the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

My Mom Was Just Like Me


Sophia: “You know, we should put a personal ad in the New York Jewish newspaper for your mother. Maybe she’ll meet someone.”

Neil: “You mean… like dating? A man?”

Sophia: “Why not? She’s still young. She goes out.”

Neil: “But…”

Sophia: “It’s been a year and a half already since your father passed away. I asked your mother yesterday if she would go out with someone…”

Neil: “You asked my mother THAT?!”

Sophia: “Why not? She said she WOULD if she met someone.”

Neil: “I can’t really visualize…”

Sophia: “She goes out more than we do. She’s younger in spirit than YOU. She goes to the theater and concerts. You just sit there and blog.”

The phone rings. It is my mother.

Neil: “Hi, Mom. What’s that music in the background. Where are you?”

Neil’s Mother: “I took off from work this week. I’m with my friend Laura in Baltimore.”

Neil: “Baltimore? What for?”

Neil’s Mother: “They have this six day classical music “elderhostel” at the Peabody Institute music school at Johns Hopkins. It’s like college for those who remember Elvis. We stay here, there are music classes from professors, and then there are concerts at night.”

Neil: “Sounds fun, but… I wanted to talk to you about…”

Neil’s Mother: “Oops, gotta go. Class is beginning… a lecture about Mozart… Don’t call me. I’m shutting off my phone…”

Neil: “But…”

My mother hung up the phone, more interested in being with her friend than talking to me.

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
She’d grown up just like me
My Mom was just like me


  1. Non-Highlighted Heather

    I can’t stand that song.

  2. Neil

    Anyone from Baltimore know a good late-nite diner for her to go to while she “studies?”

  3. SmartSocratics

    Cat’s In The Cradle And a Silver Spoon. Little Boy Blue and The Man In The Moon…
    I’ve always thought that song was shmaltzic. But I did like his song “Taxi” cuz it was sort of loosely based, and I thought I should have gotten royalties, on my relationship with my boyfriend (at the time) Harry. And, yes, my name is Sue.

    Tell your mom to sign in to JDate, or Jmatch or Jsoulmate or…and don’t ask me how I know about these sites cuz I won’t tell.

  4. Churlita

    I love it when you quote Harry Chapin. You never said if you were going to help your mom hook-up, though.

  5. N

    “…Cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, Neil’s mom is hitting the dating scene soon…”

    I had to put up with my dad hitting the dating scene when I was 12, just after my parents divorced. I suggested he date Olivia Newton-John. He picked another woman instead that already had three kids.

  6. Dana

    “. . . what I’m feelin’ like, Neil, is to borrow the Prius keys/See ya later can I have eighty, please?”

    That lunchbox rocks! If you went into business making a whole series of them (and don’t forget Wagner and Mahler and Sousa and Phillip Glass!), my friends, kids, their music teachers, and I would totally buy them.

  7. ndulj

    Hey Neil…you had better get used to it! If you thought for one minute that we boomers would quit living and having fun just because a date on a calender said we were getting older you are in for a shock!
    You go MOM!!

  8. Bre

    Woah. I don’t think I could cope with the idea of either of my parents ever dating anyone. Ever.

    Before we know it, your mom is going to have a hip dating blog that Dooce comments on, I can feel it!

  9. Finn

    “When you coming home mom/I don’t know when/But I’ll be wearing leather then/You know I’ll have a good time then.”

    You should be thrilled that she’s not sitting on the couch listening to her bones go brittle. Just don’t think about what will happen when she invites that nice man she met in for coffee.

  10. Princess Extraordinaire

    Love it – great post – you go Mom!

  11. Roadchick

    Um – could she swing by and pick up the ‘chick’s mom? Please? Because the ‘chick’s mom is driving her nuts and needs to get out more. Seniors Gone Wild. Tape at eleven.

  12. Sizzle

    that’s always an odd moment when one realizes that. 🙂

  13. Pearl

    Neil, good for Elaine Kramer! She’s definitely not sitting on her tuches in her apartment just watching the time pass.

    Neil, you should definitely…”Stand by Your MOM”!

  14. Blitz Krieg

    Nice closing Neil.

  15. Annie Rhiannon

    Cute. Does your mother read this blog?

  16. Not Fainthearted

    And THIS is exactly why my boys don’t know I’m dating again…granted, they’re still teenagers and could be expected to be grossed out by anything resembling their mother being an ACTUAL human being, with NEEDS!

    So, what I’m hearing is I shouldn’t tell them until after they are what, 35?

  17. psychomom

    Moms are peoples too.

  18. psychomom

    And one day I will grow up.

  19. Scarlet

    Your mom has good taste in music:)

  20. kris

    Oh crap. Here is am lounging on the couch, yet again . . . maybe your mom would want to take me out while she’s in Baltimore?

  21. Neil

    Annie, my mother is my biggest fan. But please don’t call any of my blog posts “cute.” Men don’t like that. By the way, do you like ABBA?

  22. Dagny

    I like it when my mom is dating. It means that she has less time to try to mess with my life. Just a thought…

  23. wendy

    Isn’t she already dating Santa Claus?

  24. Michael

    Reminds me of the movie we just watched, “Because I said So” with Diane Keaton. Although sh is the one who places an ad for one of her daughters.

  25. question girl


  26. ben

    My mom is 16 yrs my senior, she likes the same music, same clothes, blah blah..but she dont like me… and I dont blame her.

  27. teahouseblossom

    Your mom sounds like a really cool cat. Anyone who appreciates Mozart is very enlightened.

  28. Sam

    I don’t understand why they always play the crap version of that song on the radio, instead of Harry Chapin’s version…

    I want the lunchbox.

  29. Karl

    Yeah, can’t imagine my mom dating, either. Creepy.

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