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I'm the cool aunt, I'd better make this pretty damn funny since we vetoed the hookers and blow idea
August 4, 2012 10:35 PM   Subscribe

Help me come up with a loooong list of newly-available opportunities conferred upon one's 18th birthday in the US beyond the obvious biggies. My niece is celebrating her 18th birthday with me, wants to take advantage of her new adult status, and I want to present her with a ludicrously long and goofy list of "celebratory options."

Sure, you can:
* Vote, run for office, make a will, file a lawsuit, serve on a jury, be charged with a crime as adult, get sued.
* Buy tobacco, porn, guns and ammo, lottery tickets, go to a strip club, work in a strip club, serve alcohol, go to 18+ nightclubs/concerts, get a tattoo, enter a contest.
* Take out a loan, get a credit card, buy a car, buy a house, rent an apartment, join membership clubs.
* No parental permission needed to get married, join the military, make private healthcare decisions, open or close bank accounts, get a piercing.

I'm looking for lots and lots of examples, they can be tongue-in-cheek, plausible, implausible, silly, of dubious value, whatever, it's all good.

Things like: random licenses for which she's now technically age-eligible, wacky rights thanks to antiquated laws still on the books, other vices now permitted, every contract you can think of, and everything you can think of that previously required parental consent.

As for local laws, we'll be in North Carolina on vacation.
posted by desuetude to Society & Culture (21 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
This earlier thread has some ideas, although it's not limited to one's 18th.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:42 PM on August 4, 2012

Join some 'secret' societies and religious orders, e.g. the Ordo Templi Orientis.
Apply for Canadian citizenship.
Use eBay.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:01 PM on August 4, 2012

She can go bankrupt!
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:45 PM on August 4, 2012

should she succeed in getting Canadian citizenship, she could then move to one of Manitoba, Alberta or Quebec and commence consuming alcohol.
posted by mannequito at 11:53 PM on August 4, 2012

In North Carolina, persons turning 18 may have their name legally changed without the requirement to file an Affidavit of Character.

In general, 18 is the limit for entering into a legally binding contract, so any business contract or legal filing that you can think of is fair game.
posted by ceribus peribus at 12:46 AM on August 5, 2012

You might want to sadly inform her that she is now too old to be admitted into any of the Shriner's Hospitals for Children.
posted by ceribus peribus at 12:57 AM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

She could operate an amusement park ride or perhaps a deli meat slicer.
posted by hey you over in the corner at 4:45 AM on August 5, 2012

Besides military services, there are a number of jobs she's now eligible for, like firefighter, paramedic, etc.
posted by saladin at 4:48 AM on August 5, 2012

Here's a negative: the law no longer requires that her parents support her. She has to do that on her own. Any help given by anyone else is voluntary.
posted by yclipse at 5:28 AM on August 5, 2012

This varies by state in the US, but 18 may be legal to buy a firearm/take a concealed carry permit class. My lazy googling suggests that 18 is the age in NC. Looks like it takes a few days to get a permit to buy a gun. Maybe?
posted by tulip-socks at 5:53 AM on August 5, 2012

She can now buy spray paint for the first time in many states.
posted by carmicha at 5:57 AM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Buy fireworks. Apply for a fireworks display license. Apply for parade permit. Deep sea fishing license. Alligator hunting license (fl). Attempt to register for selective service (they round filed mine iirc). Apply for a DBA name. Open a po box.
posted by tilde at 6:39 AM on August 5, 2012

See rated-R movies.
posted by donajo at 6:51 AM on August 5, 2012

She can now experience the joys of pseudoephedrine after buying her very own Sudafed. Some places also card you for buying NyQuil.
posted by runningwithscissors at 7:07 AM on August 5, 2012

See rated-R movies.

That's at 17.
posted by Betelgeuse at 7:25 AM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

> the law no longer requires that her parents support her. She has to do that on her own. Any help given by anyone else is voluntary.

That's legally true, of course, but it's emotionally a little more complicated because she was adopted as an older child, so it's not an angle I'm looking to emphasize in this list.
posted by desuetude at 11:32 AM on August 5, 2012

Adopt a pet from a shelter.
Download things with adult content from the iTunes store
posted by itsamermaid at 5:38 PM on August 5, 2012

The Child Labor Laws will no longer apply to her. She's free to be employed in a a hazardous occupation.
posted by Neeuq Nus at 7:11 PM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

For the silly column, she can't order off the children's menu anymore.
posted by Neeuq Nus at 7:26 PM on August 5, 2012

Not just piercings, but tattoos. (though that's state not federal)

Restaurants that serve alcohol often can't have waitstaff under 18; depends on state regulations but I think she can now at least work in a place that serves alcohol, and deliver drinks to tables if not actually bartend.

Lots of cool things that she could have already done with a guardian present, but now can drive on over and sign herself up for without them: rock climbing, trapeze lessons, scuba, organized boating/camping trips, etc... anything with a medical liability release form, you probably know the best example she'd get a big kick out of.
posted by aimedwander at 7:36 AM on August 6, 2012

Rent a hotel room.
posted by jabes at 9:08 AM on August 6, 2012

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