Sure, your 18th is a major. It lets you drink legally, for a change, and you can vote (which maybe explains Bush’s election). It’s the age of majority. I remember my brother-in-law saying you should get drunk and kick an old man’s crutches out from under him the day before you turned 18 because you were still a kid and wouldn’t be thrown in jail. (Says a lot about my brother-in-law, I know.)
It’s 21 that’s really always been the age of being a “grown-up.” But it’s lost in university days, and how can you be a grown up when you are still in school?
For a guy, 25 was a MAJOR birthday because your horrendous car insurance rates fell by half! Insurers believed by then you were through with being stupid for awhile (no more backing into poles, bending fenders trying to parallel park, kicking in the occasional car door).
By 30 you are married or, like I was, about to be.
At the big Four-0 the black balloons come out, and all the birthday cards are jokes about your life being over. Your career is ascending, and life’s pressures are too.
At 50 you stop thinking about birthdays. There’s no doubt that you’re closer to your death than to your birth. Health problems are no longer on the horizon. The empty nest is getting closer. You’re backing into poles again. Your career stopped being a career long ago. In fact, making a living at something you DON’T hate is increasingly hard.
Can’t comment about future birthday milestones. But I note that the happiest people in New Zealand are in their early 70s.