I submitted “dealing with the obnoxious uninvited guest” about a month ago and I promised an update when readers were asking, so here it is!

I found a way to say to my friend that I did not want her on again/off again boyfriend to come to our party. She mentioned the invitation was on her fridge and I took the opportunity to say, “Well please make sure “Dan” doesn’t see it.” She responded with, “Oh don’t worry he isn’t allowed in the house”.

I felt this was a sufficient way to say in a nice way that he was not invited. I had been waiting for an opening to say something and I was glad it had presented itself so neatly.

As the party drew closer, she started showing her usual signs of reconciliation with Dan. These include vague posts on social media about her “date night out” sans pictures, ceasing posting positive memes about surviving loss and starting over, daily texts to me asking for encouragement and support ceasing, etc.

Because of this change in behavior I was afraid that he would show up to the party and felt nervous about any potential altercations.

Turns out I didn’t need to worry because my friend completely flaked out, even after RSVP’ing “yes” for her and her 3 children weeks before on top of constantly talking about the party for months. She texted me two hours before the party and said that she was busy chauffeuring kids to activities all weekend and that’s why she couldn’t make it work.

I would not be surprised if I find out later she was with him this weekend and was ashamed to tell me. She typically avoids her friends and family when she returns to the relationship.

I have taken some time to consider things and realize this friendship might be more drama than what it’s worth. I have decided to step back from the friendship until things change. I don’t need toxicity in my life . I love her, but not the drama. I am starting to feel like she thrives on it.

As a side note, the party was an absolute smash! Even with 20 people canceling the DAY OF the party on social media (argh), we had a great turnout with about 120 guests. It was a wonderful, magical time. The servers I hired were worth every penny because we got to enjoy the event with our guests! 1024-16


Hospitality Is The Answer To Loneliness

by admin on October 24, 2016

I am not great at making friends, and I decided nearly two years ago, as a New Years resolution, that I was going to work on it. I am in my mid-30s, and don’t have any kids, I work full time and am in graduate school (online). I have drifted away from most of my high school and college friends, but still see a few of them semi regularly and/or keep up over email and Facebook.

To try and give myself a feeling of a community of friends, I went through my Facebook friends list and picked out other similarly aged women who live geographically close to me that I genuinely want to spend more time with and set up a group called “Brunch!” I explained what I was trying to do, and set up a series of brunches as events, once a month for the first year and in this second year less often.  At first, everyone who accepted said it was a great idea, and the first brunch everyone ( 9 or 10 people) came, I hosted it at my house and thought it was great. We discussed and decided we would take turns hosting, and picked the next host.

At the next one, and all of the future ones a little more than half of the people came, though a couple of times it ends up being me and one other person. Often 8 or 9  people will respond “going” to the Facebook event and then 3-5 people bailing the morning of the brunch, with promises to be there the next month.  A few people, it turns out, don’t really use Facebook and never reply unless contacted in other ways, which I have tried to do to keep them in the loop.

I am (still, somehow, even when other people are hosting) the one doing all of the coordinating and planning, so over the summer when I got busy I just stopped scheduling every month, we skipped two months and planned to all get together in October.   The day of this month’s brunch, again, of the people I thought were coming, half of them bailed the morning of for various reasons, one who I had moved the day for earlier so she could make it promised to “be there with bells on next month”. And I can’t help but take it personally, and feel some resentment about it.

What do I do? Is this just what adult female friendship is like? Getting bailed on constantly? Or do the specific people I picked just suck?  Is it me? Do I suck and they just don’t want to tell me?   I want to have friends, not a bunch of people I plan things for who then bail on me at the last minute. And I definitely don’t want to feel cynical and resentful about the group and the activity.   Please help!    1021-16

When there is a group function, the perception guests can have is that their absence won’t be noticed much so they find it easy to “bail” the morning of the event.     I think it is time for you to transition to going out to lunch one at a time with potential friends.   You just cannot get the depth of relationship by meeting in groups the way you can when you are one-on-one with someone.  Sometimes people “click” and a friendship is born and sometimes they don’t and you just have to move on to the next possible friend.

