Service of Just So: Foibles That Are Right for You but Excessive to Others

December 14th, 2017

Categories: Excess, Just So, Perfection


Everyone has a foible they insist on or a process they prefer that others might find excessive, irritating or ridiculous.

I sat next to a woman at a luncheon recently who mentioned that she’d ironed the bills she was giving to building staff as the bank didn’t have crisp new ones for her holiday envelopes. She inspired today’s post. I’d heard of this before: My mother would also ask for new bills for this purpose however I never saw her iron any.

Before we go to the dump—aka transfer station–upstate, my husband reorganizes the paper garbage so it ends up looking like a gift or a perfectly packed suitcase. When there may be 35 other things to be done, the time it takes him to prep rubbish does exasperate me but to each his own.


My friend Bob can’t stand an unmade bed. I don’t like seeing the toilet seat left up. Some must grind their exotic coffee beans moments before brewing and others don’t want a bartender to bruise the gin. [I never understood how you could bruise liquid. I mix tonic with my gin in summer and it’s never turned black and blue.] I knew a woman who deemed the house ready for company as long as the wastebaskets were empty. The rest of the place could look as though a hurricane had just passed through.

I visited a home where the husband followed his wife around the kitchen and if she stirred something on the stove he’d take the spoon from where she’d rested it and wash it. He couldn’t stand a mess.

Are you known for habits that others might question or do you know others who like certain things just-so that you think may be overdoing it?


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11 Responses to “Service of Just So: Foibles That Are Right for You but Excessive to Others”

  1. Hank Goldman Said:

    Hank wrote on Facebook: I usually “launder” my cash, before I iron it! Works better that way.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Now why didn’t I think of saying that? Brilliant!

  3. david reich Said:

    I have no quirks. Just ask Roz. (Actually, please don’t.)

  4. Lucrezia Said:

    Foibles are more interesting than annoying. They often cast a bright light on character, thus becoming a source of knowledge as well as entertainment. One sure way to enjoy people is through their quirks. No doubt there are many whose opinions differ, but the day I become upset, annoyed or displeased with someone acting as themselves, is when I am convinced that I’m old…. too old for membership on the planet!

  5. Hank Goldman Said:

    Hank replied on Facebook: You’re not a drug dealer!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    We won’t ask Roz–the only quirk I know about you isn’t one really: You don’t like nuts.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    My mood has a lot to do with how I take to a foible, especially if it impacts me. If I’m stressed, what I might find charming under some circumstances irritates in others.

    I suppose the woman whose husband followed behind her in the kitchen knew he was that kind of guy. That fellow would have driven me nuts.

  8. Martha Takayama Said:

    I think I am full of foibles and probably quite annoying, but hesitate to think about it. My father always wanted new bills for presents, but no one ever discussed ironing currency.

    I prefer to serve and eat food while warm and leave washing of pots and pans for after the meal. My husband sometimes thinks that is not the correct order for things. I hand wash certain things gently because that is what I was taught to do as a child even though there was some household assistance. I like to sort clothes by color, separating white and light colors from dark ones and am careful about the temperature and settings I use for machine washes. My husband washes all laundry together at the hottest, strongest cycles and drying it at the highest temperature which he thinks is quickest. The result may be clean clothes that are suitable for a doll.

    My husband is much more insistent on recording things in an orderly fashion, and I jot down information on bits and pieces of paper and am constantly looking for what I have misplaced. It is uncomfortable or even painful to reflect on my irritating behavior or defects. Besides our daily and evening news is so overwhelming and almost all discouraging that many lesser annoyances seem insignificant and therefore go ignored.

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    What you describe are more habits than foibles…There’s nothing odd about dividing up the laundry. I try to but if there isn’t that much, I don’t with one exception. My husband has a red nightshirt that bleeds all over the place every time I wash it and it has been washed countless times. It comes from a reputable place. Once I did not do that and our underwear and shirts turned pink. Lesson learned.

    I never put socks in the dryer because they shrink. Seeing them hang to dry must drive my husband crazy but he doesn’t complain.

    I get the feeling that my husband dislikes coasters that I use to save furniture from rings.

    I had a friend who had her stomach pumped because she ate old noodle salad with mayonnaise and became deathly ill. Because of that if I think food in the fridge is too old to eat, out it goes. It doesn’t often happen but still. My husband is reluctant to do that and if he sees me do it, he squawks. So I do it on the sly.

  10. Erica Said:

    Erica wrote on Facebook: I line up my cash, small bills to large and they all face the same way.

  11. Jeanne Byington Said:


    OOOOhhhh…you remind me of my husband. I once called to ask him to check to see if I’d left my credit card in a jacket pocket. He went through the pockets of all jackets hanging in the hallway and found, to his glee, a few dollars here, a few $5s and $10s there. When I got home he’d parked the bills on the hall table nice and neat, according to denomination. [I put them back in the pockets when I got home. They were there for a reason. Speak about foibles.]

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