Stories by Inga


Let Inga Tell You: I spy

Feb 10, 2016, 3:27 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: The downside of living in the same house for 43 years is that you don’t always get around to cleaning out the filing cabinets in a timely manner. And that’s how I recently, in a fit of organizational zeal, came across this souvenir photo given to me by the FBI from State Mutual Saving’s security cameras. It shows the miscreant who pointed a 45-calibre blue steel automatic at me and the teller from a distance ...


Let Inga Tell You: Whine, whine, whine

Feb 3, 2016, 3:06 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: The loss of both Jonathan's and the Haggen-Albertsons supermarkets couldn’t have been more clearly felt than during Christmas week. There was no good will among men. No parking either. I had hoped to do my last Christmas food shopping on the Tuesday before Christmas. But as soon as I pulled into the La Jolla Vons lot from Fay, I found myself trapped in a hopeless gridlock. I honestly thought it was possible that I could ...


Let Inga Tell You: Fat-burning Fantasies

Jan 20, 2016, 4:18 p.m.

Sometimes I wish I had a background in science instead of just a Ph.D. in skepticism. The latter, however, is a seriously good quality to have in an election year. I’m already fully prepared not to believe a single word any candidate says. And speaking of not believing anything, ‘tis the time of year for all the diet ads that promise us redemption for the food felonies of the holidays. It occurred to me as I read the ads for ...


Let Inga Tell You: What a doll!

Jan 13, 2016, 2:30 p.m.

Since I only had sons and nephews, I never got to buy baby dolls until I was blessed with two tiny granddaughters. This year, my four-year-old granddaughter, Molly, announced that she wanted a doll that “peed and pooped.” I wasn’t sure about the poop part, but even I remember Betsy Wetsy dolls from my youth, so the pee part seemed do-able. A little Internet research quickly revealed the answer to Molly’s dreams: Baby Alive My Baby All Gone comes with ...


Let Inga Tell You: We (eventually) had a merry Christmas

Jan 6, 2016, 7:54 a.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: Will we remember 2015 as the year of holiday crises? The day before Thanksgiving, mere hours before the family was due to arrive, a possum died in the crawl space under my kitchen permeating it with an odor like, well, a dead possum. But for Christmas, we were going to L.A. where in the rarest but happiest of occasions, we would have both sons, their wives, and all five grandtots under the same roof. Life ...


Let Inga Tell You: Be grateful, or else

Dec 16, 2015, 11:55 a.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: As much as I have always loved the holiday season, it was a little trying during my single mom years when the kids were in elementary school. They were off for two full weeks for winter break but if I took that much vacation time, I’d only have a week left for the rest of the year. Those day camps that entertained them during the summer months were few and far between at Christmas. My ...


Let Inga Tell You: A holiday miracle (sort of)

Dec 9, 2015, 12:15 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: It was the Monday of Thanksgiving week, three days before the kids and grandtots would be arriving, when my kitchen suddenly smelled like a marlin had died on the counter top. I only had one question: Does God hate me? Even I am not that bad of a housekeeper. I would have noticed a marlin. When a morning spent scrubbing the affected counters did nothing to improve the ever-worsening smell, I finally Googled “bad odor ...


Let Inga Tell You: Wishing you a pathologically sentimental holiday season

Dec 1, 2015, 3:35 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: I absolutely love the holiday season, but I confess I’m having a harder and harder time about the Christmas tree. I’ve always had a thing for trees in general, not just the Christmas variety. They’re so beautiful and stately. They speak to me. It’s like they have souls. Whenever I’ve had to have a tree cut down, I’ve always felt like I was murdering it, even if it was already dead and about to fall ...


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 ...