Tuesday Terrific: Foibles


Welcome to Tuesday Terrific, where we celebrate getting over the Monday bump and picking up speed for the rest of the week.


Unless you’ve been living in a hole dug in the ground, you know it’s Valentine’s Day! In anticipation of the occasion, I did the whole chocolate thing last week, here and here.

So what topic seems in keeping with love and friendship this Valentine’s Day?  How about…





“Foible” is defined as “a minor weakness or eccentricity in one’s character.”  Sometimes foibles can be the death of relationships; however, in other instances, they are what lend interest and individuality!

To celebrate foibles “up close” in all their quirky glory, we’re approaching today’s blog post a little differently:  hubby and I are going to discuss each other’s foibles.  Yep, I’m going to point out his “eccentricities” and he’s going to point out mine!  Let’s hope we make it to Valentine’s Day next year, LOL.

But I get to go first (hey, it’s my blog).

My description of Paul:

My hubby. He’s smiling now; just wait until he reads this…

Paul enjoys what he himself terms “geeky” pursuits.  He loves boardgaming and math – whether it’s Age of Renaissance or Fractals, he shows equal enthusiasm.  He has me playing a lot of these boardgames now, too, and he designed one of his own that was published last year by BlueSquare Games – squee! – called Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. It’s a cool game, although I know I’m biased.  By the way, fractals look nice, but I’ll never get it.

He’s a former Naval Academy grad and submariner who now works in the computer software/project management field (and that’s all I can tell you without having the free world fall to pieces and being required to shoot myself or something), has played classical piano since elementary school (never mind how long ago that was), and is a fab father to our three boys, who also like to tease dad about his little eccentricities.




On to…Paul’s foibles:

Here are a few that stem from his frugality:

  • He saves everything, especially boxes.  We have a gazillion cardboard shipping boxes, of all different shapes and sizes.  It’s sort of an archaeological dig of nearly everything we’ve ever ordered or been gifted with in the past decade.  Amazon seems to be our biggest supplier.  I’ve nested them as best I can so they don’t take up too much space.  Now it’s a long row of big boxes at the top of the laundry room rafters, with “MORE BOXES INSIDE” scrawled across the fronts with a sharpie.
  • He puts scrap paper back in the printer tray.  The rest of us keep forgetting he does this, and when we click “print”  and pull out the sheet – arghh!!  Dad put scrap paper in the printer again! It’s like a little ambush, every time.  Bwahaha. One of these days, I’m going to remember, and swap out the paper.
  • He disassembles and saves wooden planks/parts from broken Ikea furniture.  It starts to build up after a while (although I’ll admit, it came in handy a couple of times).  Spiders seem to like hanging out there, so whenever we need wood for a project, he has to go get it.

And then there are the times when we’re in the car, and he’s the one driving:  he waits until what feels like the last blessed moment to get into the turn lane. Meanwhile, I’m dying to say something, like “Um, the turn’s coming up, honey, are you going to change lanes now?”  My knuckles turn white, clenching the arm rest, willing myself to stay quiet, but all the while, thinking:  “we’re going to miss the turn, we’re not going to make it, no one will let us in the lane….”  I have to admit, it gives each trip a little zing! of uncertainty.

If he’s feeling particularly generous that day, he’ll give me a little look, and change lanes early.  Happy Birthday, dear.

Speaking of driving, the kids crack up when Paul is backing up the car; he turns his head toward the rear window (where they can see him at ground zero), and makes his “pirate back-up face.”   It’s totally unconscious, but he bares his teeth and scrunches his cheeks in a sort of “Arrr” pirate grimace.

The boys also like to tease dad about the following:

  • the way he eats corn on the cob (indescribable)
  • laughing (big, belly-laughing guffaws.  No one hearing him can keep from laughing, too)
  • His pet phrase of exasperation: “Oh, for crying out loud.”  I’m picking up that one these days, LOL.

So that is my dear-heart, frugal, laugh-out-loud man, whom I love with all my being.  I wouldn’t trade a single foible.  And it would be really easy to tell if aliens ever kidnap him and switch him out for a pod growing in the basement.

…Your turn, honey!


Hello, this is Paul, husband of K.B. Owen. I should start by making absolutely clear that I love my wife with all my heart, and nothing she can do will sway me from my eternal devotion to her, heart and soul.

