Twenty-one…

Oh, twenty-one, that eagerly-anticipated age of majority.  I’m actually not sure which age young people look forward to more, eighteen or twenty-one.  Both ages are ages of majority – at eighteen you can vote and smoke and get your driver’s license if, for some reason, you don’t have it already (because, believe it or not, I know a few other people who finished high school without one).  But at twenty-one, you can legally drink, and I know many people who anticipate this event with as much, if not more, excitement than the ability to drive.  I still don’t understand this, but I suppose that’s a result of my own baggage.

I know some people who plan to get completely smashed on their twenty-first birthdays just because they can.  I’m not interested in all that, but I did want to celebrate my ability to purchase alcohol by purchasing alcohol, so when my husband took me out for supper, I ordered a glass of wine.  I happily provided my ID when I was carded and when the waitress couldn’t find my birthday, I was happy to direct her where to look to find it.

That was the big event of my twenty-first year.  The new has now worn off, but I still get a thrill every time I’m carded.  Now, of course, it’s because that means they think I look too young to buy hooch the legal way.  Either that, or they card everyone who looks under 40 (thank you, Walmart).  But still, policies aside, it makes me feel almost as warm and fuzzy as curling up with a nicely chilled glass of moscato and a couple sticks of Shullsburg string cheese.

Saginaw Cheese – Cheese, it’s good!

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29 thoughts on “Twenty-one…

  1. AmazinglyBrash says:

    I was illegally drinking before twenty-one, so by twenty-one I was giving it up. I didn’t drive until 25 because I live in the city. I think 21 is bigger for women than men. For us twenty-one is time to start thinking about our futures and settling down before we are out of school and the well dries up.

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    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I had a couple of drinks illegally before I was 21 and I know a lot of people who did a lot more illegal drinking than I ever dreamed of doing. Driving here is a big deal because it’s a rural area; public transportation doesn’t exist out here in the sticks. It was more of a big deal for me because I’m something of a goody-twoshoes.

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      • AmazinglyBrash says:

        Being a goody-two-shoes keeps your walk in life clean;ain’t nothing wrong with that. You aren’t missing out because everyone doing wrong has to eventually turn around and do right….so you will be ten step ahead of them. Keep those shoes clean!!!!

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        • Kay Kauffman says:

          I’m comfortable with being a goody-goody. On the other hand, I do wonder about some of the experiences my friends have had that were, uh, less wholesome. I think I stick to the straight and narrow because I’m afraid of losing control. But I’m okay with that. Curiosity killed the cat, after all. And with my luck, I’d end up like that darn cat. 🙂

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          • AmazinglyBrash says:

            Do what you know you have control of….Your mind is stronger than you think. Do what ever you feel you would never regret and leave behind the things your conscience tells you that you will. I am sure your life has been great so don’t wander outside of it by wondering. Don’t settle for being that darn cat, when you can be a tiger….

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          • Kay Kauffman says:

            Ah, but that’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s better to regret the things you’ve done than the things you haven’t done, but unfortunately, I lack the courage to do some of the things I would really like to try.

            As for my wondering, I wonder about experiences like college – I lived in the dorms, but I went home every weekend, so I missed out on a lot of college life (but I’ve written about this already, I think). I wonder about the study abroad experiences I would have loved to have had, in high school or college (though the only reason I was unable to do it in high school is because I lacked the funds and couldn’t obtain enough scholarship money). But I would be a completely different person if I’d had those experiences, and maybe I’m better off having not had them.

            At least I’ll never regret not writing, because I write something every day.

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          • AmazinglyBrash says:

            Its better not to regret and to understand that your life is perfect in its present state….Are you happy???? While you were abroad you would have been missing something else; if you would have stayed in the dorms you would have been missing something at home. Do you smile, love, laugh, play, and live???? Do you truly believe that those experiences would have been worth losing everything you have in place now???? I have had the college life and been the most popular guy in school; It was fun but I missed time with my friends back home and popularity died with graduation. Now, I am looking for love, sometimes envying the people that didn’t have as many people to pick from in high school and colleges. Those who have found the one because people were not using them to gain status. I can’t say I regret my past because I am very well rounded due to it. I also happen to be an optimist, so all I can see is in front of me. I am just pointing out with every regret comes something valuable lost in your present. It may not be lack of courage but comfort in the presence of your present.

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          • Kay Kauffman says:

            I am happy, and I’m an optimist, too, or at least I like to think I am. However, I’m also prone to navel-gazing, which often leads me down the path of “I wonder…”. I wouldn’t change a thing about the life I have now, except for maybe my ability to prioritize – I’d like to have one. 🙂

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    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I’d agree with that. You have to be so much more aware when you’re driving. There are always exceptions to rules, such as if you’re drinking in a group of people, because anything can happen, but generally speaking, you need to focus on so many more things when you’re driving that it’s a wonder more teenagers aren’t in accidents. I’ve seen some pretty horrific ones involving kids I knew. I hope none of my kids will wind up like they did.

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