A few of you who read this are not yet 18, and in order to avoid the feelings of betrayal and confusion that will arise soon after your 18th birthday, I wish to share a revelation.
18 is not a magical birthday.
I really thought that something important would happen. September 9, 2009 was supposed to be a milestone, except it has been followed by 104 days of realization that at least when I was 17 the bus only cost 50 cents. In my residence hall at school, people keep an eye on me. The RAs, ARs, and Rector all exist for no other reason than to watch me. ME! Megan! I could live at home and be forbidden from having boys and alcohol in my room. Kaitlyn, you’re like three years older than me, how did you develop the subtle interrogation methods employed only by my step-mother in such a short time?
Now I come home from school and as I left on Saturday evening, what to my wondering ears did I hear?
“Where are you headed, hon?”
My dad is under the mistaken impression that merely calling me “hon” will turn his prying into loving parental involvement. An attorney, a man who is supposed to be familiar with the state code–including age of majority laws–should know better.
“I am going to meet up with some shady characters and commit wanton acts of thievery and vice, daddy, as I have decided to test the adult criminal justice system.”
A cool dad would play along. You know, like all those dads on sitcoms. “OK, sweetheart, do you need any money?” But this man is not cool. As I walked out the door, he only called out “Megan Kendall, where are you going?” We have gone from “hon” to my Christian name in less than ten seconds. Mind you that he is not as concerned with where I am going as he is with establishing a conversation that will allow him to tell me when to return. Twenty minutes later, when we reached that point of the negotiations, he declared that midnight was acceptable.
Now I had no real reason to be out any later than midnight on Saturday. We were just going to Bellevue Square and it closes at nine, so at best we would run out of things to do by 11:00. However, I am a girl of principle and I WILL NOT BE DICTATED TO BY PETTY TYRANTS NOR HELD HOSTAGE TO THE WHIMS OF TERRORISTS. I just spent most of the day at Mary’s baptism and other baptism-related affairs and that girl slept through it all. The United States Constitution guarantees me the right to have a gun and I don’t even use that one so I dang sure am not forfeiting the one that guarantees me the right to walk the streets with my head held high at 12:05 in the AM.
“So, midnight it is. Have fun. Do you need any money?”
Turning 18 means nothing.