There’s an old joke that goes something like, “People say that at 55, I’m middle-aged. Rubbish! How many people do YOU know who are 110?”
But of course, there’s an ANSWER to that. There are three ages of ADULTHOOD – preceded by one of childhood.
And they are: 0-19… Childhood. 20-39…Young Adulthood. 40-59… Middle Age. And 60-79… Old Age. You can add 80 and up… FREAKISH Old Age – since the natural age to fall off the twig is 79 (okay, 82 if you’re a lady).
Which brings me to my point: what berk came up with 21 as being the age of majority? Alright, it’s now mainly been supplanted by 18 (except for booze in America) but still.
I mean, the two-hundred-plus countries on our planet have various ages of majority: most go with 18, others vary from 9 to 19, a handful (including my adopted country – Thailand) have 20 and a dozen or so still use 21. But surely, the ONLY age should be 20. It’s a round figure, it’s logical, it feels right (you’re no longer a teenager) and it fits right in with the third paragraph of this piece.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not proposing you can’t drink, smoke, make love, drive a car or take out a library book before that age. I’m just saying, if you want a legal age at which you become an adult, it should be 20.
Where did 21 come from? What prune thought THAT up? For decades, in The Land Of My Birth, England, this silly age of majority RULED. In fact, in that country, old-timers accused of some minor impropriety can STILL be heard to say, “So what? I’m over twenty-one.”
I don’t have an ending for this bit. Try as I might (and I HAVE – all across the Interweb) I cannot find ANY reason for this magic figure of 21 having been chosen as the age at which it was thought one became a major. Anyone???