Today is November 18th, 2007. This is probably the most important day in history and—according to scientists—there will not be another November 18th for another 364 days. But not only is today unique because it’s a landmark in history, but it is also my birthday. Oh yeah, you remember now. Don’t pretend like you remembered because I know you forgot. Do you know how I know you forgot? Because I don’t have a Facebook. On Facebook all your friends’ birthdays are laid out in front of you in large letters, eliminating any chance of you forgetting:
Since I do not have a Facebook, I have to alert people of my birthday the old fashioned way like, for example, telling them. This confuses my peers and usually requires them too—God forbid—remember. But that doesn’t matter anymore because today I am officially 16 years old. Finally. You’d never guess how long I’ve waited to become 16—approximately 23 years. And after the extensive and excruciating wait, I can now say that being sixteen years old sucks.
When you think about it, there are only a few major ages you’d like to reach. I was talking to a 22-year-old about this, and she said that when you turn 20, it sucks. At that point, all your older friends are allowed to go into bars and party while you sit in the car and feed the meter. At 21, you and your friends are all allowed to drink all you want, but your partying is interrupted by a call from your obnoxious younger sibling asking you to “hook her up.” Then, you’re buying drinks for minors until they turn 21, and by that time you’re 26 and it’s time to get married. After four years of a nice marriage you think you’ve reached the essential age but then your wife wants a baby to “bring love into her life.” A child ruins three years of your life with non-stop crying, and another seven when you find out your kid has ADHD. By this time you’re in your forties, and your child gets into drugs, causing you to stress for the next five years until he graduates high school. Finally, at the ripe old age of 50 you retire and can finally relax and know that you have reached the perfect age. Then, on your first trip out of the house as a care-free man, you get hit by a truck and die.
Since I am not even close to reaching 20, I have just thought about the age I am now. Also, one of my best friends is turning 17 in less than a month, making her 11 months better than me. And because my triumphant day of 16 becomes shadowed by her 17th birthday, I have compiled a list of the “benefits” of turning the 16 and 17.
At the age of 16 you can . . .
• Drive anywhere you want whenever you want with whomever you want, granted there’s a 21-year-old in the passenger seat, it’s between 6am and 11pm, there’s no one in the car, and you stay on major roads.
• Legally drop out of school.
• Get a job at Burger King for when you drop out of school.
• Call up MTV and have them film your Sweet Sixteen birthday so the entire nation can see how spoiled you are.
At the age of 17 you can . . .
• Drive anyone anywhere at any time. Period.
• Legally go to a rated R movie
• In Australia you’re legally allowed to become an apprentice
• Tease kids who are only 16 and constantly remind them that you’re older than them.
Despite the fact that being 16 will benefit me in no way and the only thing I will receive are constant birthday beatings. But I will receive sixteen birthday beatings; one more than last year. And who knows, next year I might receive one more. All I know is that I’ll never be happy until I’m 50 and dodging traffic.