The Sonia Show

Writer. Podcaster. Beer drinker. Movie watcher. Mother. Goober.


Emotional baggage is heavy, y’all

Yeah, so, I know it’s been a while. I haven’t been writing much here. But I’ve been thinking a lot about why that is. I’ve always written on this blog in good times and bad times. So, what’s different about this bad time? Maybe it’s because it’s not just my story. It’s our story. And maybe it’s because I haven’t really been dealing with it. Writing about it makes the unreal real.

But it’s time.

The truth is I’ve been in shock. I’ve been in shock since the day after Christmas when he told me. One minute I was in a happy marriage, and the next minute I wasn’t. We were a happy family, and then we weren’t. I walked around in a daze for months. I was completely shell-shocked, blindsided. Everyone was asking me questions, and I had no answers. I still don’t have answers, to be honest. I had no idea he was unhappy with me and our marriage. He never told me.

I’m being completely honest with y’all. This isn’t a case of “Well, he probably told her all the time but she wasn’t listening” or “She was in denial.” I was listening. I wasn’t in denial. A few weeks before he told me, I told him about a nightmare I had, in which something happened and our marriage was over. He laughed and said that would never happen. But the truth is, it had already happened. It’s almost like my subconscious knew something was going on. What I’m saying is I’m obviously a psychic. Check out my new show “San Franpsychic,” coming to TLC this December.

It’s been almost a year. It’s a lot to process, and I don’t think I’m anywhere near finished processing it. Maybe I should be farther along in the healing process. But I think people deal with shit on their own timeline. I know I’ve been doing the very best I can in this situation. And most of the time I’m thinking to myself, “Bitch, you’re doing a good job.”

I’m in therapy, and I had this big revelation. I don’t really let myself feel angry or sad. Whenever those feelings come up, I quickly brush them aside, and I think that’s dealing with it when it’s really the opposite. Why don’t I let myself feel angry or sad? Because feeling angry or sad makes me feel ungrateful – ungrateful for all the good things I have. So, on top of feeling sad and/or angry, I also feel ungrateful. The truth is these aren’t exclusive. I don’t know why my mind thinks this is an either/or situation. I can be angry AND sad AND grateful.

And because of this, I’ve been walking around in a heightened state of anxiety for months. My cup is so full. Everything makes it overflow. I’ve had multiple panic attacks – really bad ones where my hands, feet, and face go numb. The kind that increases my daily anxiety level because now, on top of everything else, I’m worried that I’m going to have another panic attack when I’m out by myself and no one will help me. My therapist advised me to feel my emotions – empty my cup. And finally, one morning on a Calvin-less weekend, I just let it go.

Let It Go GIFs | Tenor

I don’t know if I can explain how difficult this was for me. My mind and my body didn’t want it to happen. My mind quickly tried to distract me, and my body forced me to get up and walk around. It was physically hard for me to cry – to let myself be sad and angry. It’s like I was afraid that once I started I wouldn’t be able to stop. But I did stop, and you know what? I felt better. I feel better.

Throughout all of this, I have held on to the idea that I want to handle this situation in a way that I can look back on and be proud of. But part of that is taking care of myself. I need to deal with my emotions so I’m not carrying around a shitload of emotional baggage with me everywhere I go. That shit is heavy. I’ve already got a ginormous mom purse filled with snacks, water, sunscreen, toy cars, and a Nintendo Switch. I’m not strong enough to carry around a ton of emotional baggage, too.

So, yeah, that’s where I’m at these days. That’s how I’m doing. How are you?

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Sonia Show Classics: ‘On the prowl for the perfect match’

barelylegalYeah, so, my parents celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary this week.

Crazy, right?

I picked this week’s “Sonia Show Classic” because I talk about my parents’ marriage quite a bit in it. Also, considering that I just celebrated five years with my mighty, mighty good man David, it seems appropriate to share this column written by college-age Sonia about the signs you found your soul mate.

Seriously, I didn’t know jack shit about soul mates or relationships, but I thought I did. LOL girls in their 20s.

So anyway, without further adieu, this week’s “Sonia Show Classic:” “On the prowl for the perfect match.”


Originally published in the Chico State Orion in 1995.

I’m oversleeping again.

My biological clock is going off again, and I just keep hitting the snooze bar. “Five more years. Just give me five more years.”

At 19, my parents were married (so they say) and starting a family. At 19, I was trying to figure out the words to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and bitching about how I was never going to score. Well, some things never change.

I’m not ready for marriage and motherhood anyway, so it’s probably a good thing that I can’t score. I’d be a crappy mom. “I’m going to get my can of whoop-ass if you don’t leave mommy alone. Now beat it.”

