible because we have no regrets. You, dear readers, may feel differently.

We were welcomed to be part of the festivities. We knew the no-longer-kids who had been friends of The Boy in high school and his newer friends from college. Other guests we were meeting for the first time.

The picture exhibits me about to partake of a Peppermint Patty administered by The Boy: a shot of pepper- mint schnapps and a squirt of chocolate syrup introduced simultaneously to my mouth. I was also initiated to the intricacies of a game called Flip Cup, in which, I am pleased to report, it is easier to achieve competence than is Beer Pong. The members of my team raucously supported my burgeoning skill.

(Truly I'm curious: would you have played along?)

The Boy wanted his party on his actual birthday despite the fact that it was on a Tuesday, smack dab in the middle of the Real World Work Week. Partying during the work week is evidently not anathema to young adults. His friends came from far and wide, north and south, east and west. I'm only exaggerating a little. They arrived toting pillows and sleeping bags, prepared to crash on our basement floor or wherever else a clear spot could be found. The extravaganza unfolded over three days, Monday to Wednesday. It was a very satisfying parental experience.

A satisfying parental experience? A keg party? Ayup. Quite so.

Wednesday morning, Wendy and I slept in and left the house together around 11:00 am. We tiptoed around so as not to disturb the bodies slumbering in the living room and in the basement. Dudley, our indiscriminate snuggler, curled up with the random body asleep on the couch as soon as it was apparent to him Wendy and I were not going back to bed. The house appeared messy, but not terribly so: Solo cups scattered around, discarded glow necklaces, a paper plate or twelve, a few partially consumed bottles of water.

Until I turned the corner into the kitchen and looked beyond. Home to the remnants of the buffet, the dining room was a disaster area. Our screened porch looked like a hurricane had hit. I closed my eyes to the disarray and headed off to work.

By the time we returned home, The Boy had gone to drop his last guest at the airport. Our house was clean. Not spotless, but damned near. The only obvious evidence of the party was a thank you note one of the girls had slipped under our bedroom door that morning and the empty keg on the porch.

Ayup. Satisfying. Quite so.



the only daughter said...

I'm not even trying to remember what I did at for 21-like you said 18 was the big shiznit.

The 21st birthday -kegger- bash hosted by your parents sounds perfect-well, depending on the parents, I guess. You guys rock.

So fab that the house was clean ! Your brand new 21 year old & his
friends rock too.

Great pic. Congrats !

Cris said...

better to be done with you than hidden from you. I think it was a great way to celebrate your son's entrance to adulthood. and obviously he has learned the lessons he needs to at this point, and proves it.

glad you had fun.....but.....
how was the Peppermint Pattie?

Gina said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all!

I don't know if I could do that, though.

C said...

Excellent time!!! You and Wendy must be the coolest ever! : ) I'm proud of you and your Flip Cup foray, I may have to invite you out to CA to play a few rounds with us! Which, btw, I am here and safe, though my blog is lacking in sufficent updates and photos.
Glad you had a good time and I bet "the Boy" did too. : )

That Girl said...

That's so awesome of you guys!

I probably wouldve joined in only if my son asked, but Im not a party kind of person anyway.

Im glad y'all had fun.

weese said...

ha! very cool.
i am quite sure i would have held my own at flip-cup... but the peppermint patty - i think i would have to pass.
(i just love kids who tidy up after their parties)

WenWhit said...

Yes, yes, The Boy did a remarkable job of picking up after the party. Warmed my heart it did. :)

Peppermint Patties taste very much like the York candy of the same name. My only issue was the vodka out of the freezer was cold on my teeth!

WenWhit said...

Sorry, sorry. That was schnapps, not vodka. Either way, it was damned cold!

scout said...

What a sweet end to the story. A responsible, courteous young man you've raised there, gals.

On my 21st I was at a concert—the Pogues, I believe—and I was very disappointed that I was not carded when I ordered drinks. Nor have I been carded since. Must be that old-soul crap.

Twenty-one also means you can gamble legally. On to Las Vegas!

sporksforall said...

The best I can say for liquers, is that I like saying the word. But kegs? I miss kegs. Well done for having one!

Zoe said...

Damn, why I could I have had parents like you? Sounds like a great party!

My 21st sucked. Summer birthaday, all of my friends lived out of state and I was older than my boyfriend.

WordsRock said...

We're not cool. No matter how it may seem, we're really not cool.

We're more like lucky. Maybe we should head for Vegas!

Elizabeth said...

Weren't you married at 21? I bet on your 21st birthday you were making a pot roast for your husband and looking all Donna Reed like.

What a cool 21st birthday. I never would have guessed you would give your boy a kegger? Y'all drink beer? Who knew?

I woulda played. But you probably could have guessed that.

Once again, happy birthday to The Guy. He's not a boy anymore. He's a guy.

And now, Mr. Guy, all us old people are passing on all the crap to you. Good luck. Have fun. We're tired and we need a beer.

Val said...

That's great for him, for you, for everyone.
Cool or not, when your kid includes you in the party - it's a good thing!

Gunfighter said...

Sounds like a great party!

As for the Peppermint Patty... I prolly would have tried it... once.

Souunds like your son has a nice group of friends.

I remember my 21st bitrhday, 21 years ago... good times.

~Deb said...

Sounds like fun!!!!

I remember my 21rst birthday, waiting at the doors of my favorite club that I always sneaked in---and always got kicked out for them realizing I was there underage----so at midnight---on my birthday, I showed him my id. I was in---officially!

Now it's not so fun to drink anymore since I can legally do so.


Anonymous said...

I wish I had parents like you! I celebrated my 21st by going on an interstate trip with friends and getting drunk at a nightclub. The binge-drinking continued when I came home from the trip but always somewhere like a nightclub or bar or the house of someone I didn't know that well - not the safest option for a young woman! Have stopped drinking altogether at the age of 25 due to newfound obsession with working out at the gym to get rid of beer gut :)

But looking back, I would have much preferred to pass out within the safety of my parents' home and for my parents to have gotten to know my friends instead of their firm denial that their kids have never touched a drop of alcohol in their life :)
agree with cris who says it's better that your son celebrated with you and not hiding away from you.

Joelle said...

Ha! Priceless! What a mom... ;) I loved the picture!

Slangred said...

Cool party. Cool parent. Cool kid. Congratulations all 'round.

I don't know if I've ever played Flip-Cup, but I once landed a quarter balanced perfectly on the rim of a Solo cup in my relatively inebriative college days.

Anonymous said...

On my 21st I accidently got pregnant.

I'm that clever.

Happy birthday to The Boy. :)