You're Older Than You've Ever Been, and now you’re even older.
The passage of time is a funny thing. One day you’re a child
. You’re in school
. You’re hanging out with your friend
s. You want to be older
. You want to play with the big kids
. You want to stay out late
. Your age is constantly holding you back.
And so the years pass. Very slowly. You’re 7. 8. 9. 10. You start middle school. You’re a high school kid. You have your Bar Mitzvah (if applicable). You learn to drive. You turn 18, and go off to college. Finally. You’re childhood is over. But is it?
So you get to college and quickly find yourself feeling like a kid again. All the older guys are going out to the good clubs. They’re hitting up the local watering hole for Friday happy hour. They’re hitting up The Bar. “Oh, you’re only 18? You can’t come with us. We’re the older guys. Wait until you’re older.” Sure, you can go to that house party and drink some cheap beer and pretend to be cool. It’s all good, until the cops come.
Turning 21 isn’t about being able to drink. Twenty-one is the age at which all the milestones of childhood are over. It’s the final hurrah. Why do we go out to a bar and do 21 shots on our 21st birthday? Why do we continue such an obscure ritual? Maybe we’re just drinking to forget that our life is more than half over. Maybe we drink to say goodbye to childhood.
Regardless of why we do it, we go out to the bar every time anyone turns 21 and get them totally hammered. We drop 300, 400, 500 dollars, and for what? Sure, there’s some amusement seeing someone get inebriated and later puking all night. And then there’s the ritual of the thing. When I was 21, the guys did this for me, and now I’m doing this for you. It’s human nature; it’s a guy thing.
The truth is that you’re no more an adult when you’re 21 than when you’re 18. You’re still not financially independent or financially secure. You still don’t have a wife, or kids, or a real job, or a college degree. You can’t even rent a car.
I always knew I would have a 21st birthday but I never thought I'd be 21.