the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Is Your Wife an Imposter?


After four long years, Tad and Dixie Martin finally encountered each other on yesterday’s episode of "All My Children."  Tad could not believe his eyes.  He thought that Dixie was dead.  Was she really Dixie?  Or an imposter?  Perhaps she was some actress given plastic surgery by Tad’s nemesis, world-renowned cardiologist (but immoral) Doctor David Hayward?

"I am Dixie.  I know things only we could know." said Dixie.

"You could have been fed that information from David Hayward."

"But would he know this…?"

She mentioned some obscure reference to "Ozzie and Harriet" that only the two of them would know  — from an episode twenty years ago, way before the actors had all their real-life plastic surgery.

Tad instantly knew this was the real Dixie.

I turned to Sophia, who was sitting on the couch with me, eating leftover matzoh.

"Make believe I disappeared for five years…"

"Where are you going to go?"

"It doesn’t matter.  I go to find myself… in Tibet.  By climbing the mountains."

"Yeah right.  You in the mountains."

"Just imagine it."

"You’d be calling me within two days, saying you lost your backpack and you need me to send you bagels."

"OK, let’s imagine you leave for five years to go climbing in Tibet.  And then you come back.  And I don’t know if you’re an imposter or not."

"Why would an imposter bother coming to you?"

"Just imagine it!  Now, what are you going to say to me to prove that it is really you?"

"I’m confused.  Who am I?   Me or the imposter?"

"You’re you.  Sophia.   And I want you to prove that assertion."

"I don’t know."

"C’mon, something only we would know.  Like with Tad and Dixie — and "Ozzie and Harriet."

"How about "bouqerones?""  (anchovies we ate during our honeymoon in Spain)

"I actually wrote about them in some comments to Ashbloem.  How do I know you just didn’t read that on her blog during your research?"

"Excuse me.  How the hell am I supposed to know you wrote about bouquerones on someone else’s blog?  How about if I just say, "Neilochka?""

"Neilochka?  Are you serious?  That’s my yahoo email address.  You could have just read the blog.  There are people in other countries that know the story behind Neilochka.  That wouldn’t prove you’re not an imposter"

"I can’t think right now.  Let’s just finish the soap."

"So, are you saying that after all this time together, you can’t come up with one thing that can prove that it is you and not an imposter when you come back after five years in Tibet?"

"Maybe if you would stop writing about everything on your blog, I would have something to say when I come back from Tibet?"

"I don’t write about everything.  C’mon, think.  Prove to me that you are who you say you are."

"I’m pretty sure that you’re never going to write on your blog about the time you xxxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx."

"Holy shit, I forgot about that.  Welcome home, Sophia?!"

"Can we go back to watching TV now?"


  1. Elisabeth

    I don’t quite get the appeal of soaps, but I really got into this post, Neil.
    And are you totally sure that you will never write on your blog about the time you xxxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx?
    What if we were all imposters?

    (Could I really be the first commenter today? That’s too cool!)

  2. TE

    Stuck your pecker under your… toaster? I cna’t imagine Sophia using the word “pecker”, though. So it has to be somthing else. It will come to me. In the meantime, I will be readying my imposter.

  3. justrun

    I’m with Sophia on this one. You in the mountains?

  4. Nance

    An Ozzie and Harriet reference? How the hell old are these soap characters? I stopped watching AMC in 1988 and Tad was like 20, I think. Is this the same Tad? Ozzie and Harriet was even a little before my time and I’m gonna be 47 in May. Are you sure it was O&H? Geeze. The writers on that show are lame.

  5. femmedespoir

    snort, snort. cute.

  6. Trixie

    Holy crap…reading about your conversations with Sophia is like watching a Laurel & Hardy flick.

  7. bettyonthebeach

    The visual of a born and bred NYC Jewish intellectual in the mountains in Tibet is pretty funny actually…like Woddy Allen camping at Yellowstone.

  8. psychotoddler

    LOL. Why WOULD an imposter come back to you??

  9. Melissa

    Do all married people talk to each other like this?

  10. Tuck

    Tad Martin is still around? Yikes.

  11. danielle

    Bet it’s something very juicy. Or embarrassing. Yeah, it’s probably embarrassing… Wait a minute, Dixie died? Hmmm, Guess it’s been a few years since my AMC days.

  12. Alissa

    now that we know Sophia isn’t an imposter, will you post the story?

