Archive for December 29th, 2007

(Originally posted 12/06, reposted because it seems pertinent to the predicament i am in once again) 

I have been thinking about this whole crazy thing called romance.  Well, not necessarily “romance”, more like mate finding.  Here in Columbia there was a recent article on dating in your 30s and how it differs from dating in your 20s, etc.  A friend of mine and I were talking also about how now, when you start dating someone, you can’t just go about it all hedonistically.  You find yourself, whether intentionally or not, thinking about this person’s long term potential.  You think about things like how he doesn’t ever want to marry or have kids.  You might be thinking he is way too into his career to be a good family man, or on the opposite end, he is too irresponsible and doesn’t have any professional goals.  When I was in my 20s I thought, wow, he’s hot.  Or, he is funny, whatever. I didn’t care if he was a waiter or a student.  I didn’t even consider if he ever wanted to get married or have kids.  Honestly, I can say, personally, I don’t really care what someone does for a living.  I would rather the person I marry be happy with what he is doing, regardless of what it is.  Would I love for him to be loving his high-powered job that offered him freedom on nights and weekends with a hefty salary and generous vacation plan? Hell yeah!  Heck, I want that for ME! 

I know that I am not the only person who thinks about these things.  I am sure men have their own set of worries when they start dating a woman: Will she be a good mom?  Will she keep giving me blow jobs after we’re married?  Can she cook?  Does she fuck like a porn star and can still teach Sunday school? You know, the important things.

Of couse we all also have qualifications for our “lovers” and “suitors”. There are certain physical and personality  characteristics that we are attracted to or that we find repulsive.  We don’t always adhere to these strictly, not all of us.  I mean, I prefer tall dark-haired men who don’t smoke. Have a I dated shorter guys? Yes.  Have any of them had light-colored hair? Sure.  Have they smoked?  Unfortunately.  But they were great guys, and I might have missed out on something if I had passed them up.  Of course nothing came of these romantic liaisons, but they were fun while they lasted.  I did do the breaking up.  I am a “breaker upper”.  I don’t like to do it either. I am a nervous wreck and in knots. It literally takes me weeks to end a relationship.  I don’t like to break up at the holidays because that seems so mean.  Then I tell them, oh, let’s only spend $20 on each other this year.  Inevitably, they don’t listen. When I was in college, and even as far back as high school, I would like a guy, like a guy then when he’d like me back, I’d get bored and start ignoring him until he went away.  That was my MO. All my friends knew it.  “Kim, just tell that boy you don’t like him anymore.”  “You need to quit ignoring him”.  Eventualy they all figured it out.  Of course I was foolish and immature.  Now I am confident enough to say, you’re a jackass or drug addict or loser or alcoholic or whatever and i don’t want to date you anymore.

I think what would make all of this much simpler is if we had a store to go to, and we could just do a little check list of qualities we wanted in our mate.  We turn the list over to a young lady or gentleman, who checks the inventory and brings you some possible choices for your mate.. 


Miss Finney, here’s a sample of men who meet your qualifications.  Choose the one you like and you’re on your way to mate-hood.  Thanks for shoppign at Mate-Mart.

I know many of you are thinking, uh, Kim, this is called a dating service.  NO!  Not a dating service.  Once you make your choice, you two are stuck with each other.  So you better choose prudently!  Don’t go for the guy with the best smile, check out his credentials on that pamplet they gave you.  Just because she has big boobs, doesn’t mean she’s the one!  Read over her qualifications as a mother and wife in her brochure.  This system does remind me of when I was in high school, we all filled out these little questionnaires and then they ran our names through the computer and we got a printout of the top ten matches for you in the school.  Then we all ran around to see if they matched up.  Like, was I “Tom’s” number one match too?   

Maybe my perfect match is Justin or Matthew.  Okay, probably not.  But I could go in with my list and browse the aisles, Men could come in and check out the females available as well.  Of course we wouldn’t OWN our mates. Payment would merely be a finders fee for the company.  Kind of like a realtor.  “Hey, I am looking for a three bedroom colonial style home in the Shandon area”.  Great, let’s check our inventory.

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(originally posted 2/07)


I am not a big traditionalist.  I pride myself on being pragmatist and a realist, in much the vein of John Dewey.  For the most part, I think that evolution and change are generally good for mankind and our progress as a society.  There are a couple of things from “the good old days” that I think are useful and positive. 

One of these is a family eating meals together.  I was flabbergasted when I taught.  So many of my kids never sat down to a meal with their families.  Some would on special occasions and holidays, but many, not even then.  There were a few of my kids who actually did have nightly meals with their families.  And you know what?  I could point them out.  Without being told.  I would know who these kids were.  They were the kids who cared about their grades and were well-behaved. 

I don’t want to hear the old excuses of no time, too busy, it’s easier, etc.  My gramma worked from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. every day of the week.  On her feet.  Waiting tables or cooking in a day care.  She also took the bus to work and home, so she was up very early and home around 5:30.  She cooked a hot meal EVERY night.  We sat down at a table and ate a meal together.  We discussed our days.  She asked us about school and our teachers. We told her about upcoming tests, papers, and other assignments.  This continued until I was in college.  She and Kelli still sat down and ate. We had open communication at this dinner table.  We talked about sex.  We talked about fights with friends.  She told us about kids and people at work.  Kelli and I cleaned up afterwards. 

