found him.

My soulmate. Found him.

Too bad he didn’t include his number.

[If you cannot see it, the text of the newspaper clipping pictured is as follows:
My name is Bubbles. I reside in a shed with 28 kitties. I refurbish grocery carts, which I steal from the local Wal-Mart. Just kidding. I’m Tom. I’m looking for a local female for coffee and maybe more.]


p.s.— I feel like I should add a p.s. to every post indefinitely. I like this idea.


©2019 what sandra thinks

Posted in humor, life, writing | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

too close to the tree

I don’t know what you were expecting but this isn’t my A to Z recap post. Or my afterthoughts or whatever. I’ll write that later. Or I won’t. 

Please note: This is a long post. I always feel like I have to post a warning when that happens. So grab your coffee and sit back. I promise it will eventually be over.

I was super down on myself when I was younger. And when I was older. And still today.

I have tried to recall when it began, but I cannot. I have only a few specific memories of other people putting me down, but I remember it happening. What I remember clearly, though, was believing those put-downs. And I remember the fear—the constant fear—that someone would see something ‘bad‘ about me and say it out loud for everyone to hear.

I had to stop them. I could only think of one way, so I did that.

I became my own bully.

I thought if I beat everyone to the put-down—if I did it myself—I wouldn’t hear it from anyone else. Or at least it wouldn’t hurt as much because it was already out there. Better from myself than from anyone else, right? Wrong. As was inevitable, I began to assume pretty much everything about me was worthy of a put-down. And I assumed literally everyone thought these negative things about me. I was so sure. It became second nature for me to put myself down. And I still do it.

My self-confidence and my self-esteem suffered. I tore them down. And they never recovered. They are, in fact, still being torn down.

Now I fear this is happening to my daughter.

Actually, I know that at least some of it is happening to her.

Aside: The rest of this reads like a soap opera. I am aware of this, but I feel that the full story is helpful. Plus, if I’m able to write anything at all, I figured I might as well do it. 

My once confident girl (11 years old) has taken a hit. I recently wrote about her during the A to Z challenge. Confident, stands up for herself…

It started with a mean girl. Shocker.

They have attended the same school for six years (k – 5). In the beginning, they weren’t friends. Neutral. About a year ago, they suddenly became best friends. One day, boom… always together. During spring break last year, my daughter spent more time with this girl than she did with me.

Fast forward about six weeks. This girl ‘dumped‘ my kid. No warning, no reason, nothing. She latched on to another girl to replace my daughter. What kills me is that the mean girl and her replacement have stayed best pals ever since… so, like, a year. But the mean one ditched my daughter after six weeks for no apparent reason. [Granted, the mean girl and the replacement have had some fights but they always end up together again.]

During the past year, the mean one started talking shit about my kid to other girls. She wants to turn everyone against her. Everything always gets back to my daughter. She has friends who tell her things. Or she sees things on social media (the ruin of childhood). The truly fucked up thing is that after the mean stuff, this little shit apologizes to my daughter and wants to be friends again. Until the next time she goes off. Then another apology… then more mean shit… apology… mean shit. You get the idea.

Other kids… my daughter’s friends… know about all of this. They have been victims of it, too. All of them, I think. But not as bad as my daughter. It pains me, though, that they always go back to being friends with the bitch. Why the fuck don’t they care that it hurts my daughter? They know it does. Why don’t they stick up for her? If they bother giving any explanation at all, it’s that the bitch has a trampoline, she invites people over, her mom takes them to do fun stuff. So basically, they are using her.

I’m not sure how many of these girls genuinely like this bitch. Yet no matter what she does to my kid, the other girls still hang out with her. They sometimes try to hide it [so I think they do care that it hurts my kid… just not enough to stop], but my daughter always knows because the bitch is constantly posting pictures on social media of every damn thing she does and who’s with her.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. Mean girl had been being nice to my daughter. So much so that she invited her for a sleepover! My daughter went. [I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I have a problem saying no to my kids.] Everything was fine. But… a few days later, my girl admitted to me that while she was there, the little bitch said mean things to her face. Who the fuck invites someone over and then does that?? I told my daughter she should have told the kid’s mother then called me immediately to pick her up. But she was afraid that would make the whole situation worse.

Fast forward to now. The little bitch still makes fun of my daughter, calls her names, and just generally torments her. Behind her back and to her face. My daughter knows to act like it doesn’t bother her and to walk away, but that doesn’t work because bitchface follows her around.