That said, I understand that I am free to share with the Internet World a few observations that I have made regarding the customary behavior of my Beloved that some might consider … idiosyncratic.  Only a few things come to mind.

image via clker.com

First, my darling Sweetheart has a propensity for always finding a better way to arrange and store things that we as a family all need to be able to find every day.  The best example is the kitchen.  Whenever I go to look for, say, a coffee cup, I go to the cupboard where I remember that we said we would put them … “oh, wait, that was where they were last fall.  I remember now, she moved them over here by the refrigerator. … No, wait, that was around Christmas time.  I think they’re … Kathy, where are the coffee cups now?”  I kid you not, this happens several times a week.  “Don’t you remember, Paul?  I told you two weeks ago that I moved the coffee cups over by the microwave.”  “Oh, yes, you moved them [with a certain pained emphasis to imply, ‘for no earthly reason that I can imagine’].  Of course you told me.  Of course I remember.”  The problem is that’s not the first thing I remember when I think of where to look for a coffee cup.  Truth is, it’s about the eighth candidate on the list of possible places the coffee cups could be today.

image via sodahead.com

Second, the delight of my heart bakes Christmas cookies, dozens upon dozens, in a major evolution that spans weeks and dominates the kitchen and dining room and fills the house with the irresistable aroma of baking, only to forbid upon penalty of death and severed fingers that anybody should so much as touch one of them.  “They’re for the neighbors/friends / homeless people / strangers in the bayou.  You can’t touch them.  Here, have this one; it’s burnt/broken/ otherwise defective and therefore unpresentable outside the family whom I don’t have to impress.”  So we all, our three sons and myself, swoon over the odors of Christmas cookies, drool over the sight of them on their cooling racks, and console ourselves with the notion that at some point on Christmas day, after all the neighbors, friends, and vagrants have been satisfied, we’ll have our crack at whatever small fraction of the baked manifestation of our wife and mother’s love remains in the house in the form of leftover Christmas cookies.


Third, I have learned never to maintain hope that our home will be rodent-free.  For as long as I can remember, our house has had some kind of terrarium or cage (or two or three), and within them some form of cute, fuzzy hamster, gerbil, Guinea pig, or even rabbit running on its wheel or in its ball or around its cage.  Over the years, I found that no sooner would I have buried some poor beastie in the woods behind our house than the next day I would come home from work greeted by my darling wife’s latest find at the pet store, some new little creature twitching its whiskers at me as if to say, “Aren’t I cute?  Don’t you just love me?  Won’t you feed me for the rest of my fuzzy little captive life?”


Oh, for crying out loud.


So, there you have it – wife and hubby, dishing on each other’s “foibles.”

What foibles do you live with on behalf of your beloved?  We’d love to hear from you!  Come on, give us the good stuff!


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Kathy and Paul

Paul tweets at @paulowengames; his blog is paulowengames.blogspot.com


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33 thoughts on “Tuesday Terrific: Foibles”

  1. Natalie HartfordNatalie Hartford

    OMG I near died. Boxes…then scrap paper…then scrap wood?!?! Cookie-mania and musical cups!! You two ROCK!! I love it. These are the fun things that keep thing fresh and alive, eh?!?! LOL!!
    I love when your hubby wrote “the delight of my heart bakes…” NEAR DIED!!
    Hmmm…hubby and I definitely have our fabulous foibles. I’d guess he’d say one of his “favs” is my constant “what???” He is forever repeating himself because I am either partially deaf or never really listening to him. LOL!
    For me, it’s hubby’s driving. He can NOT do two things at once. God help him. He can’t talk and drive (I don’t know how many red lights we’ve almost run and how many pedestrians I’ve saved by yellow STOP)! Drives me nutty!
    But keeps things definitely EXCITING! LOL!!!
    GREAT post Kathy…LOVED it!!!

  2. Ellie AnnEllie Ann

    Oh my gosh. I adore this! SO much! This was the funnest thing I’ve read, one of the best blog posts ever! ha! quite brilliant. my favorite line is:
    ““They’re for the neighbors/friends / homeless people / strangers in the bayou. You can’t touch them. Here, have this one; it’s burnt/broken/ otherwise defective and therefore unpresentable outside the family whom I don’t have to impress.” ”
    haha! Thanks for the grin.