When I’m trying to establish a friendship, I offer to go to lunch with the person.  If my attempt to schedule lunch fails two or three times, meaning the person comes up with excuses at the last minute to bow out of going, I stop taking the initiative and wait to see if they reciprocate at a later date with their own suggestion that we do that lunch date we had been talking about.  If they never take the initiative themselves, I make the conclusion that the person is not available for a friendly relationship at this time and move on the next person I find interesting enough to try to get to know better.   You will get more “rejections” than acceptances but every once in a while you find a gem of a relationship that was worth all the effort.

I’m impressed that you are being proactive in reaching out to make more friends.   One of my personal pet peeves are women who whine of being lonely, no friends, etc. and every time I respond with a question, “Are you doing any hospitality?”  Without fail, they are not.   They seem to have a perception that they can sit at home or work and the world should come to them and make the effort to get to know them yet they don’t see any value in they themselves doing the work necessary to build a foundation of friendship.


2nd Annual Guatemala Libraries Project

by admin on October 23, 2016

It’s that time of the year for Ehell’s 2nd Annual Guatemala Libraries Project! This year, in honor of National Physical Therapy Month, the library project is seeking science books.

Ehell is engaged in acquiring books for a small, rural village in Guatemala called Colonia Puerto Rico.    The three libraries include a tiny (hope to make it bigger!) local community library, the Agua Viva Children’s Home and School is located just outside of Guatemala City, Guatemala  and despite being located in a more rural area, the school has a great record of student achievements even nationally. The irony of this is that the school library is nearly non-existent and the community library is tiny.  A good friend of mine, Misi, who works at the school, has responded to that need and has begun collecting Spanish language books to create these libraries.   She created 2 Amazon Wish Lists to help people like me to know what books were needed.    I have a deep interest in providing children quality, classic literature because I believe reading opens a world of ideas, imagination, and inspiration, and develops scholastic skills further.   Education is the best tool to combat poverty.  With Guatemala’s illiteracy rate extremely high and children growing up not having access to reading materials, I believe we at Ehell have an unique opportunity to impact a school and surrounding community by donating to its libraries project.   Shortly after announcing this project in 2015, over 70 books were donated by Ehellions.   The books donated to the school have been placed in book shelves on wheels and this mobile library is rolled from classroom to classroom.   Misi reports that the Home library is so successful that the kids shirk their chores because their noses are stuck in a book reading.   Those 70 fiction books Ehellions donated last year are being loved!

For the 2016 Library Project, we are focusing on acquiring science books:  You can view the wish list here:    https://amzn.com/w/1LO4RMEDV4C5U

With most books under $10, many at the $6.00 price,  this is a doable project.

They still need more fiction books so if that literary genre is more to your liking, the Amazon Wish List for classic children’s literature can be viewed here:   https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/DCN4IMJYMGL6/ref=cm_sw_su_w

When you purchase the book(s), the check out steps should prompt you where to ship them with the option “Agua Viva Library Program’s Gift Registry Address”.   I’ve known Misi for many years and you can trust that your donation is going to Guatemala.



Feel Good Friday – Sick Isn’t Weak

by admin on October 21, 2016

SickKids Foundation has launched a bold new campaign that shifts the attitude from sick to fierce and features patients and staff posing bravely.   I love this!

Read more about it!

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As my long time readers know,  I occasionally use the Ehell blog as a platform for public service announcements based upon my own experiences.   May is EHell’s own Melanoma Awareness Month after I had been diagnosed with malignant melanoma and underwent a 4 hour operation and biopsy (all clear!) seven years ago.  February is the month for Ehell’s Gynecology Cancer Awareness instituted after I had a hysterectomy 3 years ago to treat uterine cancer.  (My oncologist said if one has to get cancer, mine was the “best”, i.e. least aggressive, slow growing and I did not need radiation or chemo.  Ask me about the Da Vinci surgery robot! It’s awesome!)   I have been gratified and thrilled when readers have privately messaged me to report that, based on those PSA posts, they saw their doctors and discovered skin cancer early enough to treat successfully or had pelvic exams/PAPs and caught a cancer early.  *That* is what makes publishing a blog so worthwhile.

