the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

I’m OK, You’re Nuts

Thank you so much for all the comments yesterday. By revealing some of your neuroses, you made me feel a lot more normal. Perhaps that is the best therapy of all. If we can be as understanding and caring to OURSELVES as we can be to others, I think a lot of our problems would disappear! When I hear about the foibles of others, I always tell them to get over their embarrassment. It is all in their head! No one really cares! However, if I make the same “mistake,” it is as the whole world is watching.

The comment that inspired me the most yesterday came from new reader, TC.

You know what kills me about people like you and me? That we actually think we’re UNIQUE. Or that, if people heard about our little ‘quirks,’ they’d think that we’re insane.

Instead, of course, they do what I did when you talked about your coupon thing…they go “Oh, man, *I* do that!” Except not with coupons…For me, it’s calling in an order for take-out. I somehow have it in my mind that I’m going to “bother” the person on the other end of the phone by, you know, asking him to make food for me to pick up (or, worse, to have DELIVERED to me). When, of course, every logical cell in my body and everyone else’s says, THAT IS HOW HE MAKES HIS MONEY. He COUNTS on people calling in orders. And yet, I can’t do it. Seriously. Can’t.

Ain’t insanity great?

How insightful! My first thought: “This women is nuts! I wanted to speak to her like Mr. Spock “Your fear makes no logical sense.” ” I felt like sitting her down, tying her to a chair, and not letting her up until she “understood” why she was being illogical. “Why would it bother the restaurant if you called for take-out?”

But this was the point TC was making.  In therapy, the therapist sits there, never talking about herself. I’m not too fond of the student/wise Yoda relationship.  I think I would overcome my “coupon” fears a lot faster if the therapist just came out and said, “Holy crap!  That is nuts.  But not as f***ing crazy as my fear of calling restaurants asking for take-out!  We’re all crazy.  It’s hopeless.  Let’s just take some Prozac and go out for some burgers.  You still have forty minutes on the clock.”


  1. Hilly

    I love that comment! I am totally insane by some standards but quirky people “get me”. And that’s all I need!

  2. Finn

    I hate talking on the phone and will avoid it all costs. But I’ll talk your ear off if I’m sitting in front of you.

    People are weird, why should you be any different?

  3. Erin

    My own personal craziness extends to my shopping list. I put it in Xcel, and color code everything so that I don’t have to go down any aisle twice. THIS is why I went to therapy, I was afraid of becoming some kind of psycho parent who color codes my children. I need to accept life as a messy endeavor. Everything can’t be in tidy little rows all the time…

  4. LVGurl

    The strangest thing my therapist did… or didn’t do… she never took notes. She would sit and absorb everything that flowed out of me. I thought it odd that she never wrote anything down, and yet, the following week she remembered everything! She remembered things from weeks past! I assumed that as soon as I left, she would grab pen and paper to feverishly scrawl everything down.

    One week, I asked her, “You never take notes. Do you jot something down when I leave?”


    “Are you recording our conversation?”

    “Nope. And that’s illegal without your knowledge.”

    *Me, confused*

    She went on to tell me that listening and recall were God-given talents, that she never fully understood their use until she became a therapist.

    But that didn’t stop me from secretly scanning the room for a hidden stenographer.

  5. Melissavina

    Prozac?! Yech, no. I suggest Lexipro. It’s much better and makes burgers taste sooo good.

    Well, I don’t know about the burgers, but it makes everything better.

  6. Neil

    Maybe if we all just write about our neuroses, we can put therapists out of business!

  7. OMSH

    You’ve become the new neurotic priest of the Internet – look at all the confessions above. You should be proud – encouraging people to purge their souls.

  8. MammaLoves


    We’re all crazy. Why do you think we blog?

    That’s the beauty of it. We can all be crazy together!! Can’t you feel the love?

  9. psychomom

    I call myself “psychomom” for a reason and it isn’t because I’m crazy about kids. Just like you, I’m nuts!

  10. sizzle

    i’m crazy. certifiable. let’s go get burgers! followed by a prozac chaser!

  11. Chantel

    I was going to comment yesterday however I was at the beach with a “guy” and I was terrified to tell him that I have a blog. ha, ha!! my blog is the least of my worries.

    Good luck Neil I’m rooting for you.

  12. Catheroo

    I think crazy people are the most interesting people. And I am happy to consider myself part of that lot. Sanity is boring.

  13. sassy

    I’M NORMAL Neil. You’re nuts.

  14. Kyra

    I hate talking to strangers on the phone. Freaks me out and I feel like an idiot. So, I make hubby call everyone I don’t know (like take-out orders, police… *ahem*)

    I think there is a special condition that must affect all bloggers though, why would we do this otherwise?

  15. TC

    You underSTOOD me! As I said on my blog today, that make me very, very happy.

    BTW…I would agree that your coupon thing is less crazy than my take-out thing if it weren’t for that fact that you are a fellow Jew, and just the IDEA that you aren’t aroused almost to the point of orgasm at getting a ‘deal’ on your dinner is anathema to me. 😉

  16. Neil

    TC — Oh, I LOVE the idea of getting half-off, I just don’t like the “imposing” of it on the waiter.

  17. Not Fainthearted

    I saw my therapist today. I don’t want to talk about it.


  18. Jody

    So how about calling in for take out and using the half off coupon too! Burgers and xanax – at least you have your wits about you than with prozac and lexipro. Gee, I know way too much about this stuff – nice to be apart of the crowd! 🙂

  19. Jenny from Chicago

    You say “nuts” like it’s a bad thing.

  20. nabbalicious

    At one of my first jobs in high school, at a bakery, I always felt sheepish about taking people’s money when they bought muffins or something. I always wanted to apologize for charging them.

    And now, I feel vaguely guilty for taking money when I take pictures of people when hired to do so. It doesn’t feel right to be paid for doing something fun. Maybe I could ask them to insult me while I shoot their photos. Then I’ll have NO trouble charging.

  21. Bre

    That’s so completely right! I hate asking for anything that I feel like someone might be a little tiny bit put out by.

    Ugh. Neuroses.

  22. teahouseblossom

    I do feel surrounded by love, with the neuroses sharing going on.

    Or maybe it’s the anti-anxiety pill I just took, mixed with wine. I feel very relaxed tonight.

  23. V-Grrrl

    My husband expresses concerns about my lack of interest in keeping house, sure it’s a sign I’m DEPRESSED.

    “Honey, that’s not a sign of depression. That’s a sign THAT THE HOUSE IS CLEAN ENOUGH FOR ME!”

    See, I’m normal, but his need to have everything spotless and lined up is completely OCD.

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