the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

My Relationships with Mommybloggers Can Make Me Sad

(via IM)

Neil: “I figured out how to put photos in the contacts into the iphone. There is an app that transfers all the photos from Facebook.”

Mommyblogger: “Cool.”

Neil: “Now if you ever call me on the phone, your face will fill the screen and I’ll know not to avoid the call, like I sometimes do when my mother calls.”

Mommyblogger: “Aww, I bet you take all of your mother’s calls.”

Neil: “I want to add your number. What’s your number?”

Mommyblogger: “What do you want my number for?”

Neil: “I can call you some time. Free minutes after nine!”

Mommyblogger: “I’m not sure my husband would want you to call me.”

Neil: “Are you serious? I IM with you all the time!”

Mommyblogger: “That’s different. IM-ing and email are not real. Calling on the phone is real.”


  1. Annie

    She has a point, she is married and perhaps she is afraid the call will lead to meetings and then, sex!
    Sorry you are sad. XOXO

  2. Finn

    OK, that’s funny!

  3. Diane Mandy

    It’s an interesting way to draw a line, isn’t it?

  4. Miguelina

    Don’t be sad, Neil. Phone calls would be awkward, what with the spouse hovering and hanging on to every word. Every innocent, totally platonic word. (Not that I’d do that to my husband if he started getting calls from female friends after nine or anything. Ahem.)

    Use those minutes to talk to single ladies – you have a nice voice!

  5. Janna

    It is a fine line to draw. I don’t think my husband cares who I talk to on twitter, but if I was getting calls from other men after nine? Oh no!

  6. TRO

    IMs are fantasy, whether it’s talking about the weather or cybersex. Phone calls reach into reality. And women are especially attuned to the difference.

    Of course, most husbands wouldn’t like their wives chatting with a guy in an IM if they knew how personal they can get – and get quickly. People say things in an IM they would never say on the phone or in person. It’s the nature of that method of communication.

  7. Sammanthia

    It’s a good thing you didn’t ask her to meet for drinks.

  8. TRO

    Of course I am just guessing about all that having never, ever, ever chatted with a woman online. 🙂

  9. Kathy

    IM-ing and email are not real. Calling on the phone is real.

    Why aren’t IM’ing and email real? I broke up a friendship with a married man that existed only in the online world because I thought his wife might read it. (Some of his messages were uncomfortably flirty.)

  10. Neil

    TRO — I’m not sure IMs are fantasy. I actually do very little flirting online. I mostly gossip about blogging, relationships, books, or work, with only a few moments where I might ask the woman if she is wearing a bra. But those are usually at the down times during the conversation.

  11. Jozet at Halushki

    You know, sometimes it’s my husband who is IMing with you, using my account and name. Just to keep me honest.

    You are, after all, hot property, Neil.

  12. churlita

    I’ve noticed that a lot of guys I graduated with from high school with don’t put anything for their relationship status on Facebook and they’re awfully flirty. I just assume they’re married, but I wonder if their wive’s even know they have a facebook. I bet they wouldn’t talk to me over the phone they way they IM me either.

  13. sizzle

    Interesting. I have seen people become VERY close and (what I would consider) cheat via the internet. I guess the phone does make it more real but that makes the assumption that what we share on here isn’t real and I don’t agree with that.

    P.S. I am not married so feel free to call me.

  14. TRO

    “with only a few moments where I might ask the woman if she is wearing a bra.”

    But would a guy do that in person or in front of his wife?

    Me, I would, but then I am just into bras in general. Oh, and by the way, all women chat naked. It’s a fact.

  15. Nancy



  16. Neil

    By the way, half of you have included your phone numbers on Facebook, and I am desperately writing them down before you realize what you have done and change your mind…

  17. patty

    I’m sure she simply didn’t trust herself and knew the call would turn to dirty matters if you ever chatted her up via phone.

  18. mommyknows

    Hmmm … I’ve had a couple of bloggers call me and it’s a bit weird. I’m not sure why, I guess it’s a mixing of two worlds.

    It could be because, I once had a weird internet peep send me bacterial powder in the mail and the baby, nanny and I ended up in the hospital.

    There are weirdos out there, and so I like to keep real and virtual somewhat separated.

    That said, your are my only male friend on facebook that I haven’t met in real life. You just don’t seem like the bacterial type.

    What is that app?

  19. Momo Fali

    I think a phone call is kind of taking things to a new level, and that’s why she didn’t think it was a good idea.

  20. Neil

    Mommyknows — that is incredibly disturbing! Wow.

    Momo Fali — so, basically, as long as we continue our passionate affair online, it is OK, as long as we never call each other on the phone.

  21. Tracy

    I don’t buy that email and IM aren’t “real,” yet I know that a phone conversation does make an online relationship (whatever its flavor) more real.

  22. Twenty Four At Heart

    One of my best friends is a married man. I’m married too. We used to see each other all the time in “real” life. Now our lives have gone in different directions so we never see each other. It has always been a purely platonic friendship. Now we email all the time …. Our spouses don’t care in the least. However, if he started calling me at night? I’d feel weird about it and Briefcase would not be pleased. It’s weird because over email we talk about EVERYTHING. Somehow night time phone calls would put the relationship into a different realm.

  23. Peeved Michelle

    My husband emails, IMs, and talks on the phone with his female friends, as I do with male friends. It isn’t the mode of communication that can create problems, it is a lack of trust of your spouse or their friends. If he had a friend with whom I was uncomfortable, he would end communication with her. Same goes for me.

  24. TRO

    Much, much rationalization and denial here . . . chatting in IMs is dangerous because it is somehow less intimate and more intimate at the same time. I can’t really explain it any better than that but if you are married and chatting with other guys or gals then you know what I mean.

