Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Yes, Sophia, There Were Co-Ed Bathrooms in College


The Scenario:

Neil, tired of being type-cast as a humor writer, decides to write a blog post from his heart — a tale of young unrequited love and a purple bathrobe.

Neil has never told his separated wife, Sophia, about what this purple bathrobe means to him, and the college girl who once captured his heart.

Sophia arrives home. Neil insists that she read his current blog post immediately. She does. Neil nervously waits for her response.

Neil: So, what do you think?

Sophia: Boring.

Neil: Boring? How can you say that?

Sophia: You’re just trying to be all cutesy to get all the girls to go “Awwww.”

Neil: This is a true story.

Sophia: Bulls**t. I heard all your stories at least 20 times, and I never heard this?

Neil: It’s all true.

Sophia: C’mon? Seriously? Some girl gave you her bathrobe?

Neil: She did! Why is that so hard to believe?

Sophia: The whole co-ed shower thing is fake!

Neil: It was a co-ed bathroom. We weren’t in the open together. There were individual stalls.

Sophia: Like Danny said, “Was this at the University of Gomorrah?”

Neil: It was at Columbia College in New York! We can call Jake in NY and ask him. You could literally share shampoo with the person in the next stall.

Sophia: I don’t believe it.

Neil: Huh? I write about my mother sleeping with Santa Claus and you have no problem, but THIS you say I’m making up.

Sophia: Your mother sleeping with Santa Claus was not boring. Show me this purple bathrobe.

Neil takes the bathrobe out of the closet.

Sophia: That’s my bathrobe.

Neil: What? Your bathrobe? This is my bathrobe. This is the one the girl gave me.

Sophia: No, it’s not. I bought this before I met you. At the Beverly Center. This is my bathrobe.

Neil: I’m telling you. This is my bathrobe. I had a purple bathrobe.

Sophia: Maybe you did, but this isn’t it. This one is mine.

Neil: If this isn’t MY purple bathrobe, where is mine?

Sophia: I’ve never seen you with another purple bathrobe.

Neil: You think maybe I lost it when we moved in together? Or maybe I began thinking that this was my purple bathrobe?

Sophia: I really don’t know. You never mentioned this purple bathrobe before.

Neil: Well, I didn’t want to make you jealous by telling you about this other girl.

Sophia: Why would I be jealous?

Neil: I figured you would wonder if we ever had sex.

Sophia: OK, did you two ever have sex?

Neil: No.

Sophia: Did you ever kiss her?

Neil: No.

Sophia: Too bad.Ā  But at least now I’m beginning to believe this story.

NEIL’S NOTE: I still think the purple bathrobe is mine, but maybe it is Sophia’s and I THOUGHT it was mine. But where is the original purple bathrobe? Is it stored in some box in the garage? Did I leave it behind? Now I’m questioning whether or not the bathrobe was even PURPLE. No, it was purple. I’m positive. My memories of this girl can’t be so foggy, can they?

This has to be my purple bathrobe. Can we do a DNA test on it and learn the truth?

SOPHIA’S NOTE: Here we go… He’s going for the “AWWWS” again…


  1. What a shame it is, getting old. huh?

  2. We had co-ed bathrooms/showers at my university.

  3. We just saw a car commerical a few minutes ago and my wife said that was the dealership I mentioned last Monday while we were out watching movies all day.

    I never remember mentioning a car dealership.

    She told me the whole coversation, but I swear it didn’t happen. Why do I care about some stupid car dealership?

    I just smiled and told her she was right. šŸ˜‰

  4. Nostalgia. There’s no better way to procrastinate.

  5. I think you need to track this gal down and have her identify the robe. Seeing as you didn’t have sex with her there isn’t any chance of a DNA stain–like on a certain blue dress.

  6. We had co-ed dorms & bathrooms at UMKC. I asked around and there are co-ed bathrooms at most on-campus co-ed housing at the University of Texas and at Texas State. A few e-mails and instant messages seem to indicate that most co-ed dorms have mixed bathrooms.

    This of course is for public universities. I don’t know anyone personally who went to a private one. If you had men & women on the same floor, you had men and women in the same bathroom.

    This post made me go, “Awwww.”

  7. I love Sophia. She calls you on all your shit. What more could you ask for in a wife?

  8. We had co-ed bathrooms/showers at my college too. Freshman year, my roommate and I were the only women in our section of hall.

  9. No co-ed bathroom experiences here, but my college dorm had guys and girls on the same floor, which came in handy from time to time.

  10. So you wear Sophia’s underwear and her bathrobe while wistfully thinking of another woman? Now I know your marriage will make it!

  11. The Purple Robe was actually an M. Night Shyamalan post.

    Neil: “I see purple robes.”

  12. our city has co-ed change rooms at it’s swimming pool facilities.
    awwww, now i have to go and read about the purple bathrobe.

  13. LOL. This is genuinely hilarious.

  14. Aww!
    Memory is tricky. Maybe you just went to New York City once and now you think you went to Columbia.

  15. “Now Iā€™m finally beginning to believe this story.”


    I love ya, Neil. But it’s moments like these when Sophia surpasses your place in my bloglove heart.

