Kylie, Ferraris and An 18th Birthday To Remember

An ELLE writer remembers her first big birthday

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Today marks the 18th birthday of the youngest member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. That's right Kylie Jenner is officially an adult

Instead of the celebratory officially-legal-pint in the pub usually associated with the milestone, Kylie celebrated hers with a big white Ferrari from rumoured beau Tyga (surely that makes them Facebook official now?) 

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And so, I can't help but look back on my own memories of that life-changing birthday — aka that moment when I no longer had to borrow my older sister's ID. 

For my 18th birthday I was allowed to invite 10 friends to dinner at the swankiest Italian restaurant in Leicester, where the waiters called you Boss and a giant sparkler sprung from your birthday Tiramisu. We could legally order from the wine menu, but my palette wasn't yet so mature and to celebrate adulthood I sipped on a Malibu and coke. 

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My dad was rather clueless in deciding what to get his dear darling tomboy and so I was proudly presented with a squash racket for my 18th birthday. A step up from my crappy Donnay, my new racket had green strings and a yellow handle – so on trend, no? But sadly not the 18th birthday dream. 

My mum, in a clear sign of pity, swooped in to hand over my real present: a tan Mulberry Bayswater, the bag of dreams. I spent months pleading for it. Everyone at school wanted it, including the girl who had not always been the most pleasant to me. And now, I was the one who had it. It felt like I had caught the Golden Snitch (because everyone was in to Harry Potter back then). Me, the most uncool of the cool with my curly fro and wide leg linen trousers had the dream Mulberry bag. My dad, who tried to claim all credit for the present still to this day says, 'I bet no one has got a Bayswater like yours have they?' I lie and tell him that he was way ahead of the It-Bag game. Despite now being battered and bruised from years of over-use, my Bayswater still gets pride of place in my wardrobe and whatever It-Bag walks into my life now (Fendi Baguette I'm coming for you) it will never replace the Mulberry of my dreams. 

And I'm not the only one in the office who gets sentimental over my gift for the big 18. Here is what some of my colleagues received. 

'I inherited a ring from my aunt which I still love.' - Suzanne Sykes, Creative Director

'I got a car. Mind you, it was hardly a Ferrari. But a Nissan, which I loved so much I gave it a name: Valentino Leroy Jenkins.'  -Kenya Hunt, Acting Content Director

'A plane ticket to Cuba. Best present ever.' - Lena De Casparis, Culture Director

'My first full frame DSLR camera' - Catherine Pykett, Picture Assistant

'A very lovely Omega watch' - Debbie Morgan, Head of Editorial Business Management 

'I got the collarless leather jacket from Kate Moss' first Topshop collaboration. I'd pined after it for months following all the previews in the media and my Mum, Dad and all of Mum's family clubbed together and bought it for me. Still got it, still wear  it and still love it!' Rosie Williams, Freelance Fashion Assistant 

'I got a ‘you’re ready to move away from home kit’ from some oh-so-witty friends.  It included washing powder, rubber gloves, condoms, tampons, a keyring, mobile phone top-up card (remember those??), a bottle of vodka and some paracetomol.  Clearly what everyone needs when they first live away from their parents…' Charlotte Rottenburg, PA to Hearst Publishing Directors

'I got a fuji instamatic camera, which I still have and use.' - Natalie Egling, Freelance Sub Editor 

'A very special signet ring from my aunty.' - Sunil Makan, Picture Editor: Multimedia

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