My 21 birthday is coming up. Who cares, right?
Most people probably just assume I am going to be another statistic. That college kid who became the five thousand and first 21-and-under idiot out of the average 5,000 kids who die each year from alcohol related incidents.
Most people fantasize about the day they turn the “magic number.” You blow your school loan gambling in Vegas, get blackout drunk, and wake up the next day in a courtroom having Judge Judy tell you how much child support you now owe to that nice girl you met at a club. You remember her, don’t you? How could you forget someone whose name is Krys-Stall Gucci? She went to Catholic school in Rhode Island.
But I won’t be going to Vegas to impregnate a stripper hoping to be the next baby daddy on Teen Mom. I live in Detroit, if I wanted that to be my future I wouldn’t have to get on a plane to make the arrangements. I won’t be having the traditional birthday filled with booze and strippers, followed the next day by wiping my slate clean during my confessing love for Jesus. Nope. Whatever happens that night I’ll have to live with because living with a conscience and guilt is the new hip thing to do in 2014.
Instead I am travelling to Portland: Hipster Mecca of the World where trendy cafes, organic food trucks, and plaid are in infinite abundance. I figure turning 21 is somewhat special so I might as well spend it in a new place eating phenomenal food with people I love. And yes, maybe a drink or two specially crafted by the bartender wearing boots and glasses with no prescription. Homeless or Hipster? Only God might know.
To me, turning 21 isn’t about the liquor. As I mentioned before, I live in the Motor City, where they only card people younger than middle school. I was raised in a ‘European Fashion’ where, if I wanted liquor, I could have it. It wasn’t some mystical thing that was banned from my life. I wasn’t going to be struck down by God if I had some champagne with my parents or wine at dinner. If anything, I’m going to be struck down because I enjoy Helen Keller jokes a little too much and support gay marriage.
Twenty-one, in my biased opinion, is a bit too young to die. At least, I don’t plan on kicking the bucket yet. If I was going to die young I’d rather it be at 13- you have nothing to look forward to but acne, school dances, and getting kicked out of choir for your angelic voice suddenly sounding like Darth Vader and Michael Jackson had a baby.
Now, I am not going to be the virtuous person who preaches for you not to go to bars or clubs on your birthday, drink yourself into a coma, or do Meth. I would save drinking yourself into a coma for when Krys-Stall comes knocking on your door every month for that check of yours.
It’s your birthday, you should have fun. And maybe binge drinking isn’t my version of fun, but if it is to you, than swell! I won’t be attending your funeral anyway. But when you do take that twentieth out of twenty-one shots just think of how sad your parents are going to be when they find out their child died drinking and driving. Just think of how lonely your friends are going to feel when they realize they can’t call you up to ask about your love life. Just think about all those countries you wanted to visit but will never get a chance to see.
Christ, this article’s mood dropped faster than Lindsay Lohan’s career.
The main difference found in anthropological studies that separates Humans and Chimpanzees is that chimps lack the ability to control themselves. So, if you do lose control on your birthday you are no better than the primate that throws shit at people when it gets angry.
Who knows what my 21st birthday will bring. I could always wind up as just another statistic. But then again, I could also join Bible camp. And while I certainly won’t be looking for an intimate dance from Krys-Stall, I’d be happy to buy her a drink and get her take on Obamacare.
But tomorrow I might change my mind about all of this. I might decide that I can be the first person in history to survive without a liver. I might decide that the beauty of childbirth is worth having a lap dance in that classy place called Dream Palace. I might decide that blacking out and experiencing an STD firsthand might be a life changing experience; landing me a reality show called If the Kardashians Can Do It, So Can I!
If I know anything at all, it’s that I have to live past 21 because I have too much to live for. I have to survive in order to see Justin Bieber go to prison and become a real thug.
When that day comes…I can die happy.