Article posted Monday, February 24, 2014 11:29pm

Dear Mary Pat,

My brother’s family and I share a large condo in Sister Bay. I live there all year round, while he and his wife visit from the Twin Cities throughout the summer.

Recently, he asked me if I would mind if some neighbors of his could stay there. I was going to be out of town, so I had no problem with that. Before leaving for a two-week vacation, I cleaned the whole place top to bottom. I wanted it to be perfect for my brother’s friends.

When I got back, I noticed that the place wasn’t left just as I left it. It wasn’t totally trashed or anything, but I noticed that it wasn’t really cleaned. My brother’s friends hadn’t taken the time to vacuum, sweep, dust, clean the bathrooms, or strip the beds. I was really surprised. Since this isn’t a hotel rental, wouldn’t it be logical to expect that guests borrowing a friend’s place would clean it after staying for nearly two weeks?


Not the Live-In Domestic

Sister Bay, WI

Dear Not the Live-in Domestic,

I think that it is reasonable to expect that your brother’s friends should have cleaned up after themselves. If they wanted a daily maid service, perhaps they should have rented a hotel room. Your brother’s friends were obviously clueless about what it means to be good and gracious guests. To stay in Door County for two weeks could run a family anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on what kind of place they are renting. Staying at a friend’s home for two weeks saved your brother’s neighbors a lot of money. How long could it have possibly taken for them to tidy the place up? An hour or two? Not too much to expect.

It would be different if your brother’s were there “hosting” his friends and said, “Oh, don’t worry about cleaning up, we have a cleaning service come through,” or “You get on the road, we can take care of this.” Without that kind of understanding, it was very presumptuous of them to leave without giving a thought as to who would clean up after them. I’m thoroughly unimpressed. In future, your brother will have to give his friends some subtle hints about where the cleaning supplies are kept or hire one of the great cleaning services we have in the county.

Good luck,

Mary Pat