the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

One Month in NY?

This week, my posts will be piss poor.   I may just skip days.  Hey, it’s just a blog. 

Why am I being such a downer about the quality of Citizen of the Month?  I’m always so good with my blog — I hardly missed a beat in three years.

The answer is — I’m currently in the process of running away from my life. 

Just for a while. Nothing dramatic.  No drugs or alcohol.  Maybe a little Manishevitz now and then, since I will be staying with my mother.   Actually, she likes Kahlua, because it is as sweet as Manishevitz.  Maybe I’ll learn to make some cocktails for us!

I just bought a one-way ticket to New York.  It’s for next Monday.  Oh, sure — I’m coming back.  Don’t worry, dear Californians.   I’m hoping to make money on this screenplay I’m working on.  Besides, New Yorkers are a bunch of snooty jerks.  But it’s my childhood home.   What can I do? I was born there.

I probably will stay for a month.  I figure I’ll buy another one-way ticket back to Los Angeles when I’m ready to return to the real world and start my new life.  This may screw up my BlogHer plans.

There are several reasons for going.  I will avoid having to move to another apartment in Los Angeles… just yet.  With Sophia’s rent going up next month, we need to figure out the best way of paying for everything.  Sophia and I agree that we can both “think” better if we’re apart for a month — 3000 miles apart.  I will be able to finish the first draft of this award-winning sex comedy screenplay.  I will celebrate my late father’s birthday on June 19th.  I will see friends.  And most importantly, I will eat pizza that doesn’t contain pineapple.

I don’t make rash decisions, but I saw the ticket to NY online, and whoosh — I bought it.  It was difficult to find an inexpensive one-way ticket, so I have to switch planes in Salt Lake City.  I’ll be there for at least an hour, so this would be a great opportunity for Heather and I to  grab a cup of coffee together at the airport. 

Darn it, I promised that I wouldn’t make anymore Dooce jokes.   Sophia is right.  I don’t keep to my promises.

Earlier today, Sophia presented me with a list of “must-dos” before I leave next week.  She is nervous about me leaving.  When she started showed me the list, it was like one of those documents that unravel and roll down the steps, a royal declaration of chores. 

Who is going to set up the wii fit?  What if I get a computer virus?  Where is the fan in the garage?  Who is going to massage my leg when it cramps?

I understand all these needs.  I have plenty of them myself.  One of our main problems is that we are at the point in our relationship where we “need” each other more than we “give.”  I’m saying that about BOTH of us.

We’re so different than when we married over ten years ago.  I think I’ve changed even more than her, because I was a total nudnik back then, someone lucky enough to catch such a hottie.  What did she see in me?  I have no idea. 

Years later, we are both stronger.  I feel more competent and manly than I did before meeting Sophia.  But we’re also become weaker in many ways.  We depend on each other too much — even for our own happiness.  It doesn’t make things easier.  If you think meeting Mr. and Mrs. Right is a pain in the ass, it is absolutely FUN compared to the confusion of the same couple separating, something we have been doing… forever…

I’m curious what Brenda, my therapist, will say about me skipping town for a month.  Is it irresponsible?  What will I do for money?  Am I avoiding life?    I’m wondering if I should still have therapy with her via phone once a week?  It probably isn’t as effective.  Or fun — I wouldn’t be able to look at her shapely legs in those cute summer dresses that she wears!   I could ask her — over the phone — if she’s wearing a dress that day, and what type of shoes. but I think that may be inappropiate.  Don’t you think?


  1. Annie

    I feel for you Neil, I really do. I hope you getting away will help.
    Big hug mister.

  2. Dagny

    I just knew that you would find some way out of showing up for BlogHer. Hrmph!

  3. V-Grrrl

    Now at least we’ll be on the same coast and not just on the same wavelength.

    Can’t wait for the sex-comedy and the character named Veronica. ; )

    Peace, love, and bagels, Neil. XO

  4. Jane

    It’s okay to run away once in awhile, Neil, especially when it might bring clarity and give you a much needed break from the chaos and pain of an extended break-up.

    Your mom will, I’m sure, provide some needed comfort. I know I would want my son to come home for awhile!

    L.A. will wait. And so will your blog!

  5. Alison

    Hell, Neil, it’ll probably be good for you.

  6. Chag

    Godspeed, Neil.

