the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

More on the Last Post


Therapy was very emotional this week.  I didn’t cry, but I almost did. We weren’t even talking about anything significant.  I was explaining to her about some writing project.  I was having some trouble with the plot. It was difficult to concentrate in the therapist’s office.  She was wearing a pretty dress, and she had sexy legs, and I felt almost too comfortable sitting calmly with a centered human being who was listening to me and was saying that it was OK for me to feel anxious about certain things.  It all felt very intimate and spiritual, and I had quick glimpses in my mind of taking the therapist on the couch, but in a nice, loving way, to thank her for being so kind.  I know I write these sex thoughts too much on this blog, but I’m only trying to be honest here.  These were not sordid thoughts.  These were nice and innocent thoughts.

I took a breath and almost cried.

“What are you thinking?”

“I just feel emotional.”

“Emotional, in what way?”

“I can’t explain it. I feel something overwhelming, but I don’t know what it is.  But it also makes me laugh, because I’m sitting in a therapist’s office, and I’ve seen this movie so many times, and I’m stepping away from myself and watching this scene, knowing that if this was a bad movie, I would break down now and remember how my mother used to hit me with metal hangers.”

“Did something ever happen with your mother?”

I laughed.

“Nah.  Those metal hangers were precious in our house for hanging up clothes.  But I had my mother on the phone before as I was driving to the supermarket, and I said I would call her back in two minutes, and that was four hours ago.  I need to remember to call her back.”

(sorry, Mom. I’ll call you tomorrow)

QUICK CUT to new topic:

I had no intention to write about therapy.  I wanted to discuss my last post.  I read it over and it seemed too jokey.  There was a reason for posting it, which has nothing to do with Blog Awards, even though I titled it Blog Awards.  It has to do with insecurity, something we all have in differing degrees.

The seeds to the post grew from an email I received a month ago.  I never responded to it, because I wasn’t sure how to answer, but I kept the message on a notepad on my desktop, waiting for a inspirational way to reply.

Here it is.   I hope the author doesn’t mind.

Good morning! Neil!

How are you?

I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for the past year – and I was delighted that you had my link on your blogroll…. but suddenly it’s not there anymore? Is there some reason why?

I had your link a while ago… and then moved it to another category. After I realized I was replaced by other fancier blogs on your blogroll… I guess I was jealous and removed yours as well… I want to apologize for acting so juvenile. I would greatly appreciate a critique of how my blog had failed to engage you. Please be gentle.

It would be easy to chuckle at the silliness of this writer’s email, but, in all honesty, I find this person brave for sending it to me.   At first I did laugh.  A critique?  Fancier blogs?  Does this writer actually think that I have a game plan here on Citizen of the Month?

Surprisingly, the email moved me.  It makes me feel emotional, much as I did in the therapist’s office — except for the sexy legs part, of course. We’re all so insecure about so many unimportant things. I know I can be.   Maybe not so much about blogging, but certainly with other parts of my life.

I’ll try to be more thoughtful of the feelings of others.


  1. Rattling the Kettle

    Do the fancy blogs have lots of gold leaf in their themes?

  2. Chag

    Promise me you’ll never publish all those love letters I’ve been writing you.

  3. sizzle

    i wish i was fancy. but not like that reba song.

    this blogging thing is interesting. there can easily be hurt feelings when they aren’t intended.

  4. Bre

    I like to think that I’m a fancy sort of girl, but who knows if I’m not just deluding myself.

  5. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Dude, were we in therapy at the same time?

    Maybe we should watch Beaches together and get it all out.

  6. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    And, you have a blogroll?

  7. Ash

    I guess people feel insecure about all kinds of things.

    Perhaps you should direct that blogger to Kurt Vonnegut who said ‘Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.’

    It shouldn’t matter whether we have one reader or ten, just whether we write. Then again, I suppose it depends what kind of purpose the blog serves.

    I think the best blogs try to please nobody and don’t give a shit about what other people think, and perhaps that’s what makes them the best?

    Seems like you had altogether an emotional day yesterday.

  8. Kathy

    True story: I wanted to remove a blog (or four) from my blogroll because a) said blogs were sporadically updated, b) I no longer read them, and/or c) in one case the blogger did something childish and petty and I guess I’d thought I’d “show ’em” by dropping (blogger) from my list.

    Because that would so not be childish and petty on my part. 😉

    This blogging thing like to turn reasonable adults into a bunch of 6th grade girls at a slumber party.

    Anyway, I ditched the blogroll altogether. No one gets hurt, everyone gets hurt.

  9. Heather B.

    I didn’t even know you had a blogroll. I never pay attention to them anyway not even my own because everything is in a feeds reader.

    And I get emotional in therapy too but mostly because of my therapists makeup. I just want to hold her and tell her that it’s ok not to where seven layers of foundation.

  10. Alissa

    We all have our insecurities for sure. Great post.

  11. Finn

    Um, yeah, you didn’t write anything in this post about ME. When you don’t write about ME I get worried that you don’t like ME anymore.

  12. Tex In The City

    Dude, I am chock FULL of insecurities. I think that is why I blog in the first place.


    I think I need some couch time with my own happy head person.

  13. psychomom

    You can cry if you want, it’s okay.

    Call your mother.

  14. mrs mogul

    Do you need a PUFF tissue?

  15. Not Fainthearted

    I love how you deflect your vulnerability with humor. It makes me laugh..WITH you, of course.

    I also think it’s sweet that you wanted to thank your therapist by taking her on the couch in a “nice and innocent way.”

    keep up the good work, Neil!

  16. Karl

    Meh, blogrolls. Who cares? I never use mine, it’s only there as a courtesy to others. All my regular reads are in my feedreader these days.

  17. Lisa

    That’s so hard to answer. I guess there’s only so many we can read? The ones that make us indifferent have to get cut eventually?

  18. Rosa

    Fancy Smanchy.

  19. V-Grrrl

    i am nobody
    who are you
    are you nobody too?

  20. tamarika

    Oh well – I love this post. That’s all.

  21. Walking Punchline

    Uggh…there is no good way to answer that email. Great post!

  22. Karen Sugarpants

    Reason # 1 I don’t have a blogroll. Reason # 2 is that I don’t have enough space for the million blogs I do read.

    I think that person was honest and I like that.

  23. Bec

    Come on – I’m English, drink tea with my pinkie finger pointing out and I say path with a long A… does this not make me fancy enough to be on your exclusive blogroll? Am I a link whore?

  24. Christine

    That email was so wonderfully honest and brave…blogrolls do, at their core, say, “You like me! You really LIKE me!” It feels good to be liked.

  25. Annie

    I love this post. Funny and honest.
    We all are insecure and want to be liked.
    It makes us all human. I am in good company 🙂

  26. liz elayne

    i usually read your blog in bloglines (i have to admit that i am one of those bloggers who reads most blog posts in bloglines), but coming back to this post today (i had saved it), i decided to read the comments. neil, your readers are the best. the. best.

    and, i wanted to be sure to tell you how much this post resonated with me. every now and then blog world becomes so “noon inside a middle school cafeteria” that i just can’t take it. but, it takes courage to reach out as that person did…and for you to post about it. that isn’t “middle school cafeteriaesque” at all.

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