the writing and photography of Neil Kramer


Facebook Chat from last week with my blogging friend, Jill, mother of three.


Neil:  Hi, Jill.

Jill:  Hey, Neil! What’s up?

Neil:   Can I talk to you about personal stuff?

Jill:  Sure.

Neil:  Sophia and I got our papers back from the court today. We are officially divorced. We went out to Yogurtland for some peanut butter frozen yogurt. And that’s that.

Jill:  Wow.

Neil:  I haven’t told anyone. Not my friends. Not my mother. But I need to tell someone. And I saw you on Facebook chat.

Jill:  Wow. That’s some news.

Neil:  I know. Bombshell. Biggest personal news ever.

Jill:  But to be honest. I thought you were already divorced.

Neil:  No, we were just separated.

Jill:  I see.

Neil:  I know.  My personal life is confusing.

Jill:  Are you absolutely sure that you and Sophia weren’t divorced already?

Neil:  No.  No divorce.

Jill:  I could have sworn you were already divorced.   I’ve been reading your blog for a long time.

Neil:  No, just separated.

Jill:  Separated.   So all this time — for the last seven years — you’ve been separated?

Neil:  Something like that. On and off.  Even though we lived together.

Jill:  Wait a minute. I thought you live in New York now.

Neil:  No, now I’m in Los Angeles again.

Jill:  With Sophia?

Neil:  With Sophia.

Jill:  So you live together now?

Neil:  For now.

Jill:  Call me crazy, but I could have sworn I remember you writing a post saying you got divorced and then you threw up outside the court?

Neil:  No, that was when I filed the papers. That’s when I threw up.

Jill:  You’re right. It’s all very confusing. But maybe it’s for the best.

Neil:  Sure. It’s still sad.

Jill:  I can imagine. I’m not really sure what to say.

Neil:  Maybe you can give me one of your famous vitual {{hugs}} that you always give online to people in need.

Jill:  You want me to give you virtual {{hugs}}?

Neil:  Well, I am feeling a little sad.

Jill:  Hmm. I’m not sure I feel comfortable giving you {{hugs}}.

Neil:  Why not?

Jill:  I’m a married woman. And you’re a divorced man.

Neil:  But you’ve given me {{hugs}} before! Remember when I accidently deleted all those instagram photos! You gave me {{hugs}} then.

Jill:  Yeah, never with a man who JUST got divorced. I know how men get after they are divorced. I don’t want to lead you on or for you to think I’m available to you with my {{hugs}}.

Neil:  I don’t want to date you. I just want one of your comforting internet {{hugs}}!

Jill:  Just the {{hugs}}? That’s all? Are you sure that’s all you want. Nothing more?

Neil:  I’m depressed. I just experience one of the most dramatic moments of my life! You’re the first person I’ve talked to all day. You’re my lifeline.

Jill:  Oh wait. My husband just walked in. He’s crying over the news.

Neil:  Over my divorce?

Jill:  No, they just traded Jeremy Lin to the Houston Rockets. Let me ask him if I can give you {{hugs}}.

Jill’s Husband:  Hello.

Neil:  Jill?

Jill’s Husband:  No, this is Jill’s husband.

Neil:  Hi.

Jill’s Husband:  Don’t hi me.  Are you trying to f**k my wife?

Neil:  What?!

Jill’s Husband:  Just answer. Are you trying to f**k my wife?

Neil:  I have no interest in your wife. She’s just a friend. I’m just trying to get a little ol’ internet {{hugs}} from her?

Jill’s Husband:  Internet {{hugs}}? What is that, hipster slang for a blowjob?

Neil:  No! It’s just a virtual {{hugs}}.  You know, with the brackets standing in as as the arms doing the hug.   An emoticon.

Jill’s Husband:  What are you talking about?  Has Jill given you these {{hugs}} before?

Neil:  Jill gives {{hugs}} to everyone. She is a freaking {{hugs}} machine. It means nothing.

Jill’s Husband:  So you don’t want to f**k her?

Neil:  No!

Jill’s Husband:  You don’t find her attractive?

Neil:  Of course she’s attractive. But she’s just a friend. A mom who I’ve met at BlogHer a couple of times.

