In the lifetime of The Legal Genealogist, as in the lifetime of anyone whose time has spanned parts of both the 20th and 21st centuries, there have been birthdays… and then there have been birthdays.
Birthdays like the year you first enter school and discover, to your chagrin, that an entire classroom full of people intends to turn to you, and sing you the birthday song… and you are so astonished and dismayed by becoming the unexpected focus of attention that you run and hide in the lavatory until the ordeal is over,
Birthdays like the year you are old enough to get a driver’s license in your home state… only you’re halfway across the country attending college in another state and have to wait until the end of the semester before you can even take the written exam.
Birthdays like the year you are finally 21 and can legally vote… except that the nation has just amended its constitution to lower the voting age to 18.
And of course the birthdays like the year you hit 40, and your baby sister sends you a card that reads: Happy 40th birthday! You will never have fun again the rest of your life.
Birthdays like the year you turn 50 and the only peoplke who really pay attention are those from the membership office of AARP. (My family knew I was expecting to be hassled, so they deliberately planned a surprise party for my 51st birthday — and I really was surprised.)
Birthdays like the year you turn 55, and suddenly you can get 10% off things like breakfast at JB’s, the restaurant closest to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City — but you’re not entirely sure you want to ask for it. I mean, a senior citizen discount? But I’m not a senior citizen!
Birthdays like the year you reach the age of 60, and you’d really like to get discounts on things … and except for the folks whose discounts kick in at 55, nobody cares. Sixty is a really boring birthday.
And… sigh… birthdays like the year you finally reach 65… and you qualify for all the discounts.
You qualify for Medicare, for pete’s sake.
You are — are Officially — and in Capital Letters — a Senior Citizen.
Birthdays like today.
When you realize you’ve gone from 0 to 65 without ever passing adult…
Where’s my official “Gimme my damn discount” t-shirt anyway?