  7. DaveX

    How come nobody’s honest enough to say that moving back in with mom is an obvious step in the wrong direction? Apartment hunting is so frightening that you’ll give up independence to anyone with an open bedroom, it seems. I can’t join the yes-man comments on this one Neil– it’s time to grow a pair!

  8. Neil

    DaveX — That’s exactly what my therapist will say tomorrow! What can I say? I’m not proud of what I’m doing. Sometimes we do the wrong things, but are OK with it. I appreciate the honesty!

  9. Jane

    I don’t think one month in NYC with Mrs. Kramer constitutes moving in with Mom. It’s a break. A temporary escape from the chaos and pressures, and an opportunity to think. A little chicken soup and kugel, and some love and support from Mom never hurts before one embarks a new journey — no matter what the age.

  10. Karl

    So what you’re saying, is, you’re going to be in New York during BrittCon! Woo hoo!

  11. Yvonne

    Have a safe journey and I think it’s ok if Sophia has to learn how to connect the Wii Fit herself – I rely on my fella to do all technology things around the house and I often wonder what the hell I would do if he wasn’t around. Your point about couples relying on each other too much is an excellent one. Good luck with the writing.

  12. Mattie

    I think this is the most sound and sensible decision you have made for yourself in a long, long time.

    And I know the result will be a more determined, positive, and allow you to get on with your new life without regret.

    It will all be okay, Neil.

  13. Diane Mandy

    This may be a good thing. I hope the time away gives you a chance to see things in a different way and offers you a much needed break.

  14. Ash

    Neil, I am looking forward to reading about New York the coming month 🙂

  15. better safe than sorry

    i think it’s a great idea, give yourself a break from the stress, hopefully that will clear your head and you can figure out what you need to do and give sophia some time to think as well.

  16. Avitable

    “An adult Jewish male moves away from his ex-wife in Los Angeles to live with his mother while he tries to write a winning screenplay.”

    Are you sure you don’t live in a sitcom? Are you Paul Reiser?

  17. TimeCzar

    I am your blog crush of the day? You are the best, Neil.
    So, since you’re only a couple of hours away if you are in New York, are you coming up to hang out with us? Bring your dancing shoes.
    Maybe by then I will have figured out my living situation, too.

  18. brettdl

    Good luck, Neil.

  19. JP/deb

    I don’t think there’s a right or wrong here as far as your decision to take a break — frankly, the stress of being in an ongoing separation (emotional limbo) is like freakin’ chinese water torture. You’ve got the plane ticket, use this time for you. Peace, JP/deb

  20. cool dad

    First time here – very interesting journey you’re taking here. We’ve considered the 1-month sabbatical in NYC, but have no connections. I hope you can provide us with *some* updates!

  21. Finn

    You bought a ticket? I’m so proud of you!

    And DaveX — I never thought he’d even get this far. Do you know how long he’s been talking about it?

    Getting away is good idea, I think. One does not move away from codependency easily. Just don’t stay longer than a month; that would be moving in.

  22. Long Story Longer

    Hey – just sending my support and hoping you can somehow enjoy the time in NY. Sometimes distance can bring some clarity. Hang in there, Neil!

  23. mr_g

    Look at it as a trade off. A month with a little “homemade Jewish guilt” in exchange for real pizza and Katz’s pastrami. And, it’ll be good for your mom. If she’s a good Jewish mother, she hasn’t eaten in a week because, “you might call when she has food in her mouth and she wouldn’t want to miss your call or, God Forbid, choke.”

    Have a good trip and welcome to the right coast.

  24. churlita

    Good luck with all of this. I don’t think it’s running away. I always gain the most and best perspective, by stepping out of my situation for a while.

  25. rhea

    Be sure to tell your therapist you are going out of town. Otherwise she will charge you for your missed appointments. Good luck in NY. If you want a fun weekend in Boston, come on up. I can show you the town.

  26. melanie

    Enjoy the time. I am jealous. I wish I could escape somewhere cool as NY for a month to write.

    Safe travels. happy writing.

  27. 180/360

    I completely agree with what Jane said. I can see where Davex is coming from… but a month away will give you space from Sophia, some time to think about your next steps, and simply break you free from the stagnant place you are in now.

  28. Ela

    Found you thru Melanie’s blog. I really like the wine you are going to drink while at your parents.
    Speaking of screenplays, best of luck to you!
    Me and my friend wrote a romance hoping it’ll make its way to the tv screen.

