My oldest daughter recently turned 18, and for her it couldn’t come soon enough. I’m a little ashamed to say ditto for me. Now it’s her turn to listen to 45 minute of bad Muzak just to reschedule her dermatologist appointment.
But I’ll bet she woke up on her 18th birthday and shouted “Freedom!” – ready to taste all the wonderful new privileges granted to grown ups. Then she hopped out of bed and I told her to empty the dishwasher.
For her entire life she’s been fantasizing about the day she can call that 1-800 number on the screen and partake in the “must be 18 or older to order” to nab that Pillow Pet Trickster Helmet without kissing up to mom and dad. It would be like winning Lotto – which she could actually play at 18, but the odds are she’ll never win.
Adulthood isn’t nirvana. Just to enlighten her and other optimistic newly legal adults, I’ve compiled a list of:
10 PERKS AND PITFALLS OF TURNING 18
Whoo hoo! You’re finally old enough to look cooler than Kool, sucking endless drags on these smoldering sticks that give you multiple cancers, lip wrinkles, bad breath, stinky clothing, and dirty looks from anyone entering a Whole Foods Market. But hey – it’s now your right, even if the rest of the left wing knows it’s wrong.
This is great news for the daughter of Penn Jillette of the magical duo Penn & Teller. Penn named her Moxie Crimefighter Jillette. After 18 years of merciless taunts, she will finally be able to change her name to Moxie Crimefighter Jones.
You now can join the other 12.5% of Americans who vote in the national election. Or write yourself in as a candidate for an office, and possibly win, and have the other 87.5% non-voting population complain about what a lousy job you’re doing.
Johnny Depp was certain that his love for Winona Ryder was as permanent as his “Winona Forever” tattoo. Let this be a lesson to all young adults: Love is fleeting, but tattoos are forever, unless you have a ton of money to remove it without a leaving nasty scar.
Sex with your 17-year old boyfriend is now a felony, but now you can sleep with an octogenarian without him being labeled as a pervert on Megan’s Law. Even though at 80+ years, by chasing someone born in 1997 he probably is a pervert. And you’re probably a good-digger.
See #3 above. Love is fleeting, but marriage follows you forever on Facebook photos and Google searches.
8. You can buy porn.
Although you can finally ogle to your heart’s (or some other beating body part’s) content, porn will probably lose some of its allure. Now that it’s legal for you to download “Assablanca” and “Tiger’s Wood,” you’ll quickly realize that there’s a reason porn doesn’t win any Oscars. Most of it’s pretty bad.
However, like porn, now that you can legally buy it, this forbidden fruit is no longer such a big deal. You can get that same light-headed feeling from the lack of sleep you’ll be experiencing by simultaneously working two 35-hour a week minimum wage jobs.
10. You can serve on jury duty.
Yes, it’s now your civic duty to sit through 3 unpaid weeks of testimony from unscrupulous chiropractors and ambulance chasing lawyers. Protests of commitments to work, school, or that Hawaiian vacation you already paid for won’t get you an excuse. You’ll just have to suffer like the rest of us who muster up the integrity to keep ourselves from tossing that jury summons in the shredder. Agonizing torture devices like the rack or the iron maiden went out with the Middle Ages, but jury duty is their modern equivalent.
I can probably come up another 10 reasons why turning 18 isn’t necessarily the bomb, but my daughter slipped out and now I have to empty that damned dishwasher.