the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Wizard of Therapy


Neil: So, it’s therapy session #3. Have you seen any changes in me yet?

Therapist: Absolutely. I think we can wrap things up today.

Neil: We can? You mean after three sessions, I’m cured of all of my neuroses?

Therapist: I like to take a different approach to therapy. Some therapists keep their patients on a short leash for years. I like to hear the patient’s story, come up with a solution, and quickly cure him.   In and Out,  like the burger joint with the Christian messages on the burger wrappers.

Neil: Wow. I’m so lucky that I randomly picked you out of the phonebook.

Therapist: Let’s get started. The clock is ticking.

Neil: I’m ready. Tell me what my biggest problem is.

Therapist: Well, #1 is that you think too much. By over-analyzing everything, you never come up with an answer.

Neil: I knew it! I’m terrible at making choices. Which job to take? Which restaurant to eat in? Where to live? Even when I meet a woman, I’m never sure if I should become her good friend or try to get in to her pants?

Therapist: How much education do you have?

Neil: I have a masters degree.

Therapist: Exactly. There’s your problem in a nutshell! Scientific research from Johns Hopkins has proven that each additional year of education screws you up a little bit more. That’s why so many professors are hospitalized for nervous breakdowns.  But the solution is really easy.

Neil: It is?

Therapist: Yes. And that’s why I’m going to give you this —

My therapist reaches into her filing cabinet and pulls out an official-looking piece of paper with a red-ribbon seal.

Neil: What’s this?

Therapist: This is an official notice from the New York Public School System showing that you dropped out of junior high school. I want you to hang this on your wall and look at it every day. From now on consider yourself less educated, maybe even a little dumb. From now on, you aren’t much smarter than a fifth grader! But you’re happier.  So go and enjoy life!

Neil: Well, thanks. I DO feel better. Like I took a handful of Prozacs. I just feel a little numb, like I can’t find the right words, as if my vocabulary… like, uh, like…

Therapist: Perfect!

Neil: I appreciate this, but I still don’t feel “cured.” I’m still hurting… in my heart.  What if this is the end of my relationship with Sophia? Even those who dropped out of junior high school can still feel emotional pain and loneliness.

Therapist: Of course. Loneliness can be a serious problem. But there is a solution for that, too.  Back where I come from, the great state of Kansas, there used to be many lonely people, including many men like yourself. But things changed when this came out —

My therapist reaches into her filing cabinet again and pulls out a laminated card, which she hands to me.

Neil: A free 30-day trial to Skinflix DVD rentals?

Therapist: They deliver the movies right to your home. You never have to be embarrassed again renting “Topless Pirate Women of the Caribbean.”

Neil: Hmm… I’m missing Sophia less and less already…

Therapist: Is there anything else on your mind before we wrap up your therapy?

Neil: I guess the only other part of my life that is frustrating is my blogging.

Therapist: Yes, I read your blog. Very funny. I love that talking c*ck!

Neil: Yeah, yeah, people seem to like the blog OK, but it has never really reached “superstar” status. Too many powerful mommybloggers ignore me, thinking me sophomoric.  Dooce doesn’t know who the hell I am.  And even someone like Crazy Aunt Purl gets 20x more comments than I do — and all she does is write a blog about knitting!  I would think that in the scheme of things, a talking Penis should win over a bunch of yarn! Life isn’t fair.

Therapist: Your problem is that you lack confidence.

Neil: I know. I know. I’m always telling myself that. I wish I were one of those super-confident guys like Dave at Blogography or Mr. Fab. You never see them complaining that their stats take a dive on the weekend when no one is busy searching for photos of “Britney Spears crotchless.”

Therapist: Confidence is easy. You just have to attain it. Do you think a lion is born with courage? Of course not. What you need is this —

My therapist reaches into her filing cabinet and pulls out a colorful banner.

Therapist: Scan this and put this in the sidebar of your blog.


Neil: Yes… I like it, but WHO exactly voted for this?

Therapist: Ha Ha. Who cares? People believe any crap they read online!

Neil: You’re right! I’m feeling more confident already.

Therapist: And I like it. Women like a man who is confident.

She looks at her watch.

Therapist: Oops. Time is up. You’re cured!

Neil: Hey, do you have another appointment now?

Therapist: I’m done for the day.

Neil: Since I’m not your patient anymore, how ’bout we order some fish tacos — then sit on the couch together and make out?

