the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Sophia and Neil’s First Date


Welcome to the Love Connection, where old-fashioned romance meets modern technology.  And here’s your host, Mr. "2 and 2" himself, Chuck Woolery!

Chuck:  "Welcome to Love Connection.  On our last show we met Sophia Lansky and  she was about to tell us about her date.  Her three choices of bachelors were Ron, a successful podiatrist from Studio City, California — Dave, a Grammy-award winning composer from Beverly Hills — and Neil, an unemployed writer from Los Angeles.  The audience chose Dave, by 65%, Ron came in second  with 33%, Neil, oh well…  So, Sophia, whom did you pick?"

Sophia:  "I picked Neil."

The audience gasps and boos.

Chuck:  "Let’s say hello to Neil."

No response from Neil.

Chuck:  "Neil… Neil…"

Neil:  (distracted)  "I’m sorry, I was busy blogging in the back here."

Chuck:  "Blogging?"

Neil:  "Oh, right.  You were cancelled ten years ago.  You don’t yet know what blogging is.  Well, it’s sort of an online journal where you write every day and then other bloggers…

Chuck:  (bored) "Uh, very interesting, but let’s hear about the date.  Sophia?

Sophia:  "Neil came to my door.  He was carrying some flowers."

Chuck:  "How nice."

Sophia:  "That looked like they cost him $3.99 at Ralphs."

Chuck:  "Neil… Neil… Neil…

The audience boos Neil.

Chuck:  But, Sophia, what did you think of Neil looks-wise?"

Sophia:  "He was wearing this weird orange flannel shirt and I thought he looked gay."

Chuck:  "Gay?  Neil, what’s going on with you?"

Neil:  "I’m not gay."

Chuck:  "If you say so.  What did you think of Sophia?"

Neil:  "I thought she was hot.  You see… not gay." 

Sophia:  "Listen to this, Chuck.  The very first thing Neil says to me is, "You smell.""

Chuck:  "You smell?  Neil, are you insane? You didn’t really say that, did you?"

Neil:  "I was nervous.  I meant to say, "You smell nice" because of her perfume."

Chuck:  "Neil, had you ever gone on a date before?  This sounds like a disaster.  Tell us more."

Sophia:  "So, Neil drives me to this Peruvian restaurant that he’s raving about.  But when we get there, it’s in this filthy, disgusting mini-mall."

Neil:  "But they have great food!"

Sophia:  "Well, we never found out, because Neil never bothered to find out that the restaurant was closed on Monday."

Chuck:  "Neil, were you brought up by wolves?"

The audience starts throwing their voting devices at Neil.

Neil:  "I did find us another restaurant."

Sophia:  "Yes, he did.  After we drove around Hollywood for a half hour."

Chuck:  "How did things go when you reached the new restaurant?"

Sophia:  "It actually got better.  The conversation was nice and we had a lot chemistry."

Chuck:  "Ooh, so tell me, Neil, was there any… romance?"

Neil:  "Absolutely, Chuck.  On the way home, there was a long light on Wilshire Blvd. and I leaned over and gave Sophia a passionate kiss.  It was amazing."

Chuck:  "How was the kiss for you, Sophia?"

Sophia:  "Eh.  First – we almost had an accident, because he took his foot of the brake.   And, it actually was a little weird.  Like he didn’t really know what to do.  But I guess the first kiss wasn’t nearly as bad as the first time we had…"

Neil:  "Uh, excuse me, Chuck, this is getting a little too personal.  As the writer here, I’m ending things here much earlier than scheduled…"

Sophia:  "Hey, that’s exactly what happened in bed the first time we… and the second… and the third…"  


  1. Tatyana

    Can’t decide here, are you feeling better or you’re in fact delusional.

    PS. Man, I hope you didn’t throw out that shirt, orange is the new grey.

  2. bettyonthebeach

    How do you dream up this stuff? Love it!

  3. danielle

    She married you after Orange flannel? That must have been some strong love.

  4. JoeC

    lol, no kissing and driving dude! Cheers!

  5. Brooke

    Oh Neil, I simply can’t wait to go out with you. And wear the orange flannel. Please, for me?

  6. Tanisha

    Brook please you are embarassing yourself and yeah Orange is the new gray. This is funny. I actually took a page from your blogging Neil. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Leesa

    This one is great, Neil. Very funny 🙂

  8. anne arkham

    Hurrah for fever-induced hallucinations!