Yeah, so, I’d be a crappy mom. But I’m sure the kid’s father wouldn’t exactly be a treat either. But, eh, what can you do? After the divorce I would only see him at the designated drop-off point on Fridays for his weekly visitation rights anyway, so what do I care?

I guess I just can’t comprehend the fact that at 19 my parents knew they wanted to be together forever. I can’t even make a commitment to a pay cable channel. Right now, I’m pretty monogamous to HBO. But I’ve been scoping out Cinemax.

How do you know if someone is The One? The one person you want to spend the rest of your life with. I wish people were like Garanimals. I could just walk around with a tag tied to my foot with a zebra or a penguin on it, and all I needed to do was find someone with a matching tag. “Dude, you’re a zebra. Hey, I’m a zebra, too.” Then you would know that you have a perfect match and you were meant to be together forever, or at least until you fade. Oh why couldn’t we be born with tags?

Well, until we get tags, all I have are theories of how I will know if someone is The One. You know the person you are with is The One if:

  • They are still interested in you after finding out your hobby is looking for things that are not in the Pacific Bell Yellow Pages.
  • She loves you even though you are a Republican and a member of a frat.
  • In a jealous rage, he’d murder you and your male companion, plead innocent and then bore the whole country with his goddamn trial, giving Jay Leno enough jokes to last his entire career, but still not making him funny.
  • She loves it when you call her “ass” in public.
  • He’ll hold your purse for you, even if his friend are standing around making fun of him.
  • She didn’t laugh at you when you cried during “Free Willy 2.”
  • They will still kiss you even though you just ate a whole, raw onion with a tuna salad chaser.
  • The only thing you ever fight over is who’s funnier: Beavis or Butthead.
  • He’d rub your feet after a hard day’s work, even if you wore leather shoes all day with no socks.
  • If you wore a T-shirt that says, “He’s my gimp” with an arrow pointing at him, he would wear a shirt that says, “Damn straight I’m her gimp.”
  • He doesn’t laugh at you when he notices you own Rick Springfield’s “Working Class Dog” on vinyl and 8-track.
  • They don’t get mad when you cheat off them in class.
  • They totally understand when you say, “Valerie’s a slut. Donna’s a dumbass. And you are going to kick Ray’s wussy-boy ass.”
  • When she calls you a “fat, lazy bastard,” she puts it in such a nice way.
  • You are addicted to caffeine, tobacco and crank, but he thinks you are “so laid back.”



Five years ago

Yeah, it’s been five years since I met my mighty, mighty good man David.

I had no idea when I walked into Broken Record to meet a guy that my friend set me up with that I was walking into my last first date. I had no idea that seven months later we would be living together. I had no idea that nine months later he would hold my hand while a doctor explained to us what kind of breast cancer I had. I had no idea that 10 months later he would kiss me on the forehead and say, “Have fun storming the castle” as the doctors wheeled me into my mastectomy. I had no idea that 11 months later we would be engaged. I had no idea that 18 months later we would get hitched. I had no idea that 25 months later he would knock me up. And I certainly had no idea that 34 months later we would have a spawn.

And now, 60 months later, my life is so much better than it was. Thank you, David, for agreeing to be set up and going on that date.






This one time, I got really drunk and called some guys ‘assy’ right to their stupid assy faces

Yeah, so, the other night mighty, mighty good man David and I went to 21st Amendment to grab a beer before we went to a friend’s party.

We sat down at a corner table with our beer. I was sipping my MCA Stout (which is a little lighter than I like my stouts to be, but it was good and very drinkable on a warm San Francisco evening), and I was trying to remember the last time I was at 21st Amendment. Then I remembered. Here’s the story …

The last time I was at 21st Amendment was a Saturday in April 2008.

I had just broken up with my boyfriend, and I was feeling a little emotionally all over the place. I was feeling stoked to not have him in my life anymore. He was a dark cloud; a real Debbie Downer. Oh, I don’t have to be polite. He was an asshole (a cheatin’ asshole I found out later). But I was also feeling disappointed in myself for wasting a year and half of my life on someone that I knew wasn’t right for me. And, even though I was glad I didn’t have to put up with his shit anymore, I wasn’t really looking forward to being single again. I was single for seven years before that asshole (which is probably why I was with him as long as I was), and — deep down — I was afraid that I was going to be alone for another seven years, if not forever.

Like I said, I was emotionally all over the place.

Good buddy Kate called me and suggested we go to a Giants game. Great idea. Baseball makes me feel better. So, Kate, DH, Allison and I went to the Giants game, where I proceeded to drink many adult beverages.

After the game, we went to 21st Amendment, where I proceeded to have several more. At 21st Amendment, a couple of dudes started chatting us up. These guys were clearly douchey, but they seemed harmless enough. By this point, I was — what’s the legal term? — hammered. I was hammered. Someone decided we should get something to eat, so we went to Osha Thai.