Therapist: Just what the doctor ordered!


  1. sizzle

    fish tacos + making out = ew. 🙂

    i hope you find the confidence inside yourself and someday grasped what a amazing man you are.


  2. Richard

    You left out the vital detail that your therapist’s physical appeal combines all the best elements of Lotte Lenya and Ayn Rand.

  3. Not Fainthearted


    oh, and everything sizz said….

  4. Not Fainthearted


    oh, and everything sizz said.

  5. psychomom

    So that’s “The Secret”.

    You get 10X more than I do so I guess I’ll be creating my own award for my side bar. Hum? Worlds Best……

  6. Finn

    Yeah — you’re cured. Think she’d do me? I mean therapy-wise…

  7. By Jane

    cute, neil, very cute. and you say you’re jewish? but haven’t been in therapy till now? that i don’t get…

  8. claire

    The solution seems simple enough, Neil. Stop reading blogs that get more comments than you do.

    Heck, you get more comments in a week than my blog probably has in 2.5 years. I should stop reading you, come to think… ;]

  9. sasy

    Hey Neil, you should stage some kind of Bloggie-ish type awards – and then you can just rig the votes so that you winn all the categories !

  10. melanie

    *hands him altoids for after taco fun*

    sometimes speaking in tongues is the best therapy.

    i really hope for the best with sophia. keep working on it. xo m

  11. Elizabeth Fiennes

    Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school – Einstein

  12. cruisin-mom

    Gosh Neil, I go away for awhile, and I come back only to find you are cured. Imagine my disappointment:(

  13. Kate

    Wow. Your therapist is AWESOME. Do you think she has a hot brother who is also a therapist? I like fish tacos from time to time, but I really prefer corndogs.

  14. laurie

    I write a blog about knitting…?

  15. Neil

    I just got back from my real third session and I have to admit — the therapist is pretty cool. I even think she is beginning to “understand” me. No fish tacos or making out, but I still had to pay her.

  16. Bre

    I feel like kissing and fish aren’t a good combination… unless they’re actual kissing fish of course, in which case who am I to argue?

  17. 180/360

    My 3rd time reading you and yet again, I ask- is this real?? Hilarious. I never had therapists like that! I did have one tell me I had incredibly sexy legs. Hmmm…

    Anyway, if I judged myself on my comments, I’d be slitting my wrists tomorrow. Luckily, I’m not doing it for the comments, even though they are nice to get. I’ve noticed that blogs about lip gloss and hair get a lot of response! 😉

  18. wendy

    I’m glad it’s going well.

  19. plain jane

    Hmmm. Therapy never went quite like that for me, but good for you. And by the way, you can diss Dooce all you want but leave Crazy Aunt Purl alone.

  20. Caron

    It seems to me that more than one of us has encouraged you to take up those knitting needles. Now that you’ve graduated therapy, you can be “Sane Uncle Purl” and get loads of comments showing off your latest knitting projects.

  21. V-Grrrl

    I think a blog about a knitting c**k with a baby and four cats would be a real hit with every demographic.

  22. Margaret

    so you’re out of the competition for most neurotic blogger?

  23. Dave2

    Au contraire! EVERYBODY complains about weekend traffic taking a dive! 🙂

  24. churlita

    I never thought I’d meet someone as delusional as I am, but damn, Neil. You’re pretty close. It’s so much better than reality, isn’t it?

  25. brettdl

    You know, I’ve been reading Wizard of Oz to my son, but it will not be quite the same after reading this post. Fortunately, he’ll be none the wiser.

  26. nelumbo

    Glad it’s going well for you. It seems like you have the spunk back in your blog post today too;)

    Maybe I’ll find out that I really forgot to take one class requirement in high school, so my diploma is null and void,along with my additional degrees, and then I, too, can be a model of mental health.

  27. better safe than sorry

    personally, i find your neutrocticisms to be charming. aren’t they a part of you, something you will learn to understand and accept, but never actually lose?

  28. Postmodern Sass

    In and Out Burger has Christian messages on its wrappers? Didn’t you write earlier that it’s owned by a Jew? Not that the second statement in any way mitigates or remedies the flat-out weirdness of the first…

  29. Neil

    Sass — I guess Harry and Esther doesn’t mean they are Jewish.

  30. AscenderRisesAbove

    hilarious! thanks for a saturday morning treat to start the day!

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