  9. Sophia

    People, people, people, you always get it wrong. The truth quotient in this one is pretty high, starting with “You smell,” and the closed Peruvian restaurant…

  10. bella

    exactly what kind of medication are you on, Neil?

    but it does make me realize that my dating life (or lack thereof) isn’t so bad. I haven’t been on “Love Connection” yet…

  11. Bill

    I don’t want to cause problems, but is it possible to arrange a date with Sophia? You know, without Chuck Woolery? I ask because there’s a Thai place I know over in West Edmonton Mall and it’s the cat’s bum. Really. And cheap? You bet! (All you can eat cashew chicken!)

  12. communicatrix

    Wait…Mario’s Peruvian?

  13. Sophia

    Communicatrix, 10 points!

  14. Sandra

    Aww, Neil. Perhaps it was a case of “so bad, it’s good” (sophia’s take on your date, that is).

  15. Kestrel

    You know, I actually saw an old high school friend on one of those dating shows once. It was so w e i r d.

    Are you feeling better?

  16. ms. sizzle

    i had completely forgotten about the “2 and 2” thing Chuck did. my dad used to love that show for some odd reason (very out of character for him).

    seriously? your first date was on a monday?


  17. Fitèna

    Are you on something Neil? You got any inspiration inducing pills to pass to us imaginationless people?

    I loved this. I’d have thought it was true if I didn’t know better. But then, who says you actually made it up? huh?


  18. Neil

    Kestral, yes I’m a little better thanks to my mother’s chicken soup and Sophia sharing her bundle of medications.

    Sizzle, yes it was on a Monday. For the life of me, I don’t remember why.

    Bill, go for it. But i’m the one with cheap taste, not Sophia. Maybe we should go on a date.

  19. anne

    Very funny. And things going so wrong on a first date guarantee some kind of eventual pay-off, be it marriage, a hilarious blog post, or both…

  20. Aviva

    Hate me, but I must say it.

    Why are you and Sophia seperated? You seem so perfect together. I vote that Neil and Sophia get back together. And that Neil keeps writing interesting/funny posts about Sophia.

  21. Neil

    Ah, Aviva, a true romantic. A first date is always special. But like Shakespeare knew, there is no play without problems in love. And through the years, we had, and still have, more than our share — despite Sophia finally making me give away my flannel shirt to Goodwill.

  22. Elvira Black

    Hey, were you guys on the Newlywed Game too?

    OK, Neil. Time to come out of your soundproof booth. Now, what do you think Sophia said was the most awesome thing about the first time you made whoopie?

    Neil: Umm, that would be the incredible length, width and breadth of my…bleep@#$$%878

    Sophia, hold up your card…..

  23. M.A.

    Thanks for making a dreary, tired monday really awesome.

  24. Armaedes

    Neil sounds like my kind of guy.

    I’ve met Chuck Woolery before, that dude’s a pimp. And by “pimp” I mean “jackass.” Oh well, everyone’s got their “thing” I guess.

  25. Networkchic

    Sometimes I’ve wanted to tell my dates they smell, maybe you really meant what you said. Smooth talker.

  26. amanda

    wow, neil…sophia is one very patient woman. chuck woolery is one of my very favorite mid 80’s dating show hosts.

  27. Laura


  28. modigli

    Oh, The Love Connection! I loved that show and had a huge crush on Mr. 2 and 2 himself! Why wasn’t he ever one of the guys that could be chosen for a date? And I wonder where Chuck Woolery is now. Do you ever see him around Hollywood, Neil?

    BTW, there must really be something magical about those flowers at Ralph’s!

  29. 3rdtimesacharm( 3T )

    LOL! Entertaining as always Neil! 🙂
    This was better then the actual show!


  30. ashbloem

    Can I make a short film of this? Hilarious dialogue, Neil.

  31. Neil

    Mo, Chuck Woolery is still on TV, doing that inane game show “Lingo” on the Game Show Network, and I don’t want to embarrass certain women I’ve dated with Russian accents, but it is one of her favorite shows.

    Ashbloem, do you even know who Chuck Woolery is, considering you don’t own a TV?