October is National Physical Therapy Month and we are celebrating it here on Ehell because I’ve been in Physical Therapy since July of this year for first a shoulder problem I had put off for months and then as fate would have it, I injured my already compromised pelvis and started PT for that.  I retired from wedding planning about 7 years ago in large part because my lifelong problems with my hips was worsening and I just couldn’t physically do the standing and walking needed throughout the wedding day any more.    So I started PT on my hips with a great deal of trepidation and fear of those big spasms I knew I could experience.

I cried more times than I care to admit because I’m probably a bit of a wimp when it comes to pain.   I watched a video on YouTube of some guy’s PT after knee replacement and he shows himself peddling on a stationary bike while calmly stating his pain level is at a 7 out of 10.     SEVEN?   And he’s still talking normally?   If I were at level 7 of pain, there would be no Youtube video of the event…at least not one I’m starring and talking in.   My level seven would include sobbing, panting, thrashing and an increase in the vulgarity level of curse words I might use with “crap!” being the entry level pain expletive and going up from there.   Early on in the process I had an epic right hip spasm that practically had me levitating off the table with a pain level so high that I lost all perspective of what was happening around me because my world shrunk to the size of my hip.   Brad Pitt,  Cam Newton, Tommy Lee Jones and all of People Magazine’s Top Sexiest Men Alive candidates could have been in that room watching me sob and writhe and I wouldn’t have known or cared.   Dear Mr. Pain, when you deprive me of even the fantasy of thinking about Brad Pitt in his “Achilles” costume, you are evil.

I bring a blue hand towel (affectionately known as “Old Blue”)  with me to PT sessions which I use to cover my face and head during the TENS/Stim and heat pad segments, the better to hide tears of frustration sometimes.  But my PT Guys have consistently been positive and encouraging because they have a long term perspective and confidence in physical therapy’s evidence based treatment modalities.  I’ve peeked out from under Old Blue, with tears glistening in my eyes from a tough PT session, to see a PT Guy squatting by my table telling me I am not going backwards, that all of this is normal and expected.  RAH!  RAH! Cheer me on, PT Guy!   And sure enough, after over 18 months of near constant low grade spasms in the left hip, that all ended by the fourth treatment session.   It’s a freaking miracle!   I began to refer to my left hip by its new name, “Maximus, The Gladiator Glute”.    My right hip is the problem child of my core taking a lot longer to decide spasms are not the road to happiness before we could progress to improving strength.   It would not be an exaggeration to say that physical therapy changed my life in a way I did not realize could happen.   Thanks, PT Guys!

Lest anyone think that all my PT sessions are characterized by crying, twitching and pain, there has been a lot of joking going on, too.   I try my darndest to get the office receptionist and the PT Guys to laugh and I usually succeed.  Look forward to a future Feel Good Friday where I detail my ongoing “behind the scenes” running joke with the PT Guys.

Physical Therapy is unlike most medical professions in that the patient and therapist spend a considerable amount of time interacting with each other.  I’ve spent far more hours in hands-on therapy with the PT Guys than all my oncologists and PAs combined.   So, it stands to reason that with that much interaction going on, there should be etiquette guidelines to frame expectations and how to relate as patient to medical professional.   And thus I present Ehell’s Physical Therapy Etiquette…

1. Physical therapists are medical professionals.  Doctors of Physical Therapy attend 3 years of postgraduate studies to acquire that degree, must pass licensing exams, and adhere to strict ethical and board standards.   They are not massage therapists, fitness trainers, or masseuses so don’t call them that.  Ever.   “Masseuse”, in particular, can having an icky connotation so don’t go there.

2. Do your homework.  I think some patients have an unrealistic expectation that going to PT once or twice a week will miraculously cure them of what ails them with no expenditure of their own effort towards their recovery.   PT is a therapeutic alliance between the patient and the therapist where the maximum benefit is achieved when both parties do their best job. When only one part of that equation is working,  results will be mixed at best.   Don’t lie to your PT claiming you did your home exercises and stretches because while your lips are telling fibs, your pathetic muscles are telling a different tale and PT Guys are really good at hearing the whispers of miserable muscles.

3. Watch those boundaries!   Because there is more time for talking during multiple sessions, there can be a temptation to cross verbal boundaries both intentionally and unintentionally.  There are social and personal boundaries your therapist may not want to cross.   I tend to pay attention to what the therapist is NOT saying and use that as a guide as what areas of conversation I should avoid. For example,  your PT Guy may refer to his wife and children but if he never mentions their names, I don’t ask for those names.   If your physical therapist brings up a topic of conversation, it can be safely assumed that you enter the conversation, too.   I try to avoid contentious topics such as politics.