    As to male-female relationships I subscribe to the Harry Met Sally theory noted by Nancy above. Even if a guy is just your friend he still wants to nail you. It’s science.

  25. Angela @ Lost In Splendor

    I am so amused by this. You’re turning yourself into a home wrecker!

    I have no perspective on this. I mean…maybe if I was talking to other butch lesbians late at night KC would mind, but somehow I doubt it. Plus they are super rare. So straight folks are free to call away.

    Also, I really want a damn iPhone.

  26. kimberlee

    wow. since I’m new here, informative stuff. let’s see.

    1. more supporting evidence as to why not to get married.
    2. it seems one way this could go is maybe you have a mommy fetish?
    3. you are on facebook?!
    4. IM vs email vs phone = communication kids. deal with it.
    5. 9pm is the magic bewitching time for lascivious, adulterous, suspicion. no one ever fools around (or plans it) before that fateful hour?!

    who knew?!

  27. TRO

    “9pm is the magic bewitching time for lascivious, adulterous, suspicion. no one ever fools around (or plans it) before that fateful hour?!”

    No married folks with kids anyway . . .

  28. lucy

    I would let you chat with my wife.

  29. Katee

    That is really kind of lame. Lots of my blogging friends have my phone number. What is the harm? Unless she has a secret crush on you, maybe that is why she thinks it is improper. Actually, I might be on to something!

  30. Miss Grace

    Yeah, I don’t get it.

  31. gorillabuns

    it’s all the same. i’ll give you my phone number and I know my husband could care less.

    and mommyknows? good lord. i didn’t think that stuff really happened. i’m so naive.

  32. Neil

    Well, since we won’t be talking on phone, I guess us using our webcams will just have to do…

  33. sassy

    Isn’t it MORE personal with a webcam, since you actually see each other? I mean, Neil, if you skype me, I’ll be forced to reveal that all y facebook pics are that of another girl… and I’m a very large, hairy, bearded woman!

    My number’s on facebook.

  34. Danny

    I hate the phone, I hate IM-ing, and I get what that blogger is saying. But I’d talk to anyone via email or Facebook. Do you have Penelope Cruz’s email address? (Don’t worry, I’ll share the emails with my wife, she’s just as hot for her as I am.)

  35. Rattling the Kettle

    Aren’t mommybloggers asleep after 9pm anyway?

  36. Caffeinatrix

    Maybe the mommyblogger in question is really a guy… Wouldn’t that be a hoot?! And really, if that were the case, it might make you feel better, yes?

  37. Long Story Longer

    She’s rationalizing to herself. It’s kind of bullshity, in my opinion.

    Also, all women aren’t mommybloggers, just so you know. Some of us are just girls. : )

  38. SciFi Dad

    It’s interesting: some people have this detachment from online communication, that it’s less intimate or personal than a phone conversation. I totally get what they are implying, but with the exception of audio (something easily remedied online via v-chat) there is no difference.

    It’s semantics.

  39. SciFi Dad

    Also? You’ll never get my phone number because then you’d figure out I sound like Topo Gigio.

  40. texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvana


  41. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

    Is it sad that 1) I completely understand her point and 2) I think I know who it is by the wording she used.

  42. Neil

    Sarah, I understand it too. I mostly found it interesting how the aspect of voice over the phone has a different connotation. Actually, as I think we move more and more into a text based communication system (which is surprising, since we spend decades moving away from it), the phone will only seem more special and tinged with meaning. It used to be that a phone call was the norm. Now, it is becoming reserved for special events at home — like secret affairs or announcing a death in the family.

  43. Christine

    Sorry, but I disagree. It’s all real. And I talk with close male friends over the phone at all hours of the day and night. Or IM them, or email. Or meet for drinks. That’s what friends do! Whatever the situation calls for. Hubby does too. (And we have kids too, good lord!) It’s just a matter of being honest with yourself (and each other) about your relationships.

  44. leah

    i agree with what peeved michelle wrote about male/female friendships. and, that im/text/phone/email are pretty much one in the same.

    over thanksgiving, i had my first blogger friend phone conversation. we were trying to meet up (didn’t pan out b/c we were too far from each other). i was nervous with the “idea” of it but that went away pretty quickly.

    bring it on.

  45. better safe than sorry

    well this examples the awwww thing.
    i’m surprised anyone has their real phone number on facebook, i still don’t trust it, i think there is a thing about having too much personal information out there.

  46. NYCWD

    The whole “IMs and e-mails aren’t real but a phone call is very real” is a complete load of shit. They are ALL forms of communication, and none are any less real than the other. Is a work e-mail from your boss telling you to do something less real than a phone call or a meeting? I think not.

    She, on the other hand, obviously is not her real self online and is therefore a certifiable phony.

    You deserve better.

  47. PocketCT

    You can call me free anytime. Iphone+Iphone=Free all the time….

  48. Allison Worthington {@fussypants}

    yep yep

  49. Suzanne

    I don’t get the distinction. IMing is a good substitute when you can’t get to the phone (or you don’t want to use the minutes)

    The phone’s better. I’d rather talk to you that way!

  50. Anissa@hope4peyton

    Maybe she has a lisp.

    Or maybe she is JUST that ridiculous.

    You can call me, I don’t have a lisp. But I do tend to say “ummm” a lot. Get over it.

  51. Marie

    You make an interesting point. Besides the implications that might be drawn by phone calls, I would find phone calls from someone I “knew” online awkward. With blog or FB comments or Twitter, I can make a point and that’s it; I’m out.

    With a real time give-and-take, what the hell would we talk about? In person, you have at least the weather and the setting to get the conversation started.

    Phones, so 2008 for actually calling people!

  52. Amanda

    Phone conversations and IM conversations are totally different somehow.

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