Dress Code For Shower Gifts

by admin on September 17, 2014

A friend of mine was invited to a co-workers baby shower and this was included in the invitation along with blank gift tags. I don’t know anything about the personality of this co-worker but to say the least my friend was a bit taken aback by the request. The baby showers I’ve been to, including my own, maintained a designated time to which the mother-to-be would ceremoniously open her gifts and all would ooh and aah at the goods. Is this something new that is surfacing? I would really like to know your thoughts and well as fellow e-hellions. Does this break some sort of etiquette rule? Would you abide by the request or “forget” that part of the invite? 0910-14


While it has noble intentions of increasing socializing time, one cannot dictate to guests bearing gifts just what those are to be and how you expect them to be wrapped.  It’s like having a dress code for gifts with admittance only given to those who conform to the dress code.

Every shower I’ve ever been to had social time during refreshments and most of us chatted with our seat neighbor during the gift opening section of the event as well, stopping at appropriate times to ohh over the newest cute thing that was unwrapped.  I have never felt under socialized at a shower.



Fruit Loopy Entitlement Pigs

by admin on September 15, 2014

I have a front yard planted with super dwarf fruit trees to give a green fence, and three grape vines being trained to grow over a pergola to give shade and fruit. The peach has been producing for a few years IF the frost doesn’t get it which happened so we only got a few fruit. The apple trees finally put some fruit on and held them, I got a few. The quince has been fruiting for a few years, it puts on BIG YELLOW apple things, and I’ve had to explain, those are NOT apples, they are quince (I love quince jam).  I don’t have a huge harvest, but it’s enough to enjoy some fresh fruit and I knew what was put on them (sprays or not).

There’s going to be a dip in temp so I spent morning plastic sheeting the screen house and moving container veggies in for the few days; then I get about another month of growing…. and this afternoon went to harvest the front yard. The red table grapes has been harvested for a few weeks and are nearly gone; the green table grapes turned out rock hard this year and it put on very few.  The Concord grape vine is happy and it gave. I am about through harvesting a full  cake pan off that and a car rolls by. I hear “she’s harvesting already” and they take off.

Less than ten minutes later, I’m getting off the step stool and up pulls a pickup truck and five adults and four kids get out. They start across my lawn with baskets and pails in hand and start looking at my trees!  I say, “‘Excuse me”,  to those descending on the quince,  “but that’s a QUINCE and it’s nowhere near ripe yet.” Someone picks a couple of the green grapes and tries them and does,  “Eww gross”, and spits.

The mother of this batch, starts in… “You don’t have any fruit?!?!?!?”    Um no, I didn’t get much harvest as spring frosted a lot. I have a big cake pan full of concord grapes in hand, the last of the harvest.

“Oh OH NO! I need 10 bushels of Peaches, 15 bushels of apples, and 6 flats of grapes! How can you not have ANY!?!?!?!?!”   She’s staring at the grapes I’m holding.

“What about the Farmer’s Market, their last weekend is this weekend? The (another state) peaches and (different state apples) looked really good last weekend.”

“Oh no no no. You always have LOTS in your yard, always. I just planned on coming over here!”

My DH has heard voices, and opened the front door. I hand him the grapes and make the gesture with my body blocking “close and lock door”. He does, stepping out of sight in house.

“What! Wait! Where are those going!”

“Into a pot dear, I’m making jelly tonight…”

“How dare…”

“No, how dare you, please leave NOW. And I counted the quince. If any leave I’ll turn the picture of your truck sitting in front of my house over to the police. Go, now, please go.”

I called the non emergency dispatch number and left a note for the dispatcher so they have a heads up in case I have to call on these … people. My lawn when it’s fully mature might do 1/3 to 1/5th the amount she was looking for… I mostly got a good fresh taste this year. Just because you can SEE it doesn’t mean it’s yours for the picking… 0911-14

I’ve encountered several land entitlement pigs over the past 30 years of home ownership.    Everything from kids walking right into the property to eat the cherries off the tree to hunters who sauntered into my pasture intent on shooting crows.   More recently a neighbor decided he and his employees liked our driveway better than his own until told that was not acceptable.  Anyone with a large piece of rural land can tell stories of hunters or people on motorcycles/ATVs trespassing to the point of  breaking down fences, cutting fence wires, etc.

In case of such narcissistic entitlement, the only remedy is a spine of titanium to confront it head on and not back down from the guaranteed guilt trip that is sure to justify the behavior.


About three months before he passed away, 17-year-old Sam Berns gave this TEDx speech explaining his dislike for obstacles and his strategies for beating them. When he was 2 years old, Sam was diagnosed with the rare disease progeria, which causes rapid aging and various other side effects, none of which could prevent Sam from leading a happy life.

I love TED Talks.


What Is Yours Is Mine…Particularly Your Hotdog

by admin on September 11, 2014

I have an issue with my MIL, and I’m not sure if the blame lies with me, her, or somewhere in between.

I wouldn’t say I have issues with personal space, but I have firm opinions on what I find acceptable. For example, our bedroom is our own space, mine and my husband’s. I do not like other people entering my room, unless invited, and that very, very seldom ever happens. I also consider my desk my space and I don’t like other people to sit at it, even though it is in a common area in our house. There are plenty of tables and seating areas in our kitchen/living room so that no one should find it necessary to sit in “my space”. I know it may sound selfish to say “mine!” like a child refusing to share a toy, but I am a private person, and I expect a certain level of privacy in my own home.

