Excuse Me, Do I Smell?

05/18/2015 01:58 pm ET | Updated May 18, 2016

After five years of blogging, I guess I should not be surprised by any company's pitch for business. However, recently, I was taken aback. So many recognize the Baby Boomer generation is alive, kicking and spending money. But, younger generations are a bit baffled as to how exactly they tap into this market. Well, get ready for this one!

A beauty product company wants me to tell you their product will give you a youthful aroma and take away the old age smell! Does that upset anyone else? I attempted to help them out and suggest they pursue another way to market the product. I told them this campaign was offensive to me. They apologized for offending me and did not seem to get I was trying to help their overall marketing strategy. After all, most perfume is sold to us with dreams and aspirations... not family members holding their noses around a granny.

This got me to thinking about the word OLD. I wonder how it is perceived... How does the majority of the business world today define OLD. If you do not wrinkle, or walk with a cane, or dare I say, smell, are you still young? So, I decided to see what teenagers think...

"I'm just curious, how do you define the word old?" I asked.

The teenage girl sitting on the couch in front of my desk had just declared, "I never want to be old. How awful will that be!" Before I asked her to define the word, I waited to listen to peers surrounding the couch. They concurred: No, it will not be good to be old!

So, I asked all of them: "Simply, define the word old." From the mouths of high school students, here are some of their answers:

  • Old means past its prime, not young, well-worn.
  • Old has been in existence a long time, sometimes has sentimental value.
  • Old means well-aged, wise, nostalgic.
  • Old means no longer up to date with trends, no longer able to function without medical assistance.
  • Old means mature, seasoned, we can learn from it.
  • Old is antiquated and dusty.
  • Old is antique and out of fashion.
  • Old is well worn and gray.
  • Old is something used or broken in or wise.

AND MY FAVORITE: Old is something made before 2007 or Madonna!

Through their answers, we can begin to see why some people esteem the word and why some run from it. Baby Boomers have run as hard as we can to avoid being called old. We do not even want to be called grandmother and grandfather. Hence, all of the cute little titles... for my grandchildren we are Gigi and Papa Joe. I love the "mature, seasoned, wise, nostalgic" answers, but not so much "antique and out of fashion." Over 60, I am having a blast and do not feel or refer to myself as old. I prefer the word seasoned. I know, it is just semantics. But, now I have to worry... Do I smell?

How do you define OLD? Please let us know and thanks for stopping by!