What difference does a day make?

Most of the time, not much, or so it seems.

But if it’s your eighteenth birthday, it could be a lot.

Today is my daughter’s eighteenth birthday. Like most parents, I can’t believe it! I’ll spare you all of the “it seems like only yesterday” blah blah stuff. Today, we’re doing the usual celebratory things – a cookout and party with family and friends. But first, we’re attending another special event: my daughter’s senior recital for her vocal lessons. She’s been practicing for this for months, working on a wide range of music from the Baroque period through modern-day musical pieces. It will be hard work for her, and a performance like none of us have ever seen: one hour of just her.

Of course, she’s been thinking a bit of what she can do, now that she’s eighteen. With her birthday this late in the year, most of her friends are already there, so she’s had plenty of time to ponder it. She can:

  • Register to vote. She’ll definitely do this, probably next month or so, even though there’s next to nothing on our ballot this November. Ironically, one of her best friends turned eighteen last year, on the last day one could register to vote in the presidential election. Because they had choir rehearsal, she did not make it in time.
  • Buy cigarettes. Yuck! That’s what she says, too. Last year, one of her friends didn’t smoke, but bought cigarettes when he turned eighteen, just because he could, LOL.
  • Buy smut. Probably not – there’s plenty of it for free on the Internet. If she does, I don’t want to know.
  • Buy a shotgun. Nope. Her dad/my husband owns several; he’ll be glad to teach her to shoot and/or take her hunting any time she wants!
  • Work full time. She would have liked to do that this summer, but hardly any place wants to hire anyone under eighteen these days, nor do they want people who just want to work summers, unless it’s a seasonal business. In those cases, they hired people back in the winter, when my daughter was busy with schoolwork. Maybe next summer!
  • Get a hotel room. This is something she will definitely do, probably for an anime con she goes to every year.
  • Join the military. Nope, she’s going to college.
  • Buy lottery tickets. Maybe? But I don’t see her being a big spender here. After all, they’re terrible odds.
  • Get married.Β Seeing as her boyfriend’s still in high school (his birthday is in November) and they both plan to go to college, I don’t see that happening for a while. At least I hope not!
  • Get a tattoo. We’ve talked about that. A lot of the kids she went to school with have them, but like me, she says she can’t think of anything she’d want permanently on her body for life. But who knows, that could change.
  • Get a credit card. She has a debit card, and can buy online with that, so she really doesn’t care about a credit card, but realizes it would be good to build credit. We talk about responsible spending and managing finances regularly, so I don’t worry she’d go nuts with it. We’ll see!

As for me, I did get a credit card soon after I turned eighteen – it was a Visa card, with a $300 limit that my dad cosigned for. I registered to vote too – that year was a presidential election year, and it was cool to be a part of it. I also had a full time job in the summer – they were much easier to come by in the mid-eighties! There also weren’t the restrictions on hours for people under eighteen during the summer back then. But my actual birthday? I don’t remember it at all! (And no, I wasn’t drinking! I didn’t discover that until a couple years later. :))

ROW80Logo175Which brings me to my ROW80 goals, which were rather hit-or-miss this week, due to all the party preparations:

  • Skim/read the smaller of the two research books – No. Got one chapter read, that’s all.
  • 1500 words on new ms – Yes!
  • 4 workouts – Got 3 in.

I have a few obligations this week as well, so I’m going to keep the bar low. Here’s what I want to do:

  • Skim/read three chapters in research book
  • 1500 words on new ms
  • 4 workouts

What about you – what did you do on your eighteenth birthday? What newly-legal activities did you partake in soon thereafter? πŸ™‚ Β And like me, do you now have that Alice Cooper song stuck in your head? Please share – I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

14 Responses to \

  1. Happy birthday to your baby girl. As I tell my boys. Even when you’re taller than me, you’ll always by my baby. πŸ™‚ My 18th … Oh! I just remembered. I was out of town for a dance competition. The company and my dance teachers all had cake in the hotel room. Good times. πŸ™‚ I don’t remember doing much new. I did vote that year. I was so proud to contribute my 1 vote, still am.
    You’re moving forward, good for you. Have a great week and enjoy the senior recital.

  2. Hi Jennette,
    Happy birthday to your daughter. It’s a shame people aren’t just hiring for the summer now. That was a big part of growing up for me.
    I’m a Brit so the first thing I probably did on my 18th was buy a beer.
    It looks like you met most of your goals despite having so much else to do. Good luck for the coming week.

