Age is nothing but a number

I was on a plane flight about three weeks ago coming back from a “visit with the folks” from Canada. I must say, I was looking pretty “throwed” as the new generation calls it. I was at the airport, it was freaking early in the morning, and I looked really bad. I was in jeans, a regular old T-shirt, tennis shoes and my hair was up in this God-awful ponytail. I didn’t think I was running late, but the customs line was pretty long. I met these two men that were going to Houston too, so I knew I couldn’t be left behind.

So one of the “Houston” guys, who looked really, er, nice looking, started up a conversation with me. We started to talk before we got onto the plane, and I found out that he is a true Canadian, yet he lives in Houston and works for Shell Oil Company. His name is Sean, and he was a blonde-haired, green-eyed, handsome young man. Did I mention that he’s 27 years old? That’s much older than me in my book, but I have no problem with that.

However, there was a problem. Our flight was a full five hours, and in between that time, I continued to find out more things about him and what he was about. It wasn’t until I told him my age that I didn’t like him anymore. I’m 20 years old, going on 21 in about seven months, and the guy blurts out, “I don’t usually talk to younger women.” If it were not for the Coke I was drinking when that idiotic comment came out of his mouth, I would have literally cursed the man out. How can you discriminate against me because of my age? We weren’t even two hours into our heated discussion when he “let it rip.”

And of course, I couldn’t just sit there and say, “oh well.” I told him his comment was crap and then proceeded on to say he didn’t even know me. My point is, at the end of our flight, at the end of our conversation, when he found out all about me and how mature I actually was for the average 20 year old, he asked me for my number and for a date.

So why do people discriminate about age? The late R&B singer, Aaliyah titled her CD, “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number.” She was right about that. I mean, is it so awful that you can’t get to know a person first before you set your preferences? If you shut out all possibilities and keep looking for ones that don’t have any defaults, you’re never going to get anywhere.

Sophomore Aaron Husman had an occurrence similar to mine only at a club in Nacogdoches.

“A girl was talking to me, and when she found out my age, she wouldn’t talk to me. She was only two years older than me. I’m 20 years old,” he said. As if two years older makes a big difference.

Senior Erika Durham also feels she is discriminated against because of her age. Many times she has filled out online applications for jobs and even just regular through-the-mail forms for business opportunities. Many of those times she can call back to the office and figure out the business has thrown her application in the trash. Wanting to know why, the same answer always seems to come up.

“We’re not looking for volunteer work or offering any internships.” Erika Durham shouldn’t have a problem finding a job, right? She’s a senior, about to graduate in December, and probably highly qualified for the job, but Durham is only 20 years old.

If people are not discriminated against because of dating preferences or job requirements depending on age, another discriminatory problem exists among most young adults. People just like you and me pay for things. We pay for clothes, food, and entertainment and better yet, insurance. Calling all males. Do higher rates ring a bell when you’re under the age of 24?

Twenty-three-year-old Jason Banks hates having to pay a higher insurance rate just because he’s under 24 years old. Once a male turns the “golden age,” prices just seem to drop by the wayside. Banks is not only discriminated against with paying a high insurance bill though but also for job interviews. The business major swears businesses think he’s not qualified for a certain position just because of his age.

“Being 23 years old and already having three managing jobs under my belt has to say something right?” he said.

So while people will continue to get discriminated against because of their age, the discriminator should take the time to remember the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover. Read the inside first.”

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