So my fiance recently turned 21 and he didn't really want that big of a fuss... Well, that just wasn't going to happen on my books anyway, but it did make me wonder - why not?
I guess being 21 is more of an American thing. When they turn 21 they're legally allowed to drink (although that's not to say they don't already!). In the UK it's 18, so we tend to make a big fuss of that birthday... Not that we can maybe remember though!
So what happens in the UK for us turning 21?
Supposedly, it's a sign of being an adult. I think reaching the status of "adult" varies anyway.
When you're a teenager, you're told to act more like an adult and be more responsible. But then you're constantly reminded that you're not an adult yet ... So you can't really win. It's an awkward age really; Not yet an adult, but not quite a child.
Similarly, nowadays if you're 12 or over, you're expected to pay adult prices for tourist venues such as fun fairs, museums and other such places. What?! That's just even more confusing in itself!
So for 21, what does it really hold to us anymore?
I think that 21 is the actual signifier that you are an official adult. Yes, you can get a house, get married even have kids before you're 21; but ultimately, getting to that age is a definite turning point.
People take you more seriously now that you're 21. For example, so long as you can prove yourself responsibly, you can get good car insurance, bigger loans, and all sorts of other "adult" things.
After that though, I guess 30 is the next biggest milestone... Makes you wonder why we do celebrate birthdays though.. It's kind of like "Yeah! You're now this old - Well done! You haven't died yet". Sort of morbid that isn't it really? My friends do come out with some great quotes sometimes...
Anywho, a very happy birthday to my fiance and a very happy birthday to you if you're turning the big 2 1 soon.