So, there we were, Kate, Allison, DH and I, sitting at this table with these two dudes at Osha Thai. The waitress came to take our order when one of the dudes says, “I just got back from Thailand. Can you make my order ‘Thai hot’?”

“Umm, sure. I can make your order spicy,” the waitress replied.

“No, no. Not spicy. I want mine ‘Thai hot,’” the douche explained.

The waitress bought us our food, and apparently she decided to punish us for this douche’s request. Everyone’s food was “Thai hot.” It was completely inedible. This is the point of the story where my memory gets fuzzy, but good buddy Kate filled me in.

She said it went like this …

Everyone tried to eat the “Thai hot” food, but they couldn’t. The food was so hot that they had runny noses and their eyes were watering. Kate looked over at me, and I had my head in my hands. She thought, “Oh, the food is too spicy for Sonia, too.” But then I looked up, and I had tears streaming down my face. I was really crying at the table.

“I don’t want to be here,” I sobbed. “I don’t want to be here with these assy guys.”

I looked at Kate: “Is this what is out there for us, Kate?”

Kate nodded.

I started crying harder.

“Did she just call us ‘assy’?” one of the assy guys said.

DH took her napkin off her lap and threw it on the table like a penalty flag. “Dinner’s over,” she announced. The ladies threw some money on the table, and we piled into a cab.

I remember apologizing to the ladies in the cab, and DH and Kate started laughing that those guys were, in fact, assy.

And that’s my story about the last time I was at 21st Amendment until the other night, when I was there with my mighty, mighty good husband that I met 7 months after that breakup, not seven years. Good times.

Happy Pride weekend, you guys! After the Prop. 8 and DOMA rulings this week, and the fact that the courts just lifted the ban on gay marriage in California, San Francisco is going to be epic this weekend. To all the folks who are getting hitched this weekend because they finally can, I wish you all the love and laughter in the world. Being married is pretty cool.


Three years

Yeah, so, three years ago I went on a date with some guy my friend set me up with.

Now, that guy and I have asked my sister to babysit our Spawn so we can go out to dinner to celebrate our three-year dating anniversary.


When you are married you are probably not supposed to celebrate dating anniversaries anymore, but mighty, mighty good man David and I haven’t been married that long. And we make our own rules, dammit!

Happy dating anniversary to the best friend, best father and best husband in the whole damn world.




When a man loves a woman

Yeah, so, I asked David if the lyrics to “When a Man Loves a Woman” are true.

Me: “Would you turn your back on your best friend if he put me down?”
David: “Well, it would depend on what he said and whether or not it was funny.”


My last first date

Yeah, so, one year ago today I went on my last first date.

When my buddy Holly told me she wanted to introduce me to her newly single friend David, I had no idea I was going to meet the love of my life. I certainly had no idea that a year later we would be planning our wedding.

Before Holly introduced David and I through Facebook (social networking win!), I had been single for about six months. I had gone out on a few first dates with nice guys, but there was never a spark.

Good buddy Kate said I described all my dates the same:

Kate: “How did it go?”
Me: “[Sigh.] It was fine. He’s nice. I don’t know … I guess I’ll see him again.”

After David and I friended each other on Facebook, we started messaging back and forth. Soon, we switched to email and then ditched email for instant messaging. We chatted all week long. We hit it off immediately, often cracking each other up with IMs, in which we basically just tried to out-nerd each other. [For the record, I won by declaring that I had seen the One-Man Star Wars Trilogy twice.]

Eventually, we made a date to meet at this dive bar called Broken Record in San Francisco at 8 p.m. We both arrived at the same time. We went into the bar and sat down … next thing we knew it was last call! We barely had anything to drink or eat. We had talked for six hours about movies, cartoons, our lives and all things nerdy.

When the bartender kicked us out, David walked me to my car.

David: “I want to see you again.”
Me: “OK, when?”
David: “Tomorrow.”

Then he kissed me, and completely overwhelmed, I dropped my purse on the street. I remember very clearly getting in the car after our first date and thinking, “Finally! This is the guy!”

Kate called me the next day.

Kate: “How did it go?”
Me: “Awesome! He’s awesome!”


… And the pursuit of happiness

Yeah, so, I’m sitting here in David’s apartment, drinking coffee and job hunting with Homer on my lap, and I am overwhelmed.

I’ve spent a lot of space in this blog talking about awkward dates and bad relationships, but today, for some reason, I feel the need to be a mushy jackass and write something positive. Long-time readers of The Sonia Show deserve something positive every once in a while, so here I go …

I’m happy.  I’m not happy about being unemployed. That sucks. But, in every other way, I’m happy.  I finally get it.

