Jan Wilberg

Jan Wilberg
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
April 18
I write about being a mother and grandmother, adoption and kids, getting older and the wonderment that brings. My husband says I'm 'sardonic' but then looked up the word and said 'not so much'. I leave it there.


JUNE 3, 2012 11:44PM

Ask Me No Questions, I'll Tell You No Lies

Rate: 6 Flag


One of the freaky things about having a blog on WordPress.com is that I can see the search terms that people use that brought them to my site. Sometimes, it’s pretty distressing, like when I posted about it being so hot when I adopted one of my kids in Nicaragua that the Russian girls in the rooming house where we stayed were running around in their underwear. Oh dear, you do not want to have Russian, girls, and underwear in the same blog post. You get a lot of grimy, slimy hits on your blog and will end up wanting to disinfect your keyboard every 20 minutes.

So today, I was doing one of my regular checks on how many people have read Red’s Wrap and saw that someone had gotten to the site by googling: How old is Jan Wilberg?

So I looked at my husband across the room and said, “Hey, somebody got to Red’s Wrap by googling How old is Jan Wilberg?” ”Who would do that?” he asked.

Seriously, WHO would do that? I thought about a potential new business partner. I supposed he/she might do that although looking at LinkedIn would lead you pretty quick to a reasonable estimate. (Because I frogged around in college, it does shave a few years off my perceived age.)

So then I sat thinking, “How old is Jan Wilberg?”

Well. She’s old enough to know better (one of my father’s favorite sayings so had to lead off with that, whatever it means). She’s old enough to have watched the Nixon impeachment hearings with a baby on her hip. Ok, she’s old enough to remember watching the Army McCarthy hearings on a black and white TV while her mother was doing the Tuesday ironing. She’s old enough to have her father tell her he was sending her to college to find a good husband.

She’s old enough to have campaigned for Barry Goldwater, fall for a black guy, and become a Democrat almost overnight. She’s old enough to get on a bus in her college town, ride to a downtown Detroit motel and have an illegal abortion because she made the mistake of getting pregnant BEFORE Roe v. Wade.

She’s old enough to be sitting in high school English class and listen to the principal tell her the President had been shot and old enough to see his assassin shot by Jack Ruby on TV. She’s old enough to watch men walking on the moon on a 12-inch TV in married student housing at Michigan State University and go outside to look at the moon that same night and wonder how it could be.

She’s old enough to own the best music of any generation, old enough to think Mick Jagger still has his shit, old enough to not give a flying fuck about how old people think she is. And old enough to think freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

She’s old enough to wonder why somebody’s wondering how old she is, old enough to worry that her age might make people draw wrong conclusions about intelligence or her competence. Old enough to worry that people might make assumptions about her based on her age.

Old enough to wonder what the hell comes next.

But she’s also old enough to know about luck, good fortune, and acceptance. Old enough to understand gratitude and small moments.

Old enough to look forward to what’s next.

That’s how old she is.

So there, little mystery googler. That’s how old she is.  All you have to do is ask.Photobucket

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Keith Richards, too, and Dylan. Still have their shit. Seems you do, too.
I also have the fudged educational record, partly as a result of clerical error (long story), that makes me 10 years younger. You know how this or that website, company, survey, whatever, asks your age? I wonder if the feedback I'm giving is data for learning about people my age (and could perhaps challenge assumptions), or if my comments will be dismissed because I'm not in the target demographic. I try to figure out which so I know what lie to tell. But anyone can ask how old I am and I'll tell them. Sixty. Jesus. Still feel like a kid, a bad one.

When I got my first email account at yahoo, I gave my real age. We're talking, like, the 90s, when I wasn't that old. My email page was plastered with ads for retirement plans, golfing vacations, plastic surgery, Ensure and Depends. I guess some people cannot be trusted to know my real age.