Do you know how hard it was to sit down at that table after she worked hard all day and tell her I got in trouble for talking at school?  All I had to do was go to school and behave.  (Okay, that is harder than it seems, especially for me.)  I think this is what kept me on track academically and behaviorally (for the most part).  Knowing I had to come home and be accountable for my behavior and my day.  That is missing for most of our kids.  They are not accountable or responsible for themselves.  Society and adults make too many excuses for our kids. A lot of them have difficult circumstances.  I don’t doubt that or deny it. I came from a family of difficult circumstances.   

We need to quit allowing our kids to develop a victim mentality.  They will have struggles and strife all of their lives.  Be held accountable for their personal behavior and their own grades is not asking too much of ANY child.  I don’t expect all children to make A’s and B’s.  I don’t expect them all to go to college.  However, I do expect them all to do all of the work assigned to them. I will expect my children to give 100% while they are at work. I give 100% while I am at work, and I have worked at jobs I hate.  Kids are going to have teachers they have personality clashes with.  They are going to have assignments they hate and don’t want to do. SO?  How many of us have task and duties to perform in our daily jobs?  ALL of us!  This just prepares them for life. 

Make your kid sit down with you at night and have a meal.  Sit down and have breakfast.  Make them accountable for themselves.  Teach them to be accountable adults and contributing members of society.  This is an old-fashion idea that still has a place today.  If you aren’t sitting down and having a meal with your family, start.  Start small.  Work up to every night.  It will be worth it. 

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(originally posted 2/2007)

When I was about 7, a group from the USC string project came to my elementary school and talked to us, played their instruments, etc.  I went home with the information packet and the permission form.  I was going to be the next viola virtuoso of Columbia, S.C.  Well, THE HOBB, nixed my dreams of fame and notariety on the philharmonic circuit. I was a tad devestated.  For about ten minutes, then I went and ran the streets with the other neighborhood kids and all was forgotten.

Fast foward to 1980. My 11th birthday.  I wanted a guitar and guitar lessons.  THE HOBB said, “Fine. If you want to try, I will get you the guitar and set up some lessons.” 

Now, she wasn’t just going about this all willy-nilly.  Musical talent DOES run in my family.  My sister was a very accomplished young violinist and vocalist, until she hit high school and started smoking all the time.  Now she sounds like Marge Simpson’s sisters.  There was the off-chance that I might have gotten a little passed down to me. 

The birthday came and i got my lovely Gibson acoustic guitar, a fancy rainbow strap and a few picks. I was the next Jimmy Page.  I was on my way to rock stardom. My guitar teacher showed up, some kid from USC.  I don’t even remember his name.  We had our first hour-long lesson.  He identified the strings for me.  Gave me a worksheet with notes and chords on it for me to practice.  we did a few things.  As he was leaving he said, “Okay, you need to practice this about at least 2 hours each day at first until you are familiar with those notes, etc.” 

I smiled and said, “Sure. Okay!”

Music Boy, “See you in a week!”

The boy got in his little raggedy car with some clever musician-type stickers on the bumpber and drove off.

I packed up my guitar, gathered all the papers Music Boy left for me and went into the den where my gramma was watching tv.

“So, how’d it go?” THE HOBB asked.

“You can sell this.  I am not taking anymore lessons, ” I inforned her.

She sorta smiled and said, “Aw, Kimmy, why’s that?” 

I told her, “I can’t be giving up 2 hours or more a day for practicing.  I have school work, books to read and my bike to ride.  This just won’t fit in.”

She said, “Yeah, I thought this might happen.”

THE HOBB knew I didn’t have the attention span, nor the ability to sit still long enough to practice so long.   She had kept the reciept for everything and took it all back to Pecknel in Five Points.  I think she ended up getting me some books and a Simon game.  Now SIMON!?  Oh, I had the attention span for reading and playing Simon.  I almost got another one at Target the other day. 

So, that’s the story of how Kim Finney ruined her fledgling music career.

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I am so frustrated! I hate it when people don’t use the door on their right for entering and exiting.  WHY???  We DRIVE on the right side of the road. It’s common. MOST doors have ENTER and EXIT clearly marked on them. I was at the Colonial Center and I was walking to the right on a set of stairs.  This girl coming up to leave was on HER left MY right.  I just stayed right where I was and made her move to HER side of the stairs.  She did.  BUT, she looked at me like I was the one in the wrong.  I use  the correct door when I am entering and exiting.  I walk to the right in the mall and on stair ways.  I will stand still and make some one go around me.  I do it to my students all the time. BUT, I am also teaching them to walk to the right and to use the doors on the right.  Yes, yes, I know that some people are from other countries where that’s not the custom.  WE ARE IN AMERICA WHERE IT IS A GENERAL CUSTOM.

PLEASE use the correct doors.  Thank you.

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Something I love

This doesn’t really have a category.  I just wanted you all to know how much I freaking LOVE Breathe Right strips (the vapor kind).  I have a deviated septum, and those little buggers help me breathe so much better!!! I bought the one night in a fit of desperation when I was sick.  I was so happy about them working that I kept tellin Annie how awesome they were.  She finally said, “Okay, Aunt Kimmy, can we go to sleep now?”

Go buy some now.

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