[“Let Inga Tell You,” La Jolla Light, published August 9, 2021] ©2021
As my readers know, I’m always a sucker for those internet and magazine self-help articles on the theme of “What your car/phone/hair style/electronics/wardrobe says about you” or the ‘How To’ pieces: How to Land the Man of Your Dreams, How to Look Ten Pounds Thinner in One Day, or even How to Look Great Naked.
You know the ones. Catchy copy gushes breathlessly: “Your Audi screams fun and flirty! You’re a go-getting jet-setting trend setter yearning for the wanderlust lifestyle! You were born to the live on the other side of the pond. In your ideal life, Fridays would find you on your way to a weekend rendezvous with your Italian lover!”
Now as a regular reader of these articles, the one thing I’ve noticed is that they never seem to reference my particular car or phone or electronics. I’m not sure why but it irritates me beyond belief. I can only wonder, if they wrote about me, what would they say?
What Your Car Says About You: Your 2005 Corolla fairly screams Cheap Car! But the fact that this one actually has automatic windows says it is a huge step up from your Jetta. You were truly born without the car gene! Still, this is the first car you’ve ever owned that your husband doesn’t tell people belongs to the cleaning lady. Next time go wild and crazy and get a Prius!
What Your Cell Phone Says About You: Hey, this one is actually an iPhone! Unlike your last phone it even has a camera! And the fact that it isn’t a pre-paid minutes phone means you even have internet! Not that you know how to answer it! Just like the last one, as soon as it rings you panic and start yelling “hello? Hello?” Your sons do a really vicious imitation of you! But you’ve finally learned to text! You had to get the largest size iPhone so that you’d have room to paste all the instructions on the back. Well, not all the instructions. Even using the smallest 8-pt font there’s so much more you’d like to cram on the back of it! Like how to email a video! That used to be so easy but IOS version 2,000.8 made it impossible! Usually you ignore the updates for that reason! But then the phone stops working altogether! Which is truly irritating! Likely, your next phone will be a Jitterbug!
How to Look Ten Pounds Thinner in One Day: Photoshop, Baby! Heck, go for fifty!
What Your Wardrobe Says About You: You have a wardrobe? Did you age out of contention for “What Not to Wear”? Giving away the iron ten years ago was a great feminist statement: you’re not about to wear anything that isn’t wash and wear. But eventually even wash and wear wears out! Yes, it really does! Are you going for Bag Lady Chic?
How to Land the Man of Your Dreams: Actually, he’s already flopping on the dock. (Love you, Olof!)
What Your House Plants Say About You: Survival of the Fittest! Is it any accident you only have one house plant left? And it’s on probation? Your philosophy is: How expensive is a friggin’ golden pothos anyway? If it needs watering more than once a week, it’s not happening at your house. You’ve spent your entire adult life taking care of kids, husbands, pets, plants. Can’t let the first three crump (however tempting) but the second the horticulturals make a single demand, they’re compost! Enough already!
What your hairstyle says about you: You have insane amounts of hair! Are you sure there’s not another person (or two) under there? Your hair takes seven hours to air dry! Yeah, really! Most people think they want lots of hair! No, they really don’t! Certain styles – like that perm you once stupidly tried – made you look like Medusa with extra snakes. You’d think a layered cut would help but good thing you destroyed all the photos! During the pandemic when you couldn’t get a haircut for five months, you were practically rendered legally blind. You don’t even want to calculate what percentage of your life you’ve spent under – or holding – a hair dryer. You’ve had the same haircut for 50 years! Is there something wrong with that? Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
How to Look Great Naked: Short of losing sixty pounds and being reincarnated as a supermodel, there is no way on God’s green earth that you are going to look great naked! Or even OK naked! That ship has like totally sailed. Or in your case sunk! Sorry, Inga, this article was intended for people for whom there is actually hope! Can’t believe you even read it! The link you were looking for was: “How to make sure people never see you naked!”
OK, I think I’m officially sorry I asked.
The last surviving house plant (it's on borrowed time)