It has gotten worse over the past week or two. My daughter comes home from school unusually sad. Sad enough that it worries me. In the morning, she tells me she doesn’t want to go to school. Sometimes, she says things like ‘I’m ugly‘ or ‘I’m fat‘ or ‘I have no friends‘ or ‘I hate my life‘. This morning, she said, ‘From now on, I’m only going to eat salad.‘ [She is not stick-thin but she is not all that big either. And none of that should matter anyway, for fuck’s sake.]

My mind immediately goes to every news story I’ve ever heard about a kid who has been bullied so much and is so desperately sad that they take their own life. I’m scared as hell.

I contacted the school last week. I did so to help my daughter, not necessarily to punish the bitch because, let’s face it, that little shit won’t change even if she’s disciplined. I called the school nurse. [With my son’s and my daughter’s years at this school, I’ve known her for nine years.] The nurse felt terrible for my daughter and connected me to the school’s counselor.

My daughter is now seeing the school counselor because of that little bitch. Don’t get me wrong—I think seeing the counselor is a great thing. It should be required for all kids! But it pisses me the fuck off that my kid was driven to it by that little bitch.

She’s not shy, my kid. Her friends know she’s seeing the counselor and they know why. Yet no one ditches the bitch. See above.

I hope the counselor can help my daughter learn how to deal with this in a way that preserves (or redevelops) her self-esteem. I’m scared as hell, though, that it’s already too late. My daughter has already slipped into the same trap I’m in… she’s down on herself.


p.s.— My girl’s best friend is having a birthday party in a few weeks at an indoor water park. She wants to go but she is worried about how she looks in a swimsuit. Fuck, she is only 11. And she’s also afraid to go. Guess why? Yeah. The bitch will be there. Again, why the fuck can’t my daughter’s friends stick up for her and stop including this bitch? My girl may not even end up going. That pisses me off. 

p.s. 2—Next year my daughter starts middle school. This is both good and bad. I know middle school is said to be the worst, but, more kids means more chances to make new friends who aren’t bitches. Her small elementary school (less than 40 kids per grade) makes it hard to separate from anyone. Oh, and more kids also means more chances that kids will not put up with that little bitch and she’ll finally get hers. I can dream, right?


©2019 what sandra thinks

Posted in life, writing | Tagged , , | 52 Comments

I was just thinking | z/zero #atozchallenge

I was just thinking | whatsandrathinks

No way in hell was I going to write about zebras. Zero was a far better choice for me… because, you see, I feel like a total zero.

I have zero motivation.

I have zero [offline] friends.

I have zero romance in my life.

I have zero cash in my wallet.

I have zero relief from my back pain.

I have zero will-power around left over Easter chocolate.

I have zero ability to write fiction or poetry.

I have zero confidence.

And I have zero hope that anything is going to change.


p.s.— I’m sorry I ended this challenge on such a downer. I’m overwhelmed by a terrible feeling inside me that I can’t tame. I think it’s slowly killing me. Kind of like having your heart carved out of your chest with a spoon.

©2019 what sandra thinks

Posted in challenge, life, random, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 38 Comments

I was just thinking | y/yesterday #atozchallenge

I was just thinking | whatsandrathinks

Yesterday, I was supposed to write my Y post. I didn’t. You might think I waited intentionally so I could use ‘yesterday‘ as my word. I didn’t. Just thought of that now.

Yesterday, I went to the chiropractor. I wish his adjustments improved my pain long term. They don’t. They barely help in the short term. Why do I continue to see him? Every time I go, I ask myself that question. Then I go back anyway. I’m an idiot. I’m just wasting money. If I skipped that co-payment three times, I could pay for a massage instead. And maybe I’d do that if I had any idea where to go for a massage.

Yesterday, I realized that my back pain is getting worse and nothing I’m doing is helping. I cried for a long time because of pain and fear of my future pain. I’m scared.

Yesterday, I made ‘healthy‘ Chicken Marsala for dinner. Tonight, I don’t have to cook because we have leftovers. Yay!

Yesterday, my kids moved up a belt in karate. Maybe they can defend me when I’m unable to do so myself due to back pain. And overall laziness.

Yesterday, I wondered what the fuck I was going to write for Y… and for Z.


p.s.— Today, I slept too much. I had coffee. I ate a banana. I forgot to eat again after that. It’s 5pm. I’m a mess.

©2019 what sandra thinks

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I was just thinking | x/x #atozchallenge

I was just thinking | whatsandrathinks

I’m done with X. I’ve got nothing. I wasn’t ‘just thinking‘ about a damn thing that has anything to do with X.

I went to see Avengers: Endgame today. Marvel is good at movies.

