Stories by Inga


Let Inga Tell You: Crime and pestilence

Nov 18, 2015, 10 a.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: It’s not often that I get an e-mail that begins: I am sending this e-mail for two reasons: 1) To advise people to pay attention while pumping gas, and 2) to check your kids for lice. Intrigued, I just had to read further. I’ve written before about San Diego’s most prominent plagues: rats, mold and termites. In fact, on Halloween a few weeks ago, a young princess came to our door and solemnly advised, “I ...


Let Inga Tell You: Thinking outside the wall

Nov 11, 2015, 10:04 a.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: I don’t usually write about political topics because it just isn’t my area of expertise, but this whole immigration thing has prompted me to weigh in where my husband assures me I shouldn’t. I should mention that my husband is a Republican and I am not, so you might imagine that dinner table conversation on this topic is spirited. It just seems to me that the Republican presidential candidates are not thinking outside the wall. ...


Let Inga Tell You: The Grandma Scam

Nov 4, 2015, 3:39 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: The voice on the other end of the phone couldn’t have been more enthusiastic. “Hi grandma!” said a late teen-early 20-ish voice. It definitely wasn’t one of my grandsons, the oldest of whom is seven. “I’m sorry,” I said politely. “But I think you have the wrong number.” I was about to hang up when he says, “I knew you wouldn’t recognize my voice. I’m sick. In fact that’s why I’m calling.” He coughs for ...


Let Inga Tell You: Psychological Warfare

Oct 21, 2015, 11:45 a.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: It’s Halloween time and the season for scary stories. I just happen to have a few. It was 9 p.m. one October night and I was processing Cub Scout badges at the dining room table while my 10-year-old, Henry, sat opposite doing homework. My irrepressible adopted older son, Rory, age 12, had been banished to his room earlier that evening for a now forgotten, but at the time, tragically common act of misbehavior. Henry and ...


Let Inga Tell You: It’s in the bag

Oct 14, 2015, 9:57 a.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: Dear grocery store bagger guys: Could we talk? I mean, this conversation is way overdue. Here’s the problem: You guys are young and strong. I am not young, and, after having my chest broken by a drunk driver, not strong. It doesn’t matter whether I bring my own re-usable bags or you bag it in the store’s plastic ones, you guys put ALL the heaviest stuff — like both half gallons of milk AND the ...


Let Inga Tell You: Keeping it fresh

Oct 6, 2015, 4:19 p.m.

When you look at our idea of excitement now, it’s hard to believe that Olof and I met 50 years ago as intrepid adventure-junkie 17-year-olds spending our senior year of high school in the Amazon. How times change. This summer, the celebrations we had for both our 20th wedding anniversary and Olof’s 68th birthday caused our younger son Henry to drily observe: “Now don’t get too crazy.” Henry had tried to talk us into doing something special for our 20th ...


Let Inga Tell You: You’re not the Dalai Lama

Sep 22, 2015, 5:44 p.m.

I was hugely dismayed to walk into a local doctor’s office recently and see the following sign: Please be advised that your waiting time could be extensive. If you are unable to continue your wait, please let the receptionist know and she will reschedule your appointment. Thank you for your understanding and patience as the doctor takes the time to provide excellent medical care to all. Here’s the translation: We make absolutely no effort to schedule in any meaningful way ...


Let Inga Tell You: The perfect teacher

Sep 16, 2015, 2:26 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU I don’t think there is a parent out there who wouldn’t agree that if there’s a good teacher-child fit, the school year flies by. A bad fit and it’s a long year indeed. I should probably interject that there might not be anything wrong with the teacher other than she doesn’t like your kid. As hard as it is to accept, your child may be a total pain. You try to work with the teacher, ...


Let Inga Tell You: Adventures in Babysitting

Sep 11, 2015, 10:59 a.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU Recently, we spent four days in LA babysitting our grandchildren — 5, 4 and 14 months — paroling our son and daughter-in-law for a much needed get-away. Overall it went well. There were, however, three heart-stopping episodes but fortunately nothing that could not be resolved by either 1) acetone 2) phenobarbital or 3) the realization that the house wasn’t on fire after all. Fortunately, we were provided the assistance of a babysitter as Olof and ...


Let Inga Tell You: Technodespondence

Aug 26, 2015, 4:18 p.m.

There are infinite numbers of things that can go wrong with your computer. And Microsoft thinks of new ones every day. I have a personal hate-hate relationship with all things technical, which includes computers, software, cell phones, and the entire workforce of Time Warner Cable. I am suffering from serious technodespondence. I really don’t do anything that weird. I’m very careful about what e-mails I open, have good virus protection, rarely sext, don’t do social media or download videos. So ...


Let Inga Tell You: The cheapness Olympics

Aug 19, 2015, 4:41 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: At a happy hour recently, we were having a contest about the cheapest person each of us had ever known. I actually entered three candidates. None of them won but they all got honorable mentions. Fortunately, we’ve been surrounded by truly generous people for all of our lives which makes the pikers that much more memorable. My first entry was a couple whom my former husband had known in college. He hadn’t had any contact ...


Let Inga Tell You: Letting it go

Aug 12, 2015, 3:44 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: There was definitely a selection factor about the people who attended my 50th high school reunion in suburban New York a few weeks ago. We were the people who weren’t dead. I confess I was seriously ambivalent about attending this event. But in the end, I was glad I went, despite, as I’ve previously written, the nightmare air travel to get there. Fortunately, there was one shining light in the airline experience: flying from Martha’s ...


Let Inga Tell You: Melted asphalt insurance

Jul 30, 2015, 11:51 a.m.

Our sons have long since been paying for their own cars and insurance but when we got our annual automobile insurance bill this week, I could only wonder if we were still paying for their youthful indiscretions. My husband, Olof, was actually pretty sympathetic about some types of adolescent vehicle mishaps. As a college student, he remembers working as a delivery person for the father of one of his friends and backing the man’s vehicle into stationary objects not once ...


Let Inga Tell You: They regret any inconvenience

Jul 23, 2015, 1:09 p.m.

After our flight to Boston was delayed in 30-minute increments for eight hours only to be cancelled, it occurred to us that the reason TSA confiscates guns and knives isn’t just to thwart terrorists but to protect the gate agents. I wrote recently about how Olof and I only travel these days if we really want to get some place. The knee room is ever smaller for the 6’3” Olof. The coach seats on long distance flights are brutal for ...


Looking a gift dog in the mouth

Jul 15, 2015, 5:52 p.m.

If there’s one problem I’ve never really worried about, it’s my dog’s dental care. That would probably be because I don’t have a dog. Or didn’t anyway. I’ve written about our granddog Winston a number of times before because even though we technically don’t own a dog, Winston, for a variety of reasons, has spent a LOT of his eight years at our house. At this point, we suspect he’s not going back home. Such are inbred health problems with ...