|Coming of age
||[May. 9th, 2012|09:45 pm]
When it comes to significant birthdays, mine is the lost generation. Those older than us came of age on their twenty-first birthdays, gained the right to vote, received shiny birthday cards with 'key to the door' motifs (I have had a front-door key since I was eight, but that is not the point). Those younger than us were adult at eighteen. But all of them could point to a birthday, a particular point in their own lives at which they officially became grown-ups.|
My cohort came of age en masse on the first of January 1970, when the age of majority in England and Wales changed from age 21 to age 18. No personal celebration, just a legislative change.
This is ancient history, of course, but it's in my mind because forty-odd years on, I've been caught in the same trap. Once upon a time, the retirement age for women was 60, and for men 65. This was clearly unfair, and since on this occasion it was men who got the worse deal, something had to be done. Which is why we are now in a ten-year period of adjustment, during which the age at which women qualify for retirement benefits is gradually sliding upwards until it meets that of men.
Once again, women older than me retired on their 60th birthday; those younger will retire on their 65th. Anf my cohort retires on a date between the two, deduced by some arcane calculation on the basis of our date of birth.
I should probably put 'retires' in inverted commas of some kind, since when you retire, and what it means to retire, is not as simple as this makes it sound. Nonetheless, last Sunday I qualified for my pension, and today I went to the council office and claimed my bus pass.
Um, that's about how I see it! Thanks?
My parents and their friends all had retirement parties. I've never been to one for my friends.
I hadn't though of that!
Many of my contemporaries have slipped into early retirement / second career; and come to think of it, so did my parents!durham_rambler
took early retirement at 51, and we went out for a drink, but it was a very small party (technically retirement, in practice redundancy from a team that was already dispersed around the country).
Huh. Possibly the most interesting post I've read all day. Um, time to celebrate?
FWIW, those in my birthyear had the dubious honor of being 'grandfathered' in on a very important legislation. When the legal drinking age in the US went from 18 to 21, those who had already achieved the age of 18 could still drink legally in Washington DC, but no other state local to mine had such a grandfather clause. There may have been other states but they weren't local enough to me to matter, and in the self-absorbed flush of my misspent youth*, I never bothered to find out. Because we could just cross over the border to Washington DC and buy alcohol (I grew up in Maryland). We were the youngest year to be able to do that.
Consequently, when I did reach the legal drinking age of 21, an event usually marked with great celebration and debauchery, it was no big deal to me.
I want my debauchery. ;-/
*Despite my lengthened legal access to alcohol, I've only actually been drunk twice in my life, the first being on my 21st birthday and the second being years later at a Beltaine festival. But it sounds more intriguing to imply that I was a wild party animal.
Um, time to celebrate?
You know me, I'll celebrate anything! And in fact May 9th is a significant date for us anyway. But durham_rambler
had to go out to a meeting, so celebrations will have to wait.
I've always wondered how a legal drinking age of 21 actually works, when kids go to college at 18. Is it actually enforced? You have ID, don't you? I was drinking in pubs at 16 - nothing heavy, but hanging out with people a year or so older, and where else did you go but the pub? That's where the folk club happened, too...
The drinking age is as enforced as the Powers that Be want it to be. Pretty much every teen-ager knows where to get alcohol and I can't think of anything that those laws have done except drive immature drinking underground, where there are many more incidents of dangerous stupid behavior. Kids don't learn how to drink responsibly and the law causes more problems than it solves, IMO.
We don't have pubs here, at least not in the way that Brits do. We have cafes. ;-)
It's one of those 'If you aren't confused, you haven't grasped the situation' areas...
I qualify for my state pension and bus pass at the beginning of November at an age that makes me feel somewhat Adrian Mole-like. I've therefore told my manager I will retire at the end of October, and, as is customary in the office, there will probably be some sort of "do" to see me off.
Yes, D. said that was the plan!
And it makes sense that the retirement party should be the prerogative of those whose retirement does actually remove them from a social group.