It's a simple fact that you become a legal adult in the US when you turn 21. For me, that was March 18, 1989. I can't say that anything magical happened on that day to make me feel more mature or adult in any way. I remember when it really hit me that I was an adult, but it didn't have anything to do with turning 21, having a job and earning my own money, getting married, paying bills, ordering a drink in a restaurant or anything you might expect.
The moment it hit me that I was an adult was during dinner with some friends of ours. This was shortly after we were married and they had come to our apartment for the evening. We were enjoying some pleasant conversation when the topic turned to bathroom cleaners. We discussed which ones worked best and the attributes of spray versus foam and paper towel versus sponges. Like being hit with a ton of bricks, I realised that only adults would talk about cleaning toilets and tile with the same enthusiasm once reserved for such topics as movies and music. I may have been an adult before that day, but that was when I really took notice of it.
A lot of time has passed since then, twenty years to be exact, and I'm amazed at how quickly it's gone by. When I think of all the things that have changed and all of the big events and little events that we've lived through, it's incredible. It seems to be true that the older you get, the faster time goes by. There are still times when I have to remind myself that I'm an adult. When I'm talking about music with my son, for example, it makes me feel a little bit like a teenager again. Or when I play with my daughter I get to be nine for a little while. But then I think of how many bottles of bathroom cleaner I've been through in the last twenty years and I'm an adult again.