Iím officially 18 years old as of last
Saturday. Yeah, that day when the crazy arctic front hit in
the middle of a Houstonian April that made me turn on the
heater. Even Mother Nature is ringiní it in for olí Al.
Anyway, so 18. What a momentous number. I
expected a change you know. But same old same old. Living
with parents, holding a curfew, strapped to a 7-hour high
school schedule. So what rights do I exactly gain that are
useful? I actually went online to search for a list in case
some small gem of a privilege evades me. Here are the
highlights of the most unalienable rights.
1. Ability to buy culinary stuff from TV
commercials. Yeah, you know that set of kitchen knives
beautifully done in stainless steel with the added bonus of
a fruit miracle mincer if you call within the next ten
minutes? Well, all mine. I can officially call the 1-800
number and legally order anything I see on TV. Oh I canít
2. Own property. Wow, just the thing I
need because Iíve had my eyes on that million-dollar mansion
for quite a while now. Forget this family; Iím moviní out!
3. Marry. Time to head to Vegas with my
long time lover and do the white chapel thing Britney Spears
style. Where are you K-Fed?
4. Star in an X-rated video. Finally it
wonít be called child pornography!
5. Bear arms and be drafted. Right.
Because every fresh 18 year old girl would love to own a gun
and use it.
6. Smoke. Of course I didnít try it when
I was younger because like alcohol, it was impossible to
obtain. Now, I will start just because Iím of age.
7. Vote. Useful for someone who is
The worldís most coveted rights huh? 18
is the year when society dictates ďyou are legal, and the
world knows it.Ē No matter how mature or responsible you are
before the benchmark, no rights before we think you, and the
rest of the nation, are ready.
Conversely, no matter how immature and
irresponsible you are, as long as youíre 18, the number
decides your rights more effectively than your character.
Then, people suddenly view you differently, like, welcome to
the adult world; your age tells me that you are a Major, not
a Minor, a Woman, not a Girl.
Who decided these rules anyway? And why
is it that we can smoke but not drink until three years
Anyway, Iíd have to say, the only
privileges in effect so far are no more pesky parental
consent forms in school and not having to drive down to
Rosenberg waiting in a two hour line to renew that license
(P.S. Readers of my last column, there
has been an editorial mistake and the article was truncated
at a very inconvenient place. The complete column is on the
Starís website under 4/4/07.)