the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Advice to Other Male Bloggers


When making summer vacation plans, traveling with wife or girlfriend AND your mother is not the ideal arrangement, despite what you may think. 

“Why, I would think it is the perfect arrangement!” YOU — the male blogger — might say to yourself. “After all, aren’t these the two most important women in my life?”

That’s exactly what I thought.  But for some strange reason that men cannot understand, women and their mother-in-laws have a strange relationship.   Conflicts may arise over the most miniscule issues, such as whether or not to use low-fat mayonnaise in a tuna fish salad.  

And for the record, the fresh country air does wonders for a male’s sexuality.  However, ironically, the presence of a mother-in-law seems to have the completely opposite effect on the female species.


  1. justrun

    At least you’re learning this now.

  2. The Retropolitan

    You can use low-fat mayonnaise.

  3. mari

    There’s a really good post about this on a blog called La vida Con Malizia, but it’s written in spanish, unfortunately. Tell Sophia her only option is to accept that Neil’s mummy knows best while she’s around, and then do whatever she pleases when she’s out the room. According to Malizia, phrases like “Of course, you know best, I only try, but of course I could never be as good as you”, “You’re cooking is delicious” and “Neil just seems so happy when you’re around”, and swallowing her pride etc., probably desplace any underlying competitiveness and jealous sentiments, because you all know it doesn’t matter in the long run.
    Sorry, I just puked at my own advice.

  4. Lou P.

    Thanks for the tip. Sorry to hear that you’re learning this one the hard way…

  5. Ash

    Just think how happy your g/f will be to have sex with you once your mother is gone. That’s how our second child was conceived … pure gratitude that his mother was nowhere near me ;P

  6. e.

    But who was on which side concerning the fat-full vs low-fat mayonaise? And which version did you grow up eating as a wee boy child? I can see this as a valid argument…

  7. peefer

    The Retropolitan nailed it. As can you.

  8. Kevin

    I speak from experience… DO NOT TRY THIS IF YOU WANT A HAPPY HOME LIFE!!!

  9. Thérèse

    Oh Neil. There is nothing funny about tuna fish salad.

    But then, I guess you learned that for yourself quite recently, eh?

  10. Trixie

    Oh, Neil. I KNEW this would turn out badly.

  11. Tara

    Conversely, how much fun would it be to go on vacation with your wife and your father-in-law? Would things be more or less sexy then?

  12. Nelumbo

    Why is this so hard for men to understand?

    Part of the problem is that men tend to marry women like their mothers…who can really stand to be with themselves that much…

  13. Brooke

    What drugs are you taking that you thought this would be a good idea? Cause seriously, I want some.

  14. Nance

    Neil, take Sophia and a blanket and go for a long walk.

  15. jackt

    Moral of the story: Don’t make tuna fish salad.

  16. Painterbeachgirl

    I am faced with this dilemma now…tomorrow I head to Maine to stay with Chef, at his mom’s house…havent seen him for almost 2 weeks and we’re staying with his mom. ACH. Oh dear, I feel a GREAT post coming on about this!!!!

  17. Carly

    Mother nature’s cruel trick… the outdoors thing with the mother-in-law thing, of course.

  18. Heather

    agh mothers in law.

    a good enough reason perhaps to stay single.

  19. Leah

    Oh my god Neil. I can’t keep up with this. Are you going to make me go through your archives to find out what the status is with you and Sophia? I thought you were together (at first). Then I thought you were apart (for awhile there). But quite frankly I wasn’t sure what the problem was except that she thought you chose the same restaurants to eat in and that you weren’t an imaginative lover (I didn’t imagine that one did i?) and now…you’re back together ?

    I need a flow chart. And I’m not afraid of asking for one.

  20. Melissa

    Set mom up for an afternoon at a local spa… grab a bottle of wine and some good take out and get with Sophia… this is only as difficult as you make it.

  21. Melissa

    And for god’s sake, stem the damn spinach before you use it.

  22. steph

    dude…what were you thinking?

  23. Blonde Vigilante

    Tell it to the geese.

