Dear Blake,

My friends of 20-plus years bought their “dream home,” and they’re now 90 miles away. They have not cleaned the place even once since they moved in. Ten years ago, I lived with the wife and her parents for six months. I quickly realized that she and her family never cleaned their home.

I understand she had an injury from an accident several years ago, but I have chronic pain from arthritis and still find a way to clean my apartment. Her husband was enabled by his mother for the first 35 years of his life, so he never learned to do anything except pay bills and save money.

The moment you walk into their home, you are hit with a smell. And forget using the bathroom — the toilets have brown rings, and their shower is so cruddy I wait to return home to shower. I can hardly eat there because of the smell and the dirty tables and kitchen. Would it be awkward to send them a gift card for house cleaning? Also, how do I decline an overnighter?

Signed, Joi
From Biloxi, Mississippi

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Dear Joi,

You wrestling over this situation, shows that you value the relationship with these friends of yours.  But Unfortunately, like many animals, they appear to be immune to the smell of trash, so you have to take a different approach in dealing with those pigs. Here are some ideas. Try to shame them by telling them that you’ve smelled fresher scents coming from Mississippi outhouses on a humid summer day. Or, contact the company that makes Glade, and challenge them to make their home smell fresh. And, for safety purposes assuming they take you up, tell the crew to either wear gas masks or update their living wills. Or this idea.  Tell them that you spoke to some local groups that meet to discuss the paranormal, and they said their house will never be haunted, because even ghosts believe their home is way too filthy. However, if they guilt you into staying, then stay. But you should consider taking some sleeping pills before you go to bed that night, not enough that will kill you, but enough that you will wake in a fresh smelling ICU. I hope this helps.