  3. Ryan DaltonRyan Dalton

    Such a great post! Charming and funny. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Tiffany A WhiteTiffany A White

    You Owens just proved why I adore you both…Happy Valentine’s Day!

  5. Julie GloverJulie Glover

    That was FABULOUS! Your descriptions also speak to something wonderful about a good marriage: You learn each others’ foibles so well and, after a while and with some mumbling, put up with them for the greater good of being in each other’s lives. I know that I’m super-easy to live with 😉 but I could tell some real stories about my husband’s foibles!

  6. Renee Schuls-JacobsonRenee Schuls-Jacobson

    I WISH I could get hubby to write anything about anything on my blog. What a supportive honey you have.

    Mine still has his baby blanket. I’m not kidding. But you did not hear that from me! 😉

    Happy VD, you two!

  7. BillBill

    So Paul, at home you have HELP losing coffee cups? You manage pretty well on your own in a work environment

  8. Cheryl ReifsnyderCheryl Reifsnyder

    Oh wow, you made me laugh! You’re a brave woman, to post the back and forth with your sweetheart on your blog, but you both did a fantastic job. And I discovered that we have something in common: my house tends to have a variety of small mammals (currently rats) that most other people don’t appreciate nearly as much as we do. Happy VD!

  9. Donna NewtonDonna Newton

    LOL. I love it! Paul, I think most men share you misery with the ‘mug’ cupboard. I often tell my hubby off for not putting the cups back in their designated spaces (hey, that’s how all the toot, er, I mean drinking vessels we collected from Disney, Universal, novelty Christmas shops etc, etc fit in there). Sticking with tradition, my hubby totally ignores me 🙂

    And Kath, I make hubby put all his toot, er, I mean collected valuables, in the garage….at which he cock’s a deafen. He says he’s going deaf in his old age. I call it selective hearing….something he turns of when I start to speak 🙂

    Fabulous post!

  10. JasonJason

    Ha! Wonderful idea for Val’s Day – can you sell this concept to Hallmark?! 🙂

    If not, you should at least re-visit this excercise for Mother’s Day…3-against-1 could make for an interesting post! heehee

  11. Piper BayardPiper Bayard

    Lol. You two are a hoot! But Kathy, except for the turn lane thing, I didn’t see anything about Paul that I would classify as a “foible.”

    *tosses macadamia nut chocolate box onto the pile in the basement*

    I’m totally with you about the rodents, though. Love the little guys. Our current one is a sheltie guinea pig named Wendell. He’s my soul mate ever since Kristen started saying things to me like, “blog” and “twitter.”

  12. Catie RhodesCatie Rhodes

    You cracked me up. When you live with someone for a lot of years, you really get to know some odd things about them. Thanks for sharing this. 😀

  13. Jenny HansenJenny Hansen

    I adored this post, Kathy! I’ve been running to comment on it for days but wanted to do a complete job.

    OK – my honey is Mr. Organization (to almost an annoying degree). He gets relaxed by organizing the pantry, the closet or a cabinet. He has a hard time relaxing in a messy room.

    The first time he went to organize the pantry in our old place, he did what any self-respecting ex-bartender would do…he pulled everything out to see what was there.

    I almost passed out. I started hyperventilating (literally) and had to leave the room. I could NOT watch. I was convinced that he would never get everything back in and that my previously contained pantry would never again serve me well.

    Over the years, I’ve learned to trust him and just go away. I come back and everything is 10x better and more organized, and I love it.

    But I cannot watch. 🙂

  14. Sherry IsaacSherry Isaac

    Strike One: though I clearly understand its benefits, I hate math.
    Strike One canceled out by the fact that I, too, am a geek. And, I store cardboard boxes. But…
    Like Kathy, I organize relentlessly. Isn’t it great to open and reopen and reopen a cupboard you’ve reorganized, or twirl around in your pantry (tuck in those elbows!) Love it.
    Like Paul, my DH waits until the last minute… or misses the turn. Do I say something? Do I shut up? Do I cower under the dashboard, eyes squeezed, and pray we meet our destination?
    Fun post, Kathy and Paul!

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