Saturday, January 29, 2011

The One That Started it All

Now that I've been a "successful blogger" for all of one month I thought I'd pay homage to the story that started it all.  (And by successful blogger I mean I've committed myself to writing it, and five very kind and generous friends have committed themselves to reading it.  Voila...success!)

So here's the story that started it all.  I originally posted it on Facebook, and it was called "The Water Cooler Story." (For those of you who have already read this, there is a little follow up at the end if you're interested.)

The Water Cooler Story

The thing about teaching that many people may not be aware of is that it’s pretty isolating.  I can literally go days with only the following adult conversations: “Can you open the kiln door for me?”  “Are we still on for music this Friday?”  “Would you like me to run a set of these copies for you?”

When you work in an environment that’s ruled by bells and little people you get a bit starved for the water cooler banter that occurs in most workplaces.  I think that’s why I’m drawn to Facebook (drawn to, obsessed with…whatever).  To me, it kind of feeds that need to share those little, insignificant snippets of our lives with each other. 

Where am I going with this you ask?  Well, here’s a little water cooler story I’d share with you if I had more than five minutes to go to the bathroom, check my mailbox, give Johnny a snack, dash off an email to a parent, and get my butt out to yard duty on time.

My husband has long been fascinated with “the next big thing” type people.  As such, he is currently reading The Accidental Billionaires, the book about the founders of Facebook.  Curious as to what all the fuss about Facebook is about, he broke open his laptop one day, typed in Facebook, and started poking around. 

After a while he said, “You’re on here, right?”

“Yep.” I replied. 

“Well, then, why can’t I find you?” he asked. 

I explained to him that I pretty much have my privacy settings set in "lock down" mode. 

“Then how do you have any friends?” he asked. 

“Well, someone has to actually know someone with whom I am already friends before I will show up anywhere.” 

“Hmm. Then how can I be friends with you?” he asked.

“Like I said, honey,” I replied, “You have to know someone who knows me.” 

He looked at me, astonished, and replied, “But I’m your husband!” 

Hey, it’s one thing to marry the guy…quite another to let him be my Facebook friend.  ;-)

Thanks for bellying up to the water cooler with me! :-)

The follow up:  One of the comments I received after I posted this story was that I should start a "water cooler" blog.  I thought this was kind of funny because, at the end of last year, I did, in fact, set up a blog.  It was all too overwhelming at that time and so I pretty much forgot all about it...until I wrote that story and received that comment. 

I went back to the blog and was surprised to find that it was still there...I never even named it!  Of course, it took me two days to remember/send for, etc., the password, but once I  finally figured it all out I  thought, What the heck!  I'm going to give this a go.  Enough people have told me I'm a good writer over the years that, well, maybe they're right.

So I had the blog, but I needed a name.  I loved "water cooler blog" and wanted to use some variation of that for the title, but everything using those words was already taken.  Then I recalled that this very story (my water cooler story) included the term "ruled by bells" and since that's pretty much how I feel most days I thought, Perfect!  I typed it in and it was available...Double perfect! 

However, since I'm not just writing about my job, I thought that maybe the title wasn't so perfect after all. I mean, I knew this blog would also include stories about my mom, and "ruled by bells" didn't fit that part of it.  Then I thought about it some more and I had the realization that most of my dealings with my mom involve phone calls, and well, a phone is a kind of bell, right?  (Additionally, one of my favorite books of all time happens to be The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, which is, coincidentally enough, about a woman losing her mind.) So, finally, the title seemed like a good match, and thus my blog, and hopefully, one day (soon!),  my writing career, was born.  (Yes, I realize that the title doesn't match up with my family stories, but as the saying goes, "Two out of three ain't bad.") 

Another little quick follow up:  My husband said it was pretty dumb to be on Facebook and not have anyone be able to find me.  Thinking he might be right (man, I just hate admitting that) I decided to change my privacy settings.  I was a bit nervous because, as you now know, I don't just let any ole' body in to my Facebook world.  But I clicked the save button on my new privacy settings anyway and I waited for the deluge of friend requests.

Well, guess what?  It's been about a month and I've received all of two, yes 2, friend requests! 

And that, my friends, is how this blog came to be.  Thank you for taking the time to read it!


  1. And I'm so glad you started your blog. I've been enjoying your water cooler stories!

  2. Thanks! I have really been enjoying writing them. I shamelessly put myself on They have a place where you can vote for your favorite blog. (I had no idea how many bloggers there were out there!) If you want, you can pop over there and "like" me. I don't know what it means, or what will happen, but maybe if I get enough "likes" then someone official will notice.
    No obligation, but here's the link if you're interested. You can find me through the alphabetical listing or by popularity (I'm at the very end since I only have one like...mine!).
    Thanks for the comment.