My MIL consistently enters my personal space. She walks into our bedroom whenever the mood strikes. There is no reason for her to be there. It is a small room, and we don’t keep anything in there that she would need or want. I have mentioned this to her several times, and even had the support of my sister-in-law who also dislikes having my MIL go into their bedroom. MIL just argues that she isn’t snooping, and doesn’t see the issue.

Another problem, and perhaps the biggest one, is her habit of grabbing food off people’s plates, or taking sips of their drinks without asking. She will reach across the table and take a handful of fries from the plate next to her. On several occasions she has said “oh, what’s that you’re drinking? Looks good!” and proceed to take a big mouthful of drink before anyone can stop her. During her last visit, I had been rushing around trying to get ready for a family get-together at our house the next day. My husband grilled hot dogs for the kids and put one aside for me that evening as I hadn’t taken time to eat. I was standing in the kitchen, holding the hot dog when MIL came along, grabbed my hand, and pulled the hot dog in for a huge bite. Then she had the nerve to complain that I didn’t put mustard on my hot dogs. I know it was probably rude, but I just passed it to her and told her that she could have it and put whatever she wanted on it. She doesn’t think it’s a big deal, and gets offended when anyone protests. “We’re all family” is her stock reply.

The problem seems to have gotten worse instead of better over the past couple of years, despite my protestations (and those from her other DIL). I know that my issues with personal space play a part in this situation, but I need a way to let MIL know that pushing herself on others (or even just me!) is not OK.    0909-14


Your MIL has an entitlement attitude which expresses itself in crossing personal boundaries with no regard to courtesies of respect.  Your food is her food to do with whatever she wishes, your space is her space.   The first step to changing this behavior, or at least modify it, is to address the issue very directly and specifically….

“Do not go into our bedroom.”

“But I’m not snooping and I don’t what the big deal is anyway.”

“There is nothing you need to see in our bedroom, all the more reason why you have no need to go in there.  And it is irrelevant whether you believe it is not a big deal.  I do consider it a ‘deal’ and am requesting that you do not enter our bedroom.”

OP, where is your husband, the son of your MIL?   Why are you dealing with this invasion of your bedroom privacy apparently alone?   Is it perhaps that your husband has given up trying since he is familiar with this behavior for decades?

As for privacy for your desk, I think you have an unreasonable expectation that no one should ever sit at the desk given that the desk is located in a common area of the house.    Courteous, considerate people know better than to snoop through papers on a desk or drawers but if there is an available chair in the common area, I don’t think most people would view the desk as off limits entirely.    Until recently small writing desks were placed in common areas for guests to use for writing correspondences while visiting so  I don’t think people have it engrained in their cultural mindset to completely avoid sitting in a desk chair.    If the desk must be in a common area, you may need to invest in a roll top desk to get that level of privacy you want.

As for the food, that is just gross, rude and bratty what your MIL does with other people’s food.   I’d be tempted to stab her grubby paw with my fork if I saw it sneaking up to my plate.   If I were the victim of her theft from my plate, I would most certainly, and promptly, take my plate and empty the remaining contents of whatever it was she took onto her own plate and refresh mine with new food.    Can you imagine how barbaric meals would be if everyone at the table stole food from each other with no regard for the courtesies of asking, “Are you finished with that?  Yes? May I have it?”

As for the hotdog incident, I would have stiffened arm in resistance and asked incredulously, “What are you doing? Get your own hotdog.”

And when your MIL gives you that manipulative explanation that “We’re family!”, you respond with this….

“Don’t flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become. ”
Oliver Wendell Holmes


No Courtesy For The Hydrant Hogs

by admin on September 10, 2014

I am writing because I am not entirely sure as to what I should do in this situation. My house is situated in front of a fire hydrant, therefore, nobody should be able to park in front of our house. My husband and I have never parked there, nor have any of our friends or family. There are plenty of available spaces on the other side of our driveway and in front of most of the other houses.

Our neighbors are nice people, and we get along cordially. They have only been there for about a year, so we say hello and have small talk, but I wouldn’t say that I know them really well. All of the houses on our street have double driveways, including theirs. I have recently noticed that every week, the wife has one particular girl friend come over to their house. She drives the same car, and ALWAYS parks in front of our house, meaning that she is parking directly in front of the fire hydrant. If the hydrant wasn’t there, it wouldn’t bother me at all, but it has become a habit for this girl and it is starting to upset me, especially when there are many other spots available on the street, including the one in front of their house.

So far I have not done anything. I want to mention it to our neighbors in a friendly way, just so that they don’t run the risk of anything happening to their friend’s car, but I also don’t want to upset them at all. God forbid a fire did happen on our street and it was needed. It is very tempting to just call the cops, but I would not want to be “that” neighbor. For the time being we just deal with it; it has not hurt anyone, it’s more of a nuisance than anything. I think it upsets me because she is blatantly ignoring a rule that everyone should know, not because her car is there.

Any suggestions on what I should do (if anything)?

Thanks!   0905-14

I don’t think you need to worry about the fire department accessing the hydrant.

And there are plenty of similar videos online.




Technical Difficulties – All Fixed!

September 10, 2014

As some of have noted to me, the comments to posts are not displaying. I updated the WordPress software yesterday morning and apparently there is a glitch causing a conflict between WP and the theme. I have updated the theme as well but as yet this has not resolved the problem. You can still make […]

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When A Primary Mourner Goes Unnoticed

September 9, 2014

I have just returned from an uncle’s funeral, and I am seething. My husband and I rode to the funeral with my parents, which took place an hour away from the town where we all live. On the way, we managed to hit multiple traffic snafus. We left early to have plenty of time, but […]

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