Faults, flaws, and foibles

We all have our little idiosyncrasies. With my kids all home this summer to poke and prod me, I’ve become even more painfully aware of mine.

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Here’s three stories that have me shaking my head at myself literally, figuratively, and everything else in between.

Go away. Yea, really go away

I was sitting one early morning in Wegmans enjoying my coffee and trying to write up a work email. The place was empty. It was as quiet as a country church on a weekday morning and it happened to be the absolute perfect place for me to write. I was settling into my seat, happy as a clam. I had my steaming cup of coffee, a bottle of water, and my laptop. Before I sat down, I was patting myself on the back, happy about all that I was going to get done. I’m sure that I had a huge smile on my face.

What happened next? I looked up to see a large man come into my area. He was on his cellphone and he was looking for a place to sit. He had the whole room to choose from and let me just add, it was a huge room.


I wasn’t so rude to blurt out that he should keep moving, but I certainly said it in my head. Of course, he chose the table next to me. “Really,” I thought to myself. “All the tables in room and you have to pick that one.”

He was only two feet away. For one long second, I thought about giving him a shot to the back of the head. Of course, I did none of that. When I saw that he was settling in for the long haul, I packed up my brief case and went to find another table, far in a corner. Yes, yes, I know that I’m crazy.

Trying to be nice.

Yes, I couldn’t be more of an introvert. But then there are times when I’m not. Several times this summer I’ve surprised my family members by starting up conversations with strangers about the most out-of-the-ordinary topics. The conversations have been with everyone from a guy originally from Pittsburgh who ended up working in a barbeque in Charleston, South Carolina to a mechanic working on my car with a deep interest in Pennsylvania craft breweries.

My wife shakes her head at me. She doesn’t understand how I can go from avoiding people, avoiding potential small-talk to diving in head-first into the deep-end of the pool. I don’t have a really great answer for her, except to say: It depends on the moment.

Screwed up logic

Finally, my kids sometimes laugh at my homespun wisdom. I call it logic, common sense. They call it something else altogether, that starts with @!?%&@. For example, I was trying to make a point to my youngest son about the value of getting up early and practicing and I talked about Usain Bolt’s practice schedule.


I repeated the oft-told statement that early bird gets the worm. I added of course that the very first bird wins the whole family of worms. “I’ll get right on that dad,” he said, rolling his eyes.

I admit some trite advice and a mocking response from my son, but you know what, he got up early a week ahead of the start of school to get back into the routine.

Here’s to each of our foibles, flaws and idiosyncrasies. It wouldn’t be life without them.


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