Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:50 am Post subject: A Question of Manners ?
This situation came up recently, I'm curious to know what others think--
Some neighbors of ours have decided their new home dictates that all guests remove their shoes upon entering the house! (They have no cultural claim to traditional shoe-removal, and the floors are not unique, just mid-priced nice flooring--they installed it themselves). (Borrowed MY biggest Pyrex measuring cup to mix the grout.)
To me, it says "I'd rather have you get your socks dirty than have you get my floor dirty."
Joined: 16 May 2006 Posts: 456 Location: california
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:05 am Post subject:
What do you think they'll do when summer rolls around and everyone is wearing sandals? Think they'll want all those bare footprints on their floors?
This is a toughy, and we've probably all encountered it. When I have, however, it's been without warning, so I felt I had no choice and had to remove my shoes (silently hoping that my socks/stockings were whole and not "hole" that day). And...it seems to me...my situation involved a new, light-colored rug -- not that it makes much difference.
I don't think you are being persnickety, but the question remains how you'll respond. You could tell them that your feet get cold if you don't wear your shoes, or that it's just too slippery with socks on bare floors --both valid, in my book. It depends on how offended you are, I suppose. Maybe you just don't want to visit them very often? With time, perhaps their position will become a bit more realistic...especially if they see that no one comes to see them anymore!
A few years ago, we visited Quebec and stayed in a sweet, small hotel. Because of the snow and ice outdoors, the owners tried to keep their rugs, stairs, etc. clean, dry, and safe. They provided each guest with his/her own pair of hand-crocheted "booties" for wearing inside the hotel. Maybe your neighbors could do the same...
Joined: 07 Aug 2005 Posts: 151 Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:22 am Post subject:
Well Gingerpale, in my house, I always had to take my shoes beause we had light colored carpet, and my mother wanted to keep clean. Since it was her house, I listened. And I also have some friends and relatives in the states who have this same requirement so I don't even bat an eyelash. And having lived in Japan and South Korea for a few years, it really doesn't phase me. But I guess, for a lot of people if it isn't the norm, it would seem strange. I've always been of the mind, if I'm a guest, you do as asked. But I hope they replaced your Pyrex. _________________ Live as if to die tomorrow. Learn as if to live forever.
That is tricky. We have a rule in our building that you are not to wear shoes in teh appartements - only slippers or socks. But we are in a really old building and you can hear every sound made by your neighbours, especially walking on the wooden floors.
If it is a normal house though, I think I would prefer to keep my shoes on when visiting. Depends on how close you are to them and whether the extreme informalness of going barefoot in someone elses house is accepted in your relationship.
I think they are probably in teh "honeymoon" phase of their new floors and don't want them marked. Give them a few months and I think the standards will slip. _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Alternatively you could take a piece of gorgonzola in your pocket and let it heat up a little... then pretend it's you and leave. Next time they'll positively insist you keep your shoes on!
A friend of ours used to have that policy until she had four cats living with her. Then you had to keep your shoes on because wriggling toes were just too tempting to the cats!! _________________ Confusion comes fitted as standard.
Joined: 18 Oct 2004 Posts: 1654 Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:25 pm Post subject:
I also grew up in a no shoes allowed household and have a similar policy for my home with one exception; guests are exempt. I have a big messy dog, so I don't even know why I bother........
I do like Griffin's idea for the gorgonzola.
I'm not sure whether that specificly is rude or not, but they sound a bit inconsiderate in general. Good luck with all of that. I had neighbor problems a while back and they can be a devil to deal with. _________________ "It's watery....and yet there's a smack of ham."
No shoes in the house! I've always had that rule because if no one wears shoes in the house, then the floors will stay clean. It drives me crazy when someone walks around with shoes, contaminating everything with street dirt. We sit on our rugs regularly - and even have indoor "picnics" there, so shoes on them would be a great offense.
I never ask a guest to remove his or her shoes, since I feel like putting them on the spot would be rude. I'd say half the time they notice us removing our shoes at the door and follow suit, the rest of the time they go trapsing obliviously through with shoes on. Visits like that make me cringe.
My mother is a strict western traditionalist in this respect, insisting on wearing shoes all over my house. After many years of shoed visits, she bought a pair of felt clogs to wear only indoors, like slippers. I was so relieved!
