Saturday, May 29, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog?

I have been reading a few blogs lately, and enjoy it immensely, so I thought I would jump into the already overcrowded blog pool. Actually, it's more like I am sticking my big toe in, to test the water, before I get totally wet. I might even wait a few days before clicking on the ominous "PUBLISH POST" button at the bottom of the page, so I can see if I will actually write more than one entry. I started following one blog, and it turned out to be the day the author stopped writing it. Figures. I have saved the link to that blog in my bookmarks toolbar, and click on it every once in a while, and it has not been updated for over two months. If I find that I have the same tendency, I think I will save us all a little frustration by just keeping this experiment to myself.

How does one pick a name for their blog? People seem to be able to come up with some nifty, imaginative names for their blogs. I might change this one. For one thing, it sounds a lot like the title that my daughter chose for her blog, and I don't want her to think I have no imagination at all. However, I do have a good reason for picking this title.

Ahem. I will try to make a very long story brief enough that only a few of you will fall asleep.

Like many young people, I began college directly after high school. At the beginning of my second semester, I met and fell in love with another student. We were married three days after the last final of my freshman year, and are living happily ever after.

Okay, my story does go on after the wedding. To our delight (and a little bit of surprise!), I became pregnant three weeks after we were married. I attended one more semester of college, but did not feel like I could continue school and be a full-time mother, so I dropped out.

Time passed and more babies were born, until we had four young children. After being subject more than once to the dreaded (and RUDE!) query, "So, what do you DO all day?", I determined that I wanted to go back to school and finish my degree, so at least I would no longer be a college drop-out. Accordingly, the day our youngest began attending kindergarten, I started going to classes. I declared my major to be English, and really enjoyed the experience. I went part time, since I was also a full-time mother, and it took me nine (yes, 9!) years to complete my degree. During that time, I was often asked what I was going to do after graduation.

I had no idea.

I mean, what does one do with a B.A. in English?

It was suggested that I could teach. Hmmm, I suppose so.... 
I could get a Master's Degree....Hmmm....
I could go into business....

I decided what I REALLY wanted to do was to be the Sign Police in our town. You know, the person who gets to go around and correct the public signs that contain misspellings or bad grammar? The problem is, as far as I can tell, no one is willing to pay for this kind of service. I have tried it in a very small way, on a volunteer basis, but the reception I have received was underwhelming. I mostly get puzzled looks, and the signs are never corrected.

I tried this once when my husband and I went out for dinner at a fast food place. This is a rare occurrence for us, and usually a cause for much rejoicing, but in this case my pleasure was dimmed by the fact that the sign outside was advertising a "Smashed Potatoe." I mentioned to the person who took our order that potato was misspelled, and received a blank look in response. The sign stayed that way for at least another week, until a new special was advertised. I contemplated driving a different way to avoid that restaurant, but it is right next to the store that I shop at the most.

Another sign that drove me crazy was on the way to my children's school. It was painted on the windows of a furniture store, and advertised their end of the year "clerance" sale in letters at least four feet high. I had to pass this store four times a day, and the sign was up for MONTHS. I wished I had the authority to arrest someone for murdering words-- or at least make them fix it! I fantasized about it!

I was not at all surprised when they went out of business.  It's a daycare now.

Sometimes there are glimmers of hope.  I live in the South, in a state that is often maligned for its low level of education, but on a recent trip to a western state I noticed several highway signs that advised drivers to "Drive Safe."  Back in our home state, I was pleased to note the same type of sign admonishing us to "Drive Safely."  

While I have been dithering about my true calling in life, it looks like someone else is already doing something about America's grammar problem:

It's like he read my mind.

Here's another one:

Thank you, Al Yankovic, for providing hope in a dreary, ungrammatical world! 

May the Sign Police thrive, wherever they may dwell!


  1. Oh, Debbie...You are a born writer. I LOVED IT! I agree with your sentiments about grammar and have found myself equally frustrated. Please keep posting your blog entries on Facebook...THIS WAS FUN!!

  2. Aww, thanks, Forrest! I had fun, too! :)

  3. Heehee, Mom! I should write about why I named my blog what I did. It's not very different from your story, actually...