  13. lizardek

    I say we start a betting pool on how long it takes you to cave in and blog about the thing Sophia thinks you’ll never write about. I say 2.5 weeks.

  14. Neil

    Betty – Hey, I’ve been camping. I used to go to a Jewish sleepaway camp. Well, we didn’t actually camp, but it was close. And I was a Cub Scout for one year, so I do know how to tie a knot.

  15. Dagny

    2.5 weeks seems pretty soon seeing as you just got out of the doghouse. Then again maybe you really do like to go shoe shopping. If that’s the case, I give it a week.

  16. Danny

    It’s only on your blog that I am “out” as an AMC watcher. In the writers’ defense (and God knows they need one, as the repellent Dr. Phil would say), they were never trying to imply that Tad and Dixie were old enough to have watched “Ozzie and Harriet” in its first-run, it was a pop culture reference that everyone understood (you should hear the dated references that Kendall and I use to describe our relationship!). But the real question with the current inane storyline is: Would you forgive your spouse for pretending to be dead for FOUR years and essentially abandoning you and your children and allowing you all to go through the grief of losing a wife and mother? I don’t think so. No one could, unless that person was being held prisoner or had soap opera amnesia. Dixie’s got a lot of ‘splainin to do!

    Why haven’t you posted yet about Erica’s abortion reappearing as a 30-year-old man because her doctor stole the 1-month-old embryo and implanted it in his wife (still not medically possible today, much less in the early 70s)? At least Erica remembered getting the abortion–most adult children of soap opera women reappear and the characters “forgot” that they had them. And have you noticed that they never once have used the word “abortion?” Erica talks about her “termination.”

    (Speaking of pop culture references, I think you and Sophia sound more like Abbot and Costello than Laurel and Hardy. Is that what Trixie meant?)

  17. Wendy

    Aren’t we all really imposters in some way?

  18. Neil

    Yes, I’m sure Trixie meant Abbot and Costello. Or Martin and Lewis.

  19. AWE

    The time that “xxxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx” happened because you were wearing briefs and you had to go change afterwards, right?

  20. Rabbit

    Have you ever noticed how much significant others dislike the fun little games you create just to entertain them?

    My ex-boyfriend HATED “If you love me you’ll be able to tell me which baby pictures are of me and which are of my adopted sister.” Go figure.

  21. circe

    I haven’t seen AMC in ages. Thanks for the heads up! 🙂

  22. better safe than sorry

    i watched amc when i was on mat leave with my oldest daughter, 21 years ago and i can remember tad and dixie, i can’t believe they are still on, i wonder if it is the same actors. is erika still on, she must be a senior by now.

  23. cruisin-mom

    Wow, Danny, the last time I watched AMC is when Erica had that abortion.

  24. inky

    I quit watching ALL MY KIDS when Dixie “went away”…. was it the original Dixie??? Wow.

  25. Jacynth

    Didn’t they do that storyline like 10 years ago? God, SO predictable!

  26. Trix

    Yeah…re-read that. Bugger. You’ll have to forgive me. I feel like hell today and was highly doped up when I wrote it.

  27. ashbloem

    Oh, Neil. You are such a girl. That’s adorable.

  28. mysterygirl!

    I totally forgot the mysterious disappearances and reappearances that make soaps so much like real life– I should totally have a special code with my boyfriend so he’ll recognize me when I resurface 20 years later with a ton of plastic surgery… 🙂

  29. annie

    I can’t believe that you actually watch a soap opera like All My Children.

    During that time slot, I prefer the Young and the Restless, and the Bold and the Beautiful.

  30. Serena

    Hahahahaha! Makes me wonder if there are any stories/moments I’ve only shared with one person and not the entire makeup of my world.

  31. kimananda

    Wow, that was such a touching reunion. I have tears in my eyes, I really do. But you know, next season, you’ll realize that it’s not the real Sophia…but an impostor who tortured that tidbit from the real Sophia. And then, armed with that knowledge, you could come up with a really first class blog post.

  32. panthergirl

    Now I’m REALLY bummed I won’t be meeting you tomorrow…. I’m an AMC fan and have been since the very beginning. (oh, didn’t watch for several years until recently, but you really don’t miss much. 😉

    I was laughing today at Tad’s matter of fact remark about why he didn’t ask Dixie about the baby. “If she was alive, Dixie would have said something.” Oh, er, ok.

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