  16. I wrote today on my blog about the fine line between reality and fiction. I am glad that you provided a perfect example in this entry.

    I love the robe, by the way, but would not get caught dead in it (I own one that is absolutely ridiculous.)

  17. A few years ago, I acquired a purple bathrobe. I’m not kidding. I didn’t buy it. No one admits to giving it to me or leaving it here. It is too big for me. But, the biggest clue that it’s not my robe is that it still has the belt. I always lose the belt.

    I think it may be yours. Mystery solved.

  18. I think it’s Sophia’s robe. Yep. You wish the girl gave you her purple robe. We girls only give robes to guys we sleep with. You didn’t sleep with her, it’s Sophia’s robe.

  19. Perhaps the person who gave you the robe will google your name and find this and confess! šŸ™‚

  20. Whether any of this is true or not, it is quite hilarious!

  21. Haha – yep, you’re still married. You argue like you’re married!

  22. They sell home pregnancy tests. Do they sell home DNA kits?

  23. How many purple bathrobes do think exist. Because yours is first I’ve seen. Of course all of mine come from some place called The Plaza Hotel.

    Oh and you’re “the funniest and most attractive blogger in the blogosphere, much more amusing than that Mr. Fabulous will ever be.” Oh baby.

  24. i do this too- think i have a distinct memory and it turns out to not be entirely clear. i believe you neil! it just might NOT be THE bathrobe you speak of. šŸ™‚

  25. This discussion is neither genteel nor appropos. You coarsen our great Western civilization, Sir.


  26. Some private schools have co-ed bathrooms and showers too. Neil you make me laugh…I will now wonder all day about the mystery of the purple robe!

  27. There are still old fashioned private schools out there too. (Or there were back in my college days)For a while I went to a private Lutheran school that had an Intervisitation Policy. No opposte sex visitors until after 4 on Friday, and noon to 10 on the weekends. The fun was in breaking the rules. It was always good to date the RA.

  28. Non-Highlighted Heather

    January 17, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Pink shirts. Purple robes. I’m starting to think that The Lumberjack Song might have been written for you.

    “I cut down trees, I skip and jump,
    I like to press wild flowers.
    I put on women’s clothing and hang around in bars.”

  29. Oooh, Sophia is awesome. She’s my new hero!

  30. This post took a huge leap with you modeling the suspect piece. You look so natural in it. It must be yours! You look like soul mates together!

  31. I’m pretty sure this guy has your purple bathrobe. He may even have a talking penis too for all I know. I’d love to have a threesome with the two of you! We could all wear our colorful bathrobes, let our genitals talk amongst themselves and discuss the menu at McDonalds. Hurrah!

  32. I actually do know the whereabouts of the girl who gave me the bathrobe (now married, I think), but I don’t know if I have the guts to contact her out of the blue to ask her to describe the bathrobe to me. Talk about looking pathetic!

  33. Sophia is awesome.

    Okay, when I read “University of Gomorrah” I laughed so loud my coworkers asked if I was stoned.

  34. That’s hilarious. I hate it when I remember something a certain way, and somebody else recalls it differently. Since there’s no way to prove the robes origins either way, you and Sophia will likely be stuck arguing about this subject twenty years from now.

    At least if you’re anything like me you will be.

  35. Nice pic update!

  36. Neil, your co-ed showers made me exclaim out loud: “thank god my son resides in frat house!”

    Let it be an official warning that you’ll be responsible for my upkeep when they’ll sack me from this liberal hellhole of a job.

  37. I have to hand it to Sophia. She don’t fuck around.

  38. As long as you believe it’s your purple robe, isn’t that all that matters?

    It’s your life … it’s your robe.

  39. I, too, went to Columbia, and can confirm the co-ed bathrooms/stalls thing. Planning to have a drink with your R.A. tonight, for my birthday. How’d we ever get to be so much older, huh? Huh??

  40. Neil – Did you experiment with a lot of mind-altering drugs in college? That may solve this whole mystery.

  41. Thank you for posting that picture, you just brightened up my afternoon!! It’s PERFECT!! BTW, my boyfriend has a very similar bathrobe. I’ll never be able to look at it the same way again…

  42. Happy Birthday, Noel (who went to college with me). Thank you for validating the information about the showers at the dorm. And since you are seeing J, please have him call Sophia and tell her about the girl with the bathrobe. I really want to stick it to Sophia and say “I told you so!”

  43. I believe you, Neil. It’s totally your bathrobe!

  44. Neil:
    Whether or not the purple bathrobe is Sophia’s or that girl’s is not the point! The point is that it is a symbol of what could have been. It’s a beautiful post and I LOVED IT!

  45. Okay but wait-wait-wait: I have that SAME Michael Heizer poster! In my studio here and now!!! Always knew we were soul bros…

  46. Oh, great. First no one believes that my bathrobe is mine. Now, someone says that this print is actually in THEIR house. Why doesn’t someone just take my identity?

  47. I’ll take it! I’d like to sit around blogging all day in a purple robe.

  48. You were in college, Neil. It could have been red, or green. How would you have known?

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