[Do not discuss this movie in the comments beyond ‘I’ve seen it’ or ‘I haven’t seen it’ or ‘I don’t care about it’. People have gotten the shit beaten out of them for spoiling this movie. Watch your back.]


p.s.— I’m not nearly as nerdy about superheroes as the boys in my house, but I’ve been thinking about re-watching all the Marvel movies… in order… from the start. In order of story, not necessarily in order of release. I think there are 21. Wish me luck. 

©2019 what sandra thinks

Posted in challenge, life, random, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 22 Comments

I was just thinking | w/weakness #atozchallenge

I was just thinking | whatsandrathinks

I don’t really want to write about my weaknesses, but when I got to W, it was the first thing that came to mind. I wonder what that means. God, I’m so negative. Fuck me. Like, seriously. What is wrong with my brain?

I have a few ‘normal‘ weaknesses… chocolate, potato chips, cheesecake, nice abs (men… I’m boy crazy… or man crazy), talk dark and handsome (preferably not clean-shaven), male singers with sexy voices. Wait, are those normal? Maybe they’re not. They’re all food and sex related. Well, not sex per se, but, in my mind, yeah… sex.

But those are the weak-in-the-knees weaknesses. I also have opposite-of-strengths weaknesses. Lately, writing is one of them. And there are others… people, talking to people, being around people, um… also confidence (need some, have none), and a bunch of other stuff I suck at. Even some things that I used to think I was good at have become weaknesses.

I should have written about the food and sex weaknesses last to end this post on a more pleasant note. Does this help? I think it helps me.



p.s.— Should W have been ‘what sandra thinks’? I just thought of that now. Oh well. I remember when I came up with my blog name. I wanted to write my thoughts, even if they offended people. I could hide behind my anonymity. I could bitch about my husband, I could tell people who like country music to fuck off. I could say anything I wanted to say. But, to this day, I wonder if anyone really cares what sandra thinks.

©2019 what sandra thinks

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I was just thinking | v/vanilla #atozchallenge

I was just thinking | whatsandrathinks

This afternoon I took my son out for ice cream at Dairy Queen. One of the few ‘bonding‘ activities a fourteen year old boy wants to do with his mom.

He got chocolate. I got vanilla. It was delicious.


p.s.— Who decided that vanilla and chocolate were the quintessential soft serve flavors? Coffee would be far superior. 

©2019 what sandra thinks

Posted in challenge, life, random, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 21 Comments

I was just thinking | u/ugh #atozchallenge

I was just thinking | whatsandrathinks

ugh  /əɡ/
exclamation (informal)
1. used to express disgust or horror.

That’s about right.

Maybe I should wait for W to write about writing, but I’m not waiting. This really isn’t about writing anyway. It’s about frustration… and, of course, as the title indicates, disgust and horror.

I went through a period of great writing. That’s not meant to sound conceited. I just happen to think it’s true.

If you go back to my blog posts from late 2016/early 2017, you’ll find a lot of poetry. [There’s a menu option for ‘poetry’ on my blog… go there, if desired.] Maybe my poetry sucks to a ‘real‘ poet, but I love the poems I wrote during that time. Without going back and reading my entire blog, I can’t pinpoint when I crashed and burned. But there came a time when I couldn’t find the words anymore. I couldn’t write a poem to save my life. Well, if a shitty poem would save my life, then I withdraw my previous statement.


I love my fiction, too. All of it. [There’s a menu option for ‘fiction’ on my blog, too… go there, if desired.] Is it great, publish-worthy writing? I doubt it. But I love it. Again, not to sound conceited, but I do go back and read my fiction often. In fact, I read and edit all the time (yes, I edit for fun with no real purpose other than my own enjoyment). I have all of my fiction on rotation. Right now, I’m obsessed with my secret book. But soon enough, I will go back to Roses Are Blue or Secret Admirer or any of the others. I’ll get lost inside, and I’ll never want to come out.

I got off topic a little bit there. My point was, originally, before I veered off somewhere… I haven’t been able to write any new fiction for over a year. A year and a half, I think it is now. And my poetry hasn’t been good for at least that long, probably longer. I’ve tried. I’ve made some notes and transcribed some dreams… but that’s it.

What happened to me? I’m frustrated with myself. Even disgusted with myself. And totally horrified.

I guess I lost my muse. But I’m not sure I believe that because back then, I didn’t realize I had one. But thinking back now, maybe I did. Fuck, I don’t know. What I do know is that I miss being proud of my writing.

Disgust and horror, indeed.



p.s.— I woke up a few days ago with a story in my head. I grabbed my always-by-the-bed journal and wrote everything I could remember as quickly as I possible. Whether or not I can turn it into a story remains to be seen… but don’t hold your breath.

©2019 what sandra thinks

Posted in challenge, life, random, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments