Monday, January 19, 2009

Coming of Age Day

I know today is Martin Luther King, Jr. day, and I certainly don’t want to belittle the importance of that holiday, but I figured everyone would probably be talking about it, so I’d talk about something else.
Today is Coming of Age day in Japan. The Japanese consider you to be “of age” when you’re twenty years old. But as you probably remember, or are experiencing now, doesn’t it just stink when your friend’s birthday is in February and yours is in November, and she has her driver’s license for 9 months longer than you? Well, the Japanese have solved that quandary quite efficiently by creating this holiday. It doesn’t matter if your birthday’s in January or December; as of the second Monday in January, everyone with a birthday that year has “come of age” and can partake freely of any and all privileges thereof.
For me, and I think for most American teens, I had three “Coming of Age” days; my sixteenth birthday, my eighteenth birthday, and my twenty-first birthday. Of course, on my sixteenth birthday, I practically pushed my mother out the door on the way to the DMV to apply for my driver’s permit. (I flunked my first license test and had to wait until sometime the next summer to drive alone). On the eve of my eighteenth, which I think was my personal favorite, I waited until after midnight (no more Cinderella license!) went to Turkey Hill, and bought a scratch-off lottery ticket and a pack of cigarettes. (Disclaimer: Don’t smoke, kids, or you’ll end up a midget like me.) My twenty-first was much more low-key…dinner with my parents and future husband at Chili’s, and my first legal Bloody Mary.
How did you, or how do you plan to, celebrate your milestones?

Beware the sound of crying children, watch out for the barmaids, and whatever you do, don't let the Pegasus spit on you.


©Hotbutton Press said...

Um, I don't remember that many milestones. Muddle-age will do that to you. LOL.


Krista said...

My 16th birthday was spent in Las Vegas. We were passing through on National Lampoon's family road trip. My mother had booked us tickets for a show, which she had checked in advance to ensure it was appropriate for children. (My brother was 17.) Standards are different in Vegas, I guess, because the curtain opened to a wall of topless women!