Son’s house is dis­gust­ing

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

DEAR AN­NIE >> My son and his wife hardly ever re­ally clean their house. The bath­room on the main level gets cleaned once in a while — when friends are coming over — but the ones up­stairs are dis­gust­ing. When I have stayed there, I’ve cleaned the bath­room I use be­cause I can’t stand it. They’ve lived in this house for three years, and there is dust that has never been swept up. Nei­ther one was raised like this.

They both work, and I’ve tried hint­ing that per­haps they should get a clean­ing ser­vice, but my son doesn’t want to do that. I am there one day a week to watch my grand­chil­dren and have thought about of­fer­ing to clean, but I don’t feel I should do it free of charge, al­though I don’t need the money.

I re­ally don’t want to stay overnight again un­til they clean. Should I tell them that? If so, any sug­ges­tions? — At My Wits’ End

DEAR WITS’ END >> Ev­ery­body has dif­fer­ent stan­dards of clean­li­ness. If you don’t think it would of­fend them, you could of­fer to get them a clean­ing ser­vice one time, as a gift. Some­times we stop notic­ing messes in our midst af­ter a while; see­ing the house spick-and-span might give your son and daugh­ter-in-law a new per­spec­tive. But at the end of the day, it is their house. As long as it’s not any­where near dan­ger­ously un­san­i­tary — for ex­am­ple, re­sem­bling a hoarder’s house — clean enough for them is clean enough.

DEAR AN­NIE >> I work in a large home im­prove­ment store. Cus­tomers are bring­ing their dogs into the store with more and more fre­quency.

I have turned down many aisles and been faced with dogs, from very large to very small — some leashed, some not. One time, a small loose dog crawled into a dis­play, and the owner wanted me to get it out.

I work while seated at a desk. One cus­tomer’s un­leashed dog was at my feet, when a sec­ond dog came into the area and charged, re­sult­ing in a scuf­fle at my feet.

An­other time, a large dog was at my shoul­der peer­ing at my com­puter with me.

I thought my sit­u­a­tion was ridicu­lous, but then an­other em­ployee was bitten badly by a very large dog. She was walk­ing past and was bitten on her fin­ger, which re­sulted in her get­ting many stitches.

I find dog own­ers to be ir­re­spon­si­ble. Re­cently, I was on a group tour of homes. One per­son brought a dog and, while we were out­side, al­lowed the dog to walk with­out a leash.

I know it is po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect to not fawn over dogs. Per­son­ally, I have had two dogs. I treated them well and took care of them. But peo­ple al­ways came first.

— In the Dog­house

DEAR IN THE DOG­HOUSE >> I love dogs, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s ap­pro­pri­ate to let them freely roam ev­ery­where. It’s not safe, for them or for peo­ple, as your bitten co­worker can at­test. What I don’t un­der­stand is why you and the rest of the staff are al­low­ing dogs to roam off leash. Per­haps you could talk to man­age­ment about in­stalling large signs out front that make your pol­icy on an­i­mals in the store clear, what­ever it may be.

“Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book. Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ for more in­for­ma­tion.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­

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