And it should go without saying that sexual innuendos and references to sex are completely off limits.  But unfortunately some people have to be told forthrightly by yours truly not to engage in that kind of chatter.   Yes, I know we live in a hyper-sexualized culture where even dog food and adult incontinence pads are advertised on TV using sex and you have to cover your children’s ears during the evening news on the latest political drama.   But double entendres, innuendoes and any sex talk is a major disservice to your physical therapist who is bound by state and board ethics standards.   Don’t  lead your therapist into temptation by doing or saying anything that could potentially destroy his or her career.

4. Put the cell phone cell/camera away. Some clinics have very explicit directions to put away the cell phone and strict prohibitions against cameras in order to protect the HIPAA privacy of other clients. It makes sense that if you, as the patient, are to devote your attention to following your PT’s directions, you need to not be distracted with looking at a cell phone or taking phone calls. Your scheduled appointment time will likely be paced to include any number of modality treatments and if you are delaying that by talking on the phone or looking at some text, you will not benefit as fully from PT and you risk running over into someone else’s time.

The camera thingy should be common sense but no, some things are not always obvious. During PT for a shoulder issue, I wanted to take a photo of a pulley system I had been using so that my husband could see it and make one for me. Another patient was using the piece of equipment and while I knew enough of privacy to not take a photo of the patient, neither the physical therapist nor the patient were privy to my understanding or intentions. My physical therapists are great guys but none of them possess the talent to read minds despite their uncanny ability to know when you did not do your home exercises.   All my physical therapist could see was me preparing my iPhone to take a photo so he calmly and quietly asked me to not take that photo. I was baffled because I was intending to only take a photo of the equipment and queried him further, “Why?”  He replied, “It’s a HIPAA issue.” I was still confused…how can it be a HIPAA issue to take a picture of a piece of machinery? Is this a guy joke? I remember scanning his face to see if there was any indication that he was pulling my leg. He does have a dry sense of humor. What seemed like seconds ticked by while I tried to read his face and mentally sort out my own confusion. Finally the corner of his mouth went up in a small smile which I interpreted to mean “Please” and I nodded “yes” slightly to convey that I understood him and I put my iPhone away.

It was only later that the full ramifications of what I had done hit me. I had placed my PT Guy in an awkward position where he was compelled to protect another patient and had I been obtuse and continued with my goal the situation could have escalated to at least one of us being unhappy. None of us is entitled to make other people’s lives more complicated or difficult.

5. Say “Thank you.”   The PT Guys I know have a strong desire to see people get better and I appreciate that level of career dedication.  Sometimes a PT session isn’t as fun as everyone would like but say “Thank you” anyway.   If someone is changing your life to be better, expressions of gratitude confirm to them that at least one patient acknowledges the work they do.





I have a friend who keeps having “parties” that revolve around buying overpriced clothing.  Same product line and consultant each time.  The clothes cost about 4X what similar items cost at a department store.  Nothing is inexpensive.  The consultant gets a 30% commission and the hostess gets free and discounted merchandise.

I just received an invitation for the third “party” in 12 months.  Does this seem wrong from an etiquette standpoint?  The same ladies get invited to each event. 0929-16

Your “friend” is exploiting her friendships for monetary gain.  She keeps inviting you and the same group of women to multiple parties because all of you lack a polite spine to say, “No, thank you.  I’m busy that evening.”


Don’t Complicate Other People’s Lives Unnecessarily…Pay The Freaking Tip, Dude!

October 17, 2016

This just happened today and I thought I’d send it in to see what the E-Hellers thought! I already have a prediction about the opinion split but will keep it to myself until the results are in 🙂 I work in an office of about 14 people. When I started last year, we were only […]

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Ehell Dame Versus Chuck Norris

October 13, 2016

Dear Administrator, You mentioned brides have read themselves here. How do you know this?  Do they write in, or the contributor writes back? I’d love to hear those stories. I would imagine most are more upset than horrified. Please give just one example. Pretty please ?  One of my fav stories is the bride that […]

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