    Does anyone remember “Studs” — the dating game that was 10x as salacious as “The Love Connection?” The contestants in “Studs” sometimes slept together, than gossiped about it on TV.

  32. sara lee

    Studs…OMG I completely forgot about studs…I think that show was how MTV got the idea for the “Real World”…it was sooo awful it was funny!

  33. anne arkham

    I remember “Studs”. The host was some little guy who reminded me of Paul Reiser.

  34. stacy elaine


  35. La Dauphine

    I remember the love connection…. pleeeese don’t tell me your first meeting included such bad lighting and hair!

  36. Denise

    What a touching tribute to first love. I’m all misty-eyed now!

  37. psychotoddler

    You’re not gay?

  38. Jacynth

    Believe it or not, I have 2 degrees of separation from Chuck Woolery. My friend’s friend is his step-daughter. I’m almost famous!

  39. maribeth

    I bet you would have been great on Studs, Neil…

    Mark DeCarlo, the guy from Studs, is the third most famous person to have ever gone to my high school! He tutored my calculus teacher in math, which explains why he always hit on the perfect trajectory for those heart-shaped pillows.

    (For the curious, #1 is the guy who wrote Eye of the Tiger and #2 is local car dealer Packey Webb.)

  40. paula


    Chemistry is everything.

  41. Pauly D

    I was once dating a girl during the point in time that my sister was on Love Connection — and we watched the show and when Chuck asked my sister a variety of questions, there was a moment where she mentioned she had a close relationship with her brother.

    The girl I was dating thought that was very weird, and things were never the same between us. But, really, why is that so weird?

    Then again, this is the girl who broke up with a guy for having generic Q-Tips in his bathroom, so, you know…take that for what it’s worth.

  42. Rabbit

    I think you sound like a charmer, Neil.

  43. akaky

    You know, Neil, the more I read this the more convinced I am that Sophia is a figment of your overheated imagination.

  44. jaimie

    Ah-what a love connection!

    I used to love that show, by the way. A couple of my mom’s friends were on it.

  45. modigli

    OMG! Now I have to go check and see if I get the Game Show Network! I’m dying to see what Chuck Woolery looks like these days. I swear, that guy was always so SMOOOOOTH! I’m sure he’s just as smooth these days, even if he probably has a few more wrinkles. 🙂

  46. Doctor Bean


    Akaky: Psychotoddler and I met Neil and Sophia in person and can attest to the fact that they are actual non-fictional humans.

  47. Heather B.

    if the 46 people ahead of me haven’t said so, you are a funny funny man Neil.

  48. cruisin-mom

    Dr. Bean…Neil and Sophia are non-fictional? Can we really take the word of a guy who bears a striking resemblance to Homer Simpson? (reference to Psycho Toddler’s last post)

  49. Doctor Bean

    Cruisin-mom: You think my looks detract somewhat from my credibility?

  50. Sandra

    Neil, I ADORED Studs. Probably because I had my very first make-out while watching it…hmm…may have to write about that. It was kind of hilarious.

  51. DCS

    Hilarious! So creative! Ah, the Love Connection. Thanks for the memories. 🙂

  52. subgirl

    very cute and touching :-p

  53. akaky

    Doctor Bean, how do I know that you are not a figment of Neil’s overheated imagination? Very clearly a man trying to get hits on his blog for an earthquake that hasnt happened yet is obviously not in his right mind, something that the flu will do you. I am familiar with this situation because I once saw a Polish reggae band on Polish television along the coast of Sicily and I was utterly convinced that I was going to die because I was now having hallucinations. Clearly, if I can see Slavic Rastas in a fevered delirium then Neil could conjure up Sophia, but let us take a look at this matter rationally. Would the Sophia Lansky we read about here be caught dead with a schlemiel like Neil? Now, be honest, you know that sort of thing just doesnt happen in real life. No, I think Neil’s flu is rendering him incapable of rational thought and he is just leading us on here. Not deliberately, of course, Neil is ill and doesnt really know what he is saying, but I think we should indulge these whims and fancies of his until he gets better and is capable of thinking rationally again. If he says there’s a real Sophia, then just humor him and go along with what he’s saying. It’ll make him feel better.

  54. Tatyana

    akaky, his usual diplomatic self.

  55. mcaryeh

    Hysterical. When does Sophia get to tell her side?

  56. inky

    what’s the deal? you’re back together?

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