the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: anniversary

The Best Blog of All Time

My site was nominated for Best Blog of All Time!

I am lucky to have Sophia in my life. She helps me “grow.” She teaches me confidence. By nature, I back away from distinguishing myself, about grabbing the most out of life. I have a therapy-sized sense of modesty, insecurity, and need to be liked. But I am 100x stronger than when I first got married.

Today is the anniversary of our marriage. Not surprisingly, I had been depressed all day, lying on the couch, 3000 miles away from my separated wife, looking out the window, watching the cars pull in and out of the Pathmark supermarket parking lot.

I mentioned my blahs on Twitter, and got some heartfelt advice: Anymommy told me to eat something with chocolate and peanut butter. Several other women suggested ice cream (surprise!) TwentyFour and Antonia told me to start drinking. Mir was the most practical with her suggestion to rent some porn. (Rent porn?! Who rents porn anymore?)

The comment that most caught my eye was from Ricewenchie:

Do something nice for yourself today. Like create a new anniversary for this day…

At first, I thought that was a dumb idea, and somewhat delusional. If Sophia and I ever divorce, am I supposed to re-write history and forever think of October 13 as the day I bought a Hamilton Beach blender at the discount store for my mother in order to show her how to make a smoothie (that was the one big event of the day)?

But after thinking about it, I embraced the idea, with a little tweak. To celebrate our wedding anniversary in any traditional way makes me sad, while ignoring it is impossible. So, instead, I will combine the two — like chocolate and peanut butter — and focus on the positive — something good that marriage has brought to my life, and how it has changed me, despite the current status.

That’s why I put that badge on top. I can’t think of anything more arrogant than putting up a badge that announces your blog as “The Best Blog Of All Time.” Do I believe this? Sophia believes it. She was the one who nominated me. And I think that she will appreciate this unusual gesture of me posting it on my blog, knowing that she is the one who has always has been my strongest ally in anything I pursued. I would have never had the guts to put that up there if I had never met Sophia. Being married to her has given me strength in many areas of my life. Some cojones. And being a little arrogant every once in a while is good for a man. Even sexy. Why should I be afraid of saying that this is the best blog of all time?! Or that I you should hire me above all others because I am more talented. Or that you should date me because my singing will make you swoon?

Now I need to deal with some other issues in my life with the same confidence.

Happy Anniversary, Sophia, and thank you for helping to make me fearless. Well, maybe I shouldn’t get too arrogant. Let’s just say that I’m working on it.

Note: Just to show you how hard it is to change, Return to Rural called me out with the truth — I didn’t actually link to the award site because… well, that would be too arrogant. I wimped out. But I just changed that and added the link.

Anniversary Weekend


This weekend, Sophia and I went to an upscale Newport Beach hotel for our anniversary.  As you know, we are separated.  So, why are we celebrating our anniversary?  Hey, so we’re separated.  We might end up divorced.  We might end up staying married, and finding true happiness.  Whatever the case, we still love each other.   We loved each other enough a few years back to have participated in that expensive mega-ceremony on October 13th which made our love legal.   So, why not celebrate that love… and that special day? And since we have an offbeat marriage, why not make our anniversary weekend unique in its own way,  a microcosm of our years together as a couple?

Our marriage is about companionship.    During our anniversary, we tried to recapture those elements that have kept us together for so long.  We attended a concert and a provocative piece of theater in Laguna Beach.  We played cards.  We stayed in bed and watched TV.  We ate Italian food in a tiny, romantic restaurant in Laguna Beach, sitting at a special table by the window.

Our marriage is about overcoming the hurdles of two strong individuals learning to compromise.   During our anniversary,  we kept things “real” by making sure we had at least one really nasty fight.  Our fight on Saturday night was a pretty good one, a disagreement about — something too ridiculous to talk about — in which “f**K you!” was said at least fifteen times, where I crushed an empty coffee cup and threw it onto the floor of the car, and where Sophia threatened to drive back to Redondo Beach, leaving me stranded at a Mobil gas station.

Our marriage is about humor.   Without a sense a humor, a couple might as well give up any chance of surviving.   During our anniversary, we had a lot of laughs.   After our big fight, we resolved to have a good time for the rest of the weekend, and we did.  We always find something to laugh about, such as this “Sopranos”-inspired artwork we noticed at some art gallery.


Our marriage is about acceptance.   During our anniversary, we went shopping.  Although part of me wondered why in the world Sophia NEEDED to buy another hat at this overpriced hat store, I’m glad I got this ribbon hat for her, because Sophia looks pretty cute in it.


Our marriage is about passion.   The hotel’s grounds had both ping pong tables and shuffleboard courts.   During our anniversary, we went head to head.  Sophia surprisingly beat me in the ancient sport of ping pong, slamming the ball past me for the final point.  I retaliated in shuffleboard, my years of experience from my youth at Jewish resorts in the Catskills helping me show her who’s on top.   After the games, we both took cold showers.

Our marriage is about emotion.  How can a couple not be sentimental about the good times together?  During our anniversary, we stumbled upon a couple getting married near the beach.  This made us reminisce about our own special day.



Like our marriage, our anniversary weekend was bumpy, chaotic, creative, neurotic, irritating, inspirational, sentimental, sexy, nasty, loving, and fun. 


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