  24. lizardek

    Irony? That ain’t irony, son.

  25. party girl

    Ironical, isn’t it?

  26. better safe than sorry

    why would you make tuna fish after that big catch yesterday?
    at least you’re on a holiday, it will too soon be over.

  27. Dan

    Using light mayonnaise in tuna fish salad is like using sparkling cider in your champagne cocktails.

  28. Sandra

    Oh Neil…Neil Neil Neil…

  29. eeekat

    a flow chart is an excellent idea…me VERY confused.

  30. Think Frustrated

    I think this phenomenom occurs because both your Mother and your wife/girlfriend are vying to control you. They get pissed at each other when someone else controls you.

  31. Roberta

    Wow. And guys are usually so smart about this stuff.

  32. Neil

    Sophia was the one who wanted to use the regular mayo, of course. She likes things real.


    No question mother in laws are a natural contraceptive!

  34. Deb_LA

    All of those things are true. Sorry, but MIL’s are a sure sex drive killer. For weeks after the trauma. It’ll be a while.

  35. Jacynth

    I say go for the low fat, it’s not like you’re really making the tuna salad for the mayo. Love it.

  36. Rabbit

    Have you tried the “We need to shower together to conserve water” trick yet?

  37. kristen

    Aren’t there woods surrounding your abode? Au natural with a blanket spread to ward off grass burns works very nicely. But there’s that issue of low-fat mayo to contend with….maybe you could bring that along too!

  38. kitty

    low fat mayo is for fat people

  39. darlin nikki

    I can’t even tell the difference in mayos, but use the low-fat one so I can pile more butter onto everything indiscriminately. Cuz different butter I can believe is different. Somewhere in this head it seems so logical…

  40. Fitèna

    Mon pauvre Neil! Oh Neil… tssst *shakin head sadly*


  41. idighootchandcootch

    too funny.

    You need to show them who is boss, Neil. Go get the ducks. They settle everything.

  42. kimananda

    Can I assume this whole post is ironic?

    And as I read the other comments, it strikes me that I might also like to see a flow-chart here. Maybe in your next post?

  43. LadyAdmin

    Never have I read of a man more in need of taking a solitary trip to Las Vegas, getting wasted, and renting a hooker.

  44. treespotter

    and you just realised this now?
    thought you’re wiser than that.

  45. Alex

    I can relate. My husband was raised in Ukraine and when his mother surprised us last year by calling us from LAX, having just arrived from Kiev with absolutely no English in her vocabulary, I was in total shock. (We had literally no warning except that we had a “surprise”‘ coming, which we had assumed was a knit blanket or somthing like that on its way, not a whole flesh and blood mother-in-law coming to stay with us for an entire year!) but the bigger surprise was that they would have full conversations with each other with nothing on but their underwear! He is one sexy man in his underwear but I learned all too quickly this is not the case when he is in the same room with my mother-in-law in her underwear.

  46. sarah

    are you kidding?

    full fat mayo.


  47. Paris Parfait

    Obviously, the mayo is beside the point. Any time a mother and daughter-in-law are together with the object of their mutual affection for any real length of time, trouble is destined to follow. It’s the law of nature – get used to it, you poor sod. So how much longer before you can return to civilization?

  48. 2nd Pearl Past the Post

    I think the spa idea is stellar. Any one of your 3 will do. Better one of the ladies lest they start giggling and ganging up on you with stories and photos of when you were a little kid.

  49. mariemm3

    Mayo is icky. Why fight about it? You should’ve known…

  50. bella

    yes, the female species with the MIL species… not so much for the sex drive. Great picture of you and the fish by the way!

  51. Janet

    Low fat mayo all the way.

  52. velma

    holy mother of pearl – since I left Cali and moved to Texas I don’t think I’ve even SEEN low-fat mayo – forgot it existed….

  53. introspectre

    Speak for Herself- I tried to get my husband to do me at his moms house when we stayed and he WOULD NOT.
    He, however, had no problem banging the hell out of me at MY parents house while everyone was outside.

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