  29. ali

    i’m sorry, you lost me at new york pizza…mmmm…

  30. Jane

    Dear Neil:

    I have found the perfect pants for your travels. These are sure to make your trip far more enjoyable, and take your mind off the situation at hand.

    Your Considerate Friend,

  31. Neil

    Jane — That’s EXACTLY what I don’t need as I’m sitting in my cramped Delta economy seat flying over Salt Lake City.

  32. Jane

    Yet, you are going for the 500 minimum order, are you not? 🙂

  33. Neil

    That is crazy! Who buys 500? Is this site for retailers? And what type of retailer?

  34. Jane

    I imagine they wear out quickly, Neil. And I bet they’re dry clean only.

  35. sa_scully

    I hope you have a nice time and can sort some things out. She’ll be okay… she can find the fan, I’m sure.

    Oh, and while you’re enjoying your pinapple-less pizza, don’t forget to have a goodly amount of salt bagels. Even though I’m a CA girl, I totally fell in love with these when I lived back east.

  36. miguelina

    Wow! NY…I think a month at home will be good for you – both personally and for your writing. Then again I just watched Sex in the City, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    Can’t wait to read some East Coast Neilochka. Who needs the California sun? Bah.

  37. TorontoPearl

    If you want to run away a little farther, come visit us in Toronto. I’ll make you some real comfort food: chicken soup with matzoh balls, and my hubby will make a really nice steak for you. (we’re having our son’s bar mitzvah on June 21; I can add your name to the guest list…)

  38. sizzle

    I hope NY is just what you need for clarity.

  39. anymommy

    I really hope it’s the break you need. It sounds promising. Eat a bagel for me. I miss them (the bagels). I’ll miss you to if you take a break from writing, but your fans (new and old) will be here!

  40. HeyJoe

    Yea, probably a wee bit inappropriate. But when has that ever stopped you before?

    Safe trip. Enjoy the mental freedom.

  41. Christine

    Nah, I don’t think you’re running away or heading in the wrong direction.

    Going “home” while in the midst of a life’s crossroads can be very grounding, methinks. Even if you get there via air.

  42. gorillabuns

    I believe absence makes the heart grow more “clear.”

  43. Bec

    Write, drown yourself in the words and when you come up for air all will be different. Or at least you will be. We’ll wait.

  44. Jody

    I would love to escape right now too. But my parents’ live 2.5 miles from me so not much of an escape. Can I come hide in NYC with you???? 🙂

  45. Unruly Duckling

    I recently ran away from my life, too. I quit my job, and now I mostly stay home washing dishes and clothes and stuff. I actually wear an apron most days. Sometimes I babysit for a few bucks. (I’m 30 years old, by the way.) I’m having a lot of fun, but I feel a little guilty about enjoying it so much. Maybe I should get a therapist, too. Either that or a job.

    Anyway, I hope you end up having fun on your great escape. Mine has done me a lot of good.

  46. TheQueen

    Oh, please keep working. Of course you’re different people. If your stay together, those two new people will fall in love again, and you get that tingly feeling another time in your life.

    Oh, and for god’s sake have sex with each other. That is key. My separation from my husband would have lasted one month instead of six if we’d kept that going.

  47. Neil

    Good advice, TheQueen. Where were you five months ago?

  48. TheQueen

    Dude, I can’t hold your hand.

  49. Neil

    TheQueen — You’re right. Here I am becoming dependent on some blogger I just “met” a half hour ago.

  50. TheQueen

    Neil (may I call you Neil?) – I need to go to sleep now. It’s midnight here. I need a little “me” time.

    But seriously, I wish you well.

  51. alissa

    I can’t imagine what a tough time this is right now for you and Sophia. Some time with your mom might be good and to focus on your screenplay for a while will be nice. PLUS, we’ll be in the same time zone for a month!

  52. Postmodern Sass

    Heather and me, not Heather and I.

  53. Neil

    You’re right, Sass!

  54. Leslie

    You are not running away from something you are running to something.

    Good luck,

  55. Leslie

    ok, I thought I could be one of the cool kids and tried to get all fancypants with the italics. That was a good idea gone bad. (roll eyes)

  56. piglet

    yeah, that would be inappropriate.

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