You literally can’t make this stuff up:
It was to be the perfect end to a perfect day. Hillary and Jason Martin had just gotten married. They arrived at Bakersfield’s swank Padre Hotel — the bride in her wedding dress, the groom in Marine Corps dress blues.
The two were old enough to marry. Jason Martin, on leave after completing boot camp, was old enough to join the Marines. The Padre Hotel’s age policy, however, required them to be at least 21 to get a room.
The LA Times story details how the 2, young and broke like all of us were at that age, made the plans to get married during a 10-day leave window between Jason’s boot camp and combat training. So, being perfectly legal to actually get married within the law, being perfectly legal to enlist in the Marines, they never gave a single thought about there being a problem with getting a room at a hotel – something married couples do thousands of times a day all across America. Silly them. They thought being considered adults for the purposes of marriage, military, and the law meant they were actually considered adults.
It’s easy to narrow one’s eyes and direct a withering stream of invective at the hotel for their idiotically inflexible enforcement of a policy they pretty much made up out of thin air. There’s no legal requirement for them to have this policy, after all, and I do think they have some culpability in all of this. If their management is so zombie-like that they can’t see there’s a huge difference between a giggling gaggle of young people showing up on the local prom night and a Marine with a wedding-dressed bride coming in speaking of their honeymoon, then those people are just drones. However, let’s not forget that the policy evolved from very real circumstances. And those circumstances have been brought into very fine resolution by this event.
To wit: Newly adult citizens in this country can handle their liability to remain in compliance with the law, they can be expected to understand the ramifications of enlisting for military service, and they are to be accorded a voice in elections every bit the equal of anyone else’s, but they cannot be trusted with alcohol. And if we have to step on our military members’ wedding nights to keep them from the horror of having a glass of champagne with their new spouses, so be it.
I’ve been over this before, most recently with the realization that we can add the exercise of 2nd Amendment rights to the list of things we can’t let our 18-year-old adult fellow citizens do. The reason that policy at the hotel exists is because of the law that says when you’re 18 you’re an adult except if, God forbid, you want to have a beer or a glass of wine. Then, well, you’re just a kid who can’t be trusted. Now, get back in your playpen, punk. I know all about the statistics and supposed lack of responsibility in our younger adults. Here’s my theory: these 18-20 year-olds are so irresponsible and immature because we 21-and-over’s never expect them to be responsible and mature. We don’t ever express the expectation that they are to display the responsibility we seek and that it won’t be tolerated if they don’t. And we certainly don’t hold them responsible – nor actually grant them the freedom to exercise their rights as a adult. After all, if displaying the maturity and responsibility still won’t get you the access you’re owed, then what’s the point?
They are living down to our expectations, and more restrictions and events like those described above will only lead to more of the same.