["Let Inga Tell You," La Jolla Light, published Feb. 6, 2014] © 2014
My husband is having an emotional affair. There, I’ve said it.
Actually, if we’re being perfectly honest, it’s
THREE emotional affairs and they’re all with cooking show honeys. I will refer
to them as the Southern Sweetie, the Pioneer Person, and the Italian
It all started when Olof had minor surgery in 2012
that went really wrong. For a month, he lay in bed sipping his liquid diet and
incongruously watching the Food Channel.
I guess it was eating by proxy.
You’d think that would all have changed once he
could eat actual food again. But I know
for a fact he’s still cruising cooking shows. Other people try to sneak a look at
someone’s cellphone or email but I’m trying to get a peek at Olof’s DVR. Which I would if I could figure out how to
Of the three, the one that really worries me is the
Southern Sweetie. After walking in on
the show some twenty times, I was dismayed to learn that the total number of
episodes in the series had been…six.
There’s not a whole lot of deleting going on here, a classic sign of
food porn addiction. But I soon
discovered that the problem wasn’t a fixation on the food.
Inga: “I didn’t realize you liked Southern cooking.”
Olof (transfixed to the screen): “Is she cooking?”
No, Olof is completely infatuated with this young
hottie’s 100-watt smile, her big blue eyes, her blond hair, and her southern
accent that is thicker than the maple syrup she uses in her pumpkin
Every time she says “mah” (my), Olof falls deeper
under her spell. When she starts
creatin’ a casserole, or “buildin’ mah bourbon pecahn pah,” Olof’s eyes go
completely out of focus. When she looks
right into the camera, flashes that killer smile, and says (hopefully of the
pah) “it’s super moist,” Olof has gone to another dimension.
The premise of the six shows is that in each
episode, she’s teaching some clueless codger who has never even boiled water
how to make a “romanic” meal for some lady love. She is all encouragement as she coos at the
codger with her drop-dead smile, “You could be a little more vig-rus with yer
whiskin’.” Olof would love to be a
little more vig-rus with HIS whiskin’, believe me.
It’s total culinary seduction. No guy fails with her. Cook “cun-try haym n’ pataytas” with her and
everything will be unicorns and rainbows.
It will be like the first time you had sex. Only better.
The girl will be happy too.
She may have her blond hair in a demure pony tail at
the nape of her neck but I’m sure Olof is fantasizing that the second that
camera is off, the pony tail comes out, the blond hair cascades down the back,
and she and the codger are locked in a hot embrace over the curried cauliflower
florets. If this show returns, I
guarantee you Olof will be first in line for the codger casting call.
As for the Pioneer Person, I’m sorry to say that as
attractive and appealing as we both find her, what Olof is really lusting after
is the cheddar. I swear she must have a
skip loader backing up to her house every Monday with 500-pound palettes of
cheese and butter, i.e. all the stuff our primary care doctor, Dr. No, won’t
let us have. I get that she is feeding
ranch hands in addition to her own family but a typical recipe starts with a
roux of flour and six sticks of butter, followed by whole milk or cream, and a
couple buckets of shredded cheddar all melted into a decadently gooey sauce
that is poured over a vat of pasta and served alongside individual two-pound
steaks. Given that this is a cattle
ranch, you kind of suspect that you saw the steak in a different form in a
As for the Italian Temptress, even I agree she is
drop-dead gorgeous and has a radiant smile.
(Olof is a sucker for smiles.)
She’s also suspiciously thin. This isn’t the saturated fat fest of the
Pioneer Person but it isn’t exactly diet food either. I’m guessing that off-camera, she spends
seven hours a day on a Stairmaster interspersed with kale cleanses. It’s the only explanation. Fortunately for me, she doesn’t have time for
Olof with all that Stairmastering. Besides,
she’s got a husband who may or may not be Italian. You don’t mess with those guys unless you
want to end up as an ingredient in a tray of Party Perfect Lasagna.
I just want to make clear to all three of them,
especially the Southern Fried Vixen: you
can’t have my codger! And as for Olof,
I’d like to point out that I have a nice smile too. Olof?
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