It's not hard to find examples of Americans equating adulthood with driver's licenses/driving/car ownership. I came across one yesterday on a ladyblog written by women based in New York (where I hear people walk a lot?) that tends to pander to readers who, I've assumed from the comments, live in places where driving is the norm. I started thinking about how strange it is that people present the driver's license as evidence of independence and adulthood, considering the childishness of our American belief that nothing matters more than our freedom to drive.
Here are some better benchmarks of adulthood than driving, presented after the fashion that is traditional on late night television:
10. Waiting for a bus for two hours
9. Noticing that the "zombie apocalypse" is code for fears about global warming
8. Paying bills
7. Talking to your neighbors
6. Realizing that not everybody experiences the world in the same way
5. Choosing a place to live based on ecological considerations rather than some debt-driven homeownership fantasy (here's looking at you, California desert suburbs)
4. Rethinking the mentality that you can buy your way out of problems
3. Making choices not to impress your peers but to impress yourself
2. Recognizing the connections between your individual actions and the world around you
1. Taking responsibility for the effects of your choices
Contrary to longstanding opinion, growing the fuck up is in fact a cure for those pernicious "Summertime Blues."