the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

I Like Big Ears

One of my biggest complaints about going to any sort of conference or networking function is that there are always cliques, and you feel a bit isolated if you don’t have a “tribe” to call your own.  At BlogHer, these tight-knit groups were isolated around a common blog or project (MamaPop, Aiming Low, Kirtsy) or subject matter (photography, parenting).  I returned home feeling that I don’t “belong.”  What is my tribe?

Most religious people believe that God works in mysterious ways, and maybe it is true.  The day after I returned to Los Angeles, I received an email requesting me to become a member of a unique group of like-minded individuals.  I was finally being accepted by my peers.  I was asked to join a “Big Ears” forum.

At first, I thought it was a joke, or some gag at my expense, perhaps from someone I ignored in New York, or from a mommyblogger who caught me tossing out her business card in the trash bin at the Hilton Starbucks.  But this forum truly exists, and there are many members from around the world.  Apparently, in 2007, I wrote a blog post about how as a teenager, I wore my hair long-ish because I was self-conscious about my bigger ears.  This blog post, a throwaway at the time, had inadvertently become the Bible for the Big Ears Forum, the Holy Grail of Big Ear Posts.

Although my big ears bothered me for several years, it isn’t a subject I thought about for a long time.  At some point in my life, my head grew in size and my ears became better coordinated in size and shape with the rest of my body.  I even began to be proud of their larger size.  During my bar-hopping days after college, I tried to woo women into the bedroom by specifically mentioning my unique attributes.  “I have really big ears, don’t I?”  I might say, with a wink.  “Just imagine what my…”

Just for the record, the line never worked.

Currently, the size of my ears is the least of my daily worries.  For instance, today I mostly fretted about —

1)  Money
2)  Marriage
3)  Gray hair
4)  Sophia joining Twitter.
5)  Carelessly packing my car keys into one of the twenty-five boxes at my in-laws house destined to Goodwill, forcing me into a day of extra work unsuccessfully searching for the keys, misery and headaches, and 70 dollar parking tickets!

I ignored the request to be part of the big ears forum.

But people with big ears tend to have big personalities, and my lack of a response didn’t stop one of the faithful members of the forum from emailing me personally.  It seems that my personal experience really turn me into a guru to my big-eared followers, a Gandhi to my peers with Dumbo sized hearing apparatuses.

Hallo, Mr. Kramer,

I am a member of the forum for those with big ears when I came across your blog post.  As a kid with big ears. I got the impression that you were also that kid. I am kind of worried about my ears, they seem to be sticking out too much. The question is, if you were that boy, how did you manage to “fix” your problem. I will be happy to hear your answer!


Wow.  I am stumped.  George, if you are reading this — jeez, I’m not sure how to answer this.  All I can say is, when you get older, don’t use that “My ears are so big, so…” because it doesn’t work.

However, women tend to say that their boyfriends and husbands never listen to them.  I have used that to my advantage.  When I meet a women that I’m interested in, I tell her that my bigger ears help me to “hear better.”

And that line DOES seem to work.

So, don’t fix anything.  My advice is to always take an obstacle, and turn it into an asset.  Good luck, George, from my mouth to your enormous ears!

— Neil


  1. San Diego Mooma

    I too have enormous ears. But you should see my…


    (That line never did get me the guys.)

  2. San Diego Mooma

    Also…I typo’d “Mooma” instead on “Momma,” which apparently implies I have other body parts that are as big as my ears.

  3. chantel


    1. This post was delightful. Thank you.
    2. I have very small ears, small nose, etc.
    3. I’ve always been attracted to men with big ears, big noses, etc.
    4. I’m hot and it happens.

    Have fun with that.

  4. Niri

    I cannot believe we did not get to meet at blogher

  5. Juli Ryan

    I always have had a thing for Alfred E. Newman.

  6. ingrid

    [Lady Mix-a-Lot with a nod to Sir Mix-a-Lot]
    I like big ears and I can not lie
    You other sisters can’t deny
    That when a boy walks in with an great big nose
    And a long thing in your face
    You get wet, wanna wiggle your thang
    ‘Cause you notice those ears was stuffed
    Deep in the ear muffs he’s wearing
    I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring
    Oh baby, I wanna get with you
    And take your picture
    My homegirls tried to warn me
    But them ears you got makes me so horny
    Ooh, Ears-o’-smooth-skin
    You say you wanna get in my Station Wagon?
    Well, use me, use me
    ‘Cause you ain’t that average groupie
    I’ve seen them dancin’
    To hell with romancin’
    He’s sweat, wet,
    Got it goin’ like a turbo SUV
    I’m tired of magazines
    Sayin’ small ears are the thing
    Take the average mommy blogger and ask her that
    He gotta hear much forward
    So, ladies! (Yeah!) Ladies! (Yeah!)
    Has your boyfriend got the ears? (Hell yeah!)
    Tell ’em to shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)
    Shake them healthy ears!
    Baby got back!

    Yeah… I lost the cadence a bit… 🙂

    (revised version of “Baby Got Back”)

  7. headbang8

    Americans are plastic people. Often, in the best sense of the word.

    Live your dream. You want to be an astronaut? Sure! A doctor? A scientist? A millionaire? Anybody can be anything they want to be. I was born in a log cabin but grew up to be president. I was once a football player and now I’m an actor. I was once a cheerleader and now I’m a movie star. I was a Catholic, now I’m a Buddhist. Live your dream. If you don’t, you have only yourself to blame. You didn’t try hard enough.

    That sort of thinking spreads to your body. If I have only one life, let me live it as a blonde. You can shape your body. If you’re fat, it’s your own fault.

    I once worked on the advertising account of a product that had to do with teeth. My god, what baggage teeth carry! If your teeth are bad, it’s a marker of poor discipline (did you brush right as a child?) or social class (could your parents afford braces?) or old age (yellow = old and decrepit). People around the world shake their heads in amazement about an American’s obsession with his smile.

    Amidst all this obsession about be-the-best-you-can-be, it comes as a comfort, from time to time, simply to say “I am what I am”.

    That’s what your tribe is for. The people amongst whom you feel comfortable. Who know your experience. The people with whom you can let your hair down.

    Generally, we are born into a tribe. Few of us change ourselves to be part of a tribe to which we don’t naturally belong. We see or find people like ourselves. And discover that though we may differ, the thing we have in common makes those other differences unimportant. That’s a source of great serenity, self-confidence and strength.

    The big-eared. It may seem slight to build a tribe around. But it was enough to make you feel bad about yourself growing up. It had an effect on you.

    These wing-nuts, these head-kites, these flesh-made Flying Nuns, these Basset Humans, these Dumbos are your people, Neil. Embrace them. Love them. May you never have to grow your hair long, ever again.

    • headbang8

      Just putting in a closed HTML tag. There. That’s better.

      • headbang8

        Hmmm. That didn’t seem to work. Sorry for italicizing everyone.

  8. Lucy Cooper

    I didn’t grow into my nose until I was 25. Now, I love it, because it is the nose of my tribe elder (my grandfather).
    Don’t worry George, EVERYTHING comes into style, eventually.

  9. Emily

    Do you think Ingrid will marry me?

  10. Fran

    In the absence of big ears, I’m still tribeless. But I’m glad for your leadership in the big-earred community.

  11. Fran

    or the “big-eared” community. Maybe I belong to the San Diego Momma’s tribe.

  12. Mamie

    Here we go with the publishing of the private email thing….

    Btw, I am liking the Twitter sophia, it is interesting as most of my folks over in T land blog too so I can hear more of their voice. Now both of you have to come for coffee/dinner as I am intrigued.

  13. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    Fran, that’s San Diego *Mooma’s* tribe.

    : P

    And I never knew men could have cute ears until I met my husband. Dang, he has the cutest ears. I love them. But yeah, he has some hearing loss too. I think he sees that as an asset–an excuse for ignoring me, he’s freaky little ear loving wife.

  14. Heather

    I have no tribe…I just prefer to think that I’m the Chief of my own tribe! 😉

    “take an obstacle and turn it in to an asset…” YES! a metaphor for every single human being alive.

  15. Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels

    Yeah, I’m sure the “to hear you better” line works better than the… ehm… “proportionately large” one – after all, it worked for the big bad wolf.

    I’m not sure worrying about the size of your ears should enter your list of priorities – first of all, they don’t seem so big to me, your head seems to have caught up, so to speak (I mean that in a good way – why does it sound bad? mean, even?)

    I think the fact that Sofia joined Twitter is way more worrisome 😉

  16. Deer Baby

    You know you should say ‘aurically challenged’ to be politically correct.

    I have a male friend who totally gets off on women with big ears. The bigger the better. He’ll look under their hair (usually grown long to cover like you did) to see if they qualify.

    I hope you’re going to reply to Curious George properly. You know, you could destroy his confidence…for ever.

  17. Momo Fali

    I have the earlobes of an 80 year old man. May I join?

  18. wendy

    your line might have worked in the bars….if you said you could wiggle those big ears… imagine what my………..and what I can do with it!

  19. christine aka yoginipoet

    My favorite line/scene:
    “or from a mommyblogger who caught me tossing out her business card in the trash bin at the Hilton Starbucks.”

    Cute picture of you as a kid. I worry about gray hair and money too.

  20. Rima

    Does Stephen Colbert know about this forum? Maybe you guys could form a tribe!

  21. Marinka

    You’re in excellent company. The Pioneer Woman likes big ears too. I know because she loves huge-eared Charlie.

  22. kenju

    I always wore my hair over my ears until about 20 years ago, when I decided I didn’t give a sh*t about my ears – which aren’t big – but they do stick out. An old boyfriend once said I look like a Cadillac head on with the front doors open.

  23. Rene Foran

    This post?
    Love it!
    I rock the big ears.
    Well they are smallish in size, elfin actually, but they stick way the hell out!
    And I too search constantly for “my people”.
    Where are my people?
    I am usually a transitional person or a para-pal.
    You know, someone a body hangs out with until their real interest comes along.
    That could have something to do with my five minute attention span.
    Also I suck at small talk.


  24. Poor Fish Girl

    Interesting. I took the time to look at your now picture compared to your then picture mid way through this entry and noticed that you grew into them (before you confirmed it.) I like your ears when they didn’t fit your head.

  25. Amy @ Ess Eppis

    I always liked big ears (noses too)… but I’ve also been accused of having odd taste in men.

    And you know the old joke… how does a woman hold her liquor? by the ears!

  26. 8thorty

    big ears are the mark of a good listener.

    also in a desert situation only the ones with proper ventalation are going to be able to survive.

    the favorite pet of your typical big earred person is a fennec fox 🙂

    I don’t see the “freak” factor in this at all. What is going to judged next forearm diameter?

  27. jungle fever

    i find guys with sttick out ears , especially with a short haircut straight up sexy! allways did. I suppose it’s a fetish. if I could build a guy he would have ears like open car doors and a military hair cut

  28. Katrina

    Well I’m 15 and have big stick out ears and have been teased about it by the girls in my school. But what cheers me up is seeing other girls with big ears. Sometimes I imagine that big ears are normal and the girls at school who tease me are all crying over their tiny ears that don’t even stick out.

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