Jill’s Husband:  OK, then. Fine. Here’s Jill.

Jill:  Hi, Neil. It’s me.   My husband said it was OK to give you {{hugs}}.

Neil:  Thanks.  So, he understands that we’re just friends.

Jill:  No, it wasn’t that.  When he heard that you’ve attended BlogHer a few times, he assumed you’re gay.

Neil:  Fine. Just do it already.

Jill:  {{hugs}}

Truth Quotient:  25%


  1. los angelista


    OK, now that I’m finished laughing, papers is a big deal. {{HUGS}} to you.

  2. Fadra

    {hugs}, man. But PLEASE don’t tell my husband.

  3. amiee

    [[smiles]]((laughs)) {{hugs}} you. are. awesome.

  4. tracy @mamacreates

    I heart you.
    and a bonus xoxo

  5. mona

    My husband’s totally cool if I give you {{hugs}} so there you go. 🙂

  6. Quadelle

    Making it official is both ‘just the next step’ and a very big deal. Good to see you’re keeping your sense of humour about it, though. Plus, this is the first time I’ve ever used this emoticon {{hugs}}.

  7. alissa


  8. pia

    Hilarious. Don’t know whether to say I’m happy or not for you!

    My ex-husband threw up on the way to the wedding. Was kind of a sign!

  9. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    You make me laugh.

    Now you need to go work on your media kid. [[snap snap]]

  10. rhea

    Funny! Glad you have gotten over the divorce hurdle.

  11. Jo

    Thanks for the very cool giggle 🙂 Very nice way to start the day. (The truth quotient for my husband would have been about 100% similar though ;))


    Bravo !! {{CLAPS}} I’m not hugging you Neil , so I sent claps…not THE Clap…claps, like Hooray..and ITS ABOUT TIME !! Congrats bro, a difficult and long hurdle but you did it. Remember brother, the past is meant to guide you, not define you…Start living again, and live it up. I’ll be bouncing around at Blogher so if I see you, you get a high five bro. Peace.

  13. Jaime

    Aww, the {{hugs}} are pouring in now! Stash some away!

  14. Erica M

    I want to come up with a witty comment, but, for once, your post is funnier than anything I could say in response. Here is to your friendship with Sophia, your loving mom and your Internet friends. Be of good cheer.

  15. Jason

    Are you sure you’re not Larry David? (That’s a compliment. This was hilarious.)

  16. erykah

    the great thing about endings is that they are also beginnings. (((super duper hugs))) !

  17. Momma Sunshine


    Congrats on this next big step in your life.

  18. Megan

    When he heard that you’ve attended BlogHer a few times, he assumed you’re gay.

    Boys are dumb. {{Hugs}}

  19. Doug

    You should write more.

  20. amanda

    heeee! i needed that laugh.

    also. sorry about the divorce stuff but look at all the women here offering you virtual {{hugs}}. guessing you could parlay that to your advantage.

  21. Juli

    I’m concerned about Jill’s marriage. Her husband sounds like a jerk.

    Sorry about your divorce. xo

  22. Amy

    Ah I’ve been reading you for years too. We were once friends of facebook too. And even I thought you were in NYC and divorced.

    Why in God’s name are you now living with your EX-wife???

    And why aren’t you in therapy for pete’s sake? Holy bejesus. I need therapy for still following you after all these years! Crikey.

  23. Beta Dad


  24. grandemocha

    I thought you were divorced. {{Hugs}}

  25. Jana A (@jana0926)

    My husband is cool with me passing along lots of {{hugs}} 🙂

  26. Lydia

    ((Hugs)) and I asked my husband if I could do that and he said yes so no worries.
    actually he walked away muttering something about crazy internet people…which is pretty much the same thing.

  27. Raymond Duke

    Since you are getting plenty of hugs from the womens, I will give you a {{fist-bump}} – straight from the heart.

  28. Joelle

    Wait, so you’re not gay? Is that what you’re telling us?

    {{ hugs }} with a DOUBLE DOSE of brackets. Because that’s how my love rolls.

  29. 180360

    HAHAHAHA! I’m sorry that I’m so behind in my reading. Congrats… I think!

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