DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have built and begun using a second home. We have entertained some wonderful houseguests here.
Last weekend, a couple of longtime friends, "Shirley" and "Arnold," came to stay for three days. They were the most miserable three days I can remember, mostly because of Arnold.
He dominated all conversation, expected all his food to be served to him -- even though the dessert course was explicitly buffet-style -- made noises while eating and never once offered to prepare any food.
The final straw came during the last night of their stay. Arnold came into the living room in his pajamas, lay down on the couch and, when he saw what we were already watching on TV, said, "I prefer the History Channel." I was so dumbfounded I could only laugh.
Needless to say, we are not planning to invite Arnold and Shirley back (which creates some other problems). What, if anything, should I say to this couple? And are there any books or other resources on "how to be a good houseguest" that I can send him anonymously? -- DISTURBED IN THE DESERT
DEAR DISTURBED: Because Arnold and Shirley are "longtime friends," it is surprising that you hadn't noticed the husband's boorish behavior before. But sometimes you don't get to really know a person until after you have lived with him.
I do not recommend trying to educate this man on good manners at this late date. It is amazing how thin-skinned people with Arnold's lack of sensitivity for others can be. Nor should you send him any anonymous literature. He and his wife would know where it came from, so please don't sink to that level.
Sometimes silence speaks the loudest. Do not invite them again, and that will convey your message.