Texting friend needs to get the message

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Dear Amy: I have a good friend who is very nice, very thoughtful and very dependable. Whenever anyone needs to reach her, my friend is just one text message away. But that is just what seems to be the problem—she is always reachable and her phone is always there, ringing off the hook with text messages.

I recently spent time with her, and we hardly talked for the few hours we were together, because of her constant receiving and sending messages.

She was texting at least three times every five minutes.

I appreciate that whenever anyone needs to text her, she never fails to answer promptly, but it is extremely annoying to witness. I feel as though when I hang out with her that I am really hanging out with her phone.

What is the best way to approach her about this? —Annoyed With Texting

Dear Annoyed: I don't get it. Unless your friend is a paramedic on duty or perhaps a renowned heart surgeon waiting for the delivery of an organ to transplant, why is it necessary for her to be in constant contact with her circle of connections?

I agree with you that it is very annoying to watch someone you're with read and respond to text messages. Furthermore, it is exceedingly rude of the person to do this with abandon when she's with you.

Perhaps you should send your pal a text, telling her in 140 characters or less how this habit affects you. Here goes:

"Dear friend, your constant texting while we're together is driving me nuts. Let's both put our phones down while we're together. I'll start."

(This message measures exactly 140 characters of text.)

After sending your text, turn your phone off and toss it into the middle of the cafe table.

Dare her to do the same.

Dear Amy: My husband has two children and three grandchildren. They all live about an hour away from us. I am not close to them.

His relationship with his kids can best be described as "polite."

One granddaughter, whom we have seen once in the last four years, just graduated from college.

We sent her a card, a book and money.

The youngest granddaughter was just "promoted" from elementary school.

We gave her money.

At the last event where we saw her, she barely acknowledged us, and only spoke because her father made her.

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