  3. Man, 18, LOL. I’m having a hard enough time with oldest turning 15 this year and being able to start the whole driving process!! Happy birthday to your daughter πŸ™‚

    Looks like you had a pretty good week and solid plans for the upcoming one. Wishing you all the best.

  4. I joined the Army when I was 18, but I didn’t get a credit card until I was 21 I remember buying a sewing machine at JC Penney so I could get credit! It wasn’t so easy back then — and I had a job: the U.S. Army!!!

    Good job on your writing! My word count has dwindled, but other projects have had priority. Hope to increase that this week, though.

  5. SJ – she will definitely always be our baby! Chances are, she’ll remember her 18th due to the recital (which was lovely!), just like you did because of being in your dance competition. πŸ™‚

    Debbie, that’s so true! Much of it is the economy, but a lot of it is liability and greater restrictions on workers under 18 that weren’t there when I was her age. And thanks!

    Raelyn, 16 was scary for us for the whole driving thing, too! But she wound up being a pretty good driver. It’s amazing how fast those last 2-3 years went! And thanks!

    Stacy, it’s scary enough having her go away to college (and it’s only an hour away from here!) – I can’t imagine sending my baby away to serve our country, but I’m thankful for those who do. Thanks for your service, and good luck on your writing this week, too!

  6. I got married when I was 18 but not on my birthday. (I don’t recommend this, by the way, even though it turned out fine for me.) I’m thinking hard and don’t remember what I did on my 18th birthday! Sheesh!

  7. Happy birthday to you daughter. Mine turned eighteen last year and got to register to vote in the presidential election. Although that might’ve been more exciting for me. πŸ™‚ I can’t remember what 18 meant for me!

  8. I think that was the day I took my dad’s Plymouth around a curve a bit too fast and left a nice welt in the rear fender. It was the beginning of some lucrative years for the auto insurance industry where I was concerned.

    Now, on my 19th birthday, I drank beer legally for the first time.

    Because unlike a mutual friend of ours who turned 19 later that year, I could.

  9. Aww – the little ones are leaving the nest. It’s bitter sweet. Your daughter is a cutie and I wish her nothing but good times and happiness in the future. She sounds like a really good kid.

    And I must say I am shocked that you wouldn’t consider getting a Camaro tattooed on your person. But, I still think you’re cool.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  10. Catie, I can’t imagine being married at 18 – but I’m glad it worked for you!

    Coleen, thanks! Glad I’m not the only one who can’t remember. πŸ™‚

    Jim, LOL – having turned 18 exactly nine days after you, I could’ve drank beer, too, but hadn’t yet acquired the taste. That happened a year or so later. πŸ˜€

    Patricia, thanks! And LOL you’re not the first person to say that!

  11. Wow, this is a milestone year for you guys. Your daughter’s graduation and now her 18th BD. Happy birthday to her! That voice recital, dang, that sounds like a biggie. Singing for a whole hour! She must be really good and must really love it. Hope you get some good videos of it. I don’t remember what I did for my 18th BD either. So long ago. I didn’t smoke, so didn’t buy cigs. Drinking wasn’t a big deal – had my share at 16! I did get a full-time secretarial job three months after I turned 18. Now it’s bugging me that I don’t remember what I did for my 18th BD. Hmm, I guess nothing super special or I would remember! Let us know how the recital went. Have a great week.

  12. 18 I got my first driving licence – as to the rest we didnt come of age until we were 21 back then although you could get married and go to war at 18! voting? no not until 21 – credit nope not until 21 or ‘married’ and then only if your husband signed the papers! – in fact at any age if married your husband had to sign the papers – remember my father involved in long dispute with a store (have the correspondence still) because mum wanted something on HP and he said she was perfectly capable of running her own affairs – they won in the end – mum must have been in her 40s at the time:( couldnt get loans or mortages till 21 or if married without your husband taking it on

    life has changed a great deal in my life – after all it was only about 20 years ago it was still okay in law for a husband to rape his wife!

    at 21 when I officialy had the ‘key of the door’ I slept most of the day – was looking after a fractious child and my nights had been nil for weeks:)

  13. Lynn, thanks! The recital was wonderful! I hope to have some video next week – depends on how my dad is with editing. πŸ™‚

    Wow, Alberta, lots of restrictions back then! I remember there being fewer here – we could drink beer when I turned 18, but not liquor. When I was 19, it went to 21, but I was grandfathered in. Lots of changes indeed!

  14. Super late, but Happy Birthday to you daughter! Eighteen is an exciting time. She officially her own woman. I remember looking forward to being able to rent a car. Not sure what the laws on that are now with all the changes in that area. I’ll have to get educated in the next five years. πŸ™‚