I think if I were a hostess in America who was going to insist my guests remove their shoes, I'd be sure to keep a basket of clean slippers by the door for them to change into. It's true, they're usually not expecting it and it could otherwise be awkward.
For my part, I remove my shoes whenever I visit someone else's house. I just feel it's considerate. Of course it frequently means I go away with dirty socks!
Joined: 16 May 2006 Posts: 456 Location: california
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:43 pm Post subject:
I am stunned at the number of stocking-footed (nice word...) C&Zers! As this was/is not our family practice, I've never given it much thought. No judgment offered here, just surprise. While I can see a "no shoes" rule for family, I would think it could become awkward for guests.
It's pretty normal around here for people to take their shoes off when visiting----and some people even keep a cache of paper slippers for their guests. For 4-6 months you track snow in from the outside and for another 2 or 3 you track in mud---and at my house for the rest of the year you track in cut grass! I take my shoes off when I get home but I don't ask guests to (although many do) since with the menagerie of 5 dogs I have they track in enough snow, mud and grass that any tracked in by quests would be superfluous. As for getting one's socks dirty off of someone else's floor---well I mean how often does one change one's socks anyway? So I'd just go along with the neighbours personally--don't see it as much of an issue personally
Griffin you slay me!!!!! _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
I don't know why the paper slipper idea cracks me up - maybe it because running the idea through my head - "may I offer you some paper slippers?" - makes me think of a turkey dressed up in those ruffled paper shoes.
Griffin, your gorgonzola trick is probably the smartest idea.
Joined: 08 Dec 2005 Posts: 224 Location: kingston, ny
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:46 pm Post subject:
We also have the no shoes rule, but with a couple of really good reasons. 1) the apartment has wall-to-wall beige carpet [ps- i hate beige and wall-to-wall, lol] and 2) both my parents worked in human services so they knew what was on their shoes.
As SBJ said, "street dirt" is just that. Not what I personally care to have all over the house. As for guests, I think they get the gist when they see a pile of shoes next to the door b/c that's as far as they seem to make it. At other people's homes I usually ask what their preference is on shoes on/off. _________________ Clearly it is not the lovelorn sufferer who seeks solace in chocolate, but rather the chocolate-deprived individual, who, desperate, seeks in mere love a pale approximation of bittersweet euphoria. Sandra Boynton.
First of all, I completely understand asking guests to remove their shoes if it is snowy, wet or muddy outside, or if the host comes from a culture where this is the norm. Also, I always remove my shoes when asked, since I am a guest and I feel guests should abide by the host's rules.
That said, I know someone who always asks her guests to remove their shoes, even when the weather is nice and dry, regardless of the condition of her current home's carpeting or flooring. She gets a little miffed if someone refuses, even her elderly father. Frankly, the message this conveys to me is: "I value things, such as carpets/floors, more than I value the comfort of my guests." Also, feet, even clean feet, have all kinds of fungi and other fun stuff on them. Sometimes I wonder if feet in socks are actually tracking more nasty stuff into the home than feet in shoes.
Of course, the host has the right to decide whether to ask guests to remove their shoes. I think providing a chair or bench near the door, space allowing, is thoughtful in case older or less-flexible people are visiting
At least two people I know have medical reasons to leave their shoes on at all times, in fact they can barely walk without them. Hopefully homes with no-shoe policies will be supportive of those who have real difficulties.
On the other hand, the very notion of 'street dirt' makes me want to rip out my carpet and start over. Ick.
Joined: 03 Aug 2005 Posts: 135 Location: Seattle, WA
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:48 pm Post subject:
I have to contradict the shoe rule - a la Carrie Bradshaw - my shoes are part of my outfit! I too, have a no shoes poilicy at home, for residents and perhaps for casual, frequenting guests, but for a full fledged party - No Way! Too informal, and I don't really want to see peoples socks or feet. I hate the rule, and have been caught off guard with less than attractive or holey socks! What ever happened to door mats? Or a vacuum after your party?
I was recently at a party - a fairly dressy xmas party - and there was a sign on the front door - no shoes. I simply wiped my feet very carefully and walked past in my patent leather stilletos. Now, who is the more rude - those who ask you to be barefoot at a formal cocktail party, or me who ignored the hosts request?
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