Michelle once told me that I would meet a man and really fall in love, and he would love me back and it would blow my mind.

My mind is blown.

If you had asked me if I believed in love at first date two months ago, I would have laughed at you. But I have known since our first date that David is The Guy. We speak the same language. We get each other. We click. We want the same things. We treat each other kindly. We make each other laugh. We are a team.

With David, I never worry about whether or not he’s into me, and he doesn’t have to worry about me. He continually shows me that he actually thinks about me when I’m not around. That is completely foreign to me.  I look back at previous relationships and I can’t believe what I was willing to tolerate. I was treated with such indifference. They took advantage of my good nature, and they usually returned the favor by cheating on me and/or withholding the things I wanted most such as love, commitment, a true partnership, etc. I was treated so coldly, yet I let it happen.

But all those jerkstores led me here … to David’s apartment, drinking coffee and job hunting with Homer on my lap. And  I’m with this man — a mighty, mighty good man — and I can’t believe my dumb luck.

OK, I apologize for the super mushy post. Now, back to your regularly scheduled The Sonia Show …

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Lord of the rings

Yeah, so, my little brother Eric and Marlina are officially engaged. Very exciting news! I bet Marlina can’t wait to be a Mansfield. HA!

So, for those keeping score at home, that’s two out of the three Mansfield spawn that are engaged.

I was joking with a coworker that the timing of Eric and Marlina’s engagement was really a big plot against me. You see, now at all the family gatherings for the holidays, all the relatives will be looking at me, as the eldest Mansfield spawn, and wonder what the hell is wrong with me. “Look at Sonia; 38 and single.”

Damn you, Eric and Marlina! Why do you hate me?!? HA!

Kidding, of course.

The thought has crossed my mind that it’s kinda sad that my younger siblings are engaged and I am nowhere near that sort of thing. But, I know plenty of people whose younger siblings settled down before them, and I never thought those people were sad and/or pathetic.

I know that there is someone out there for me. Somewhere, there is a smart, funny guy who will be nice to my family, tolerate Homer and only mock me a little when I become obsessed with “American Idol.” He is moderately sane and more emotionally stable than not and he will get me and vice versa. I just have to put that Mansfield hunting gene to good use and track him down.

On another note, I picked up a spiffy little camera case today. Woo-hoo!



The space between

Yeah, so, this friend of mine is going through a break-up. I feel terrible for her, because I’ve been there. I was there more than four months ago. She sounds better than I did when it first happened, but I know how much it sucks.

I told her that four things got me through the truly difficult part: My family, my friends, my break-up book and yoga.

It was like breaking a bad habit at first, but unfortunately they don’t make a patch or a gum to feed the addiction … yet. I knew he was wrong for me. I knew I was better off without him. Whenever I felt sad or lonely, I called someone or walked Homer or went to yoga or read this book titled “It’s Called a Break-Up Because It’s Broken.” (Laugh if you want, but that book really helped me. It just confirms what you already know, but it’s nice to read it in print.)

Eventually, I didn’t feel sad or lonely anymore. The ache went away. The break-up book is dusty. In fact, I’m going to put it on the kitchen table tonight, so I will remember to loan it to her. Of course, I still walk the dog a lot and go to yoga two or three times a week, but that’s because I love those things.

I am so grateful to my family and friends who helped me, who listened to me. I am forever in their debt. In a lot of ways, a huge weight has been lifted off of me. I feel relieved. Believe me, my emotional baggage plus the ex’s emotional baggage was too heavy for one girl to carry. My baggage is really of the carry-on variety. He needed to check his emotional baggage. Too bad he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. Or, to mix an airport metaphor with sports metaphor, the guy need to rub some dirt on his issues and walk it off. But I digress …

Now, I feel like I’m in a great space. I’m happy. I’m healthy. For the first time in my life, I’m on my own; truly on my own. I’m responsible for only myself. It’s my apartment, my furniture, my food in the fridge. If I want to eat pancakes for dinner and watch “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” there is no one here to say, “Are you eating pancakes for dinner and watching a cartoon with a talking milkshake?” I believe it was the master poet Bobby Brown who said, “It’s my prerogative.”

I’m actually enjoying this time on my own. Would it be nice to have a man in my life? Sure, the right man. But, I’m happy with my life just the way it is, too. I’m dating; not a ton of dating, but I’m trying to get out there.

OK, this post went in a rather personal direction, didn’t it? Eh, it’s my blog. I can get personal. Once again, my prerogative. The point is my friend’s situation just reminded me of where I was and where I am now, and I felt it was important enough that I needed to recognize the moment on the blog. I apologize for the long-winded rambling post, but sometimes I come home from yoga a little hyped up. Maybe I will make some pancakes and watch some “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” …