DEAR ABBY: My husband and I live in a nice home in the desert Southwest with an in-ground pool and guesthouse. Our friends and relatives from back east have an open invitation to visit whenever they please. We enjoyed these visits until recently. The problem is their ever-present compulsion to be connected to an electronic device. We are not yet retired, but in the past we didn’t mind taking a few days off work to spend time with folks who came all the way out here to spend a few days with us. But it seems like nowadays our guests have their noses pointed at a phone or computer most of the time they are here. They have actually missed the beauty of our area, which we are missing work to show them, because they are otherwise engaged. Is there a pleasant way to ask them to disconnect for a bit while we are enjoying their visit, or should I just get in the grumpy old lady line? I want our visitors to have a good time, but I find this behavior especially rude. — ALMOST DONE IN THE SOUTHWEST


DEAR ALMOST DONE: It’s possible that your guests don’t realize how much time they’re spending on their computers and cellphones. Because you are so turned off you are considering rolling up the welcome mat, explain to your guests that you have given them an open invitation so you can enjoy each other’s company, and you are hurt that they spend so much time on their electronic devices. Nobody gets something for nothing, and it seems the “quid” has gone missing from the “pro quo” you have been offering.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips.