Monday, July 27, 2009

Controversial Monday: "Please take your shoes off before you enter"

Now, I know that my past controversial Monday topics have not been really that controversial. But this one today, well this brings up lots of emotions, anger and could get a little dicey.

Apparently lots of people really love their carpet.

I don't like it when people insist I take my shoes off at their house.

There. I said it.

I have a disclaimer before I go on. I have some very dear friends that do insist I (and others) take shoes off at their house. And they don't have to insist with me, because I just do it. I know it is important to them and I value their friendship and emotional health more than I value the comfort of my feet.

But that doesn't mean I like it.

I am not a feet person. It makes me very nervous to go to someones house in sandals and than have to take them off and walk around at a party with 20 other barefoot people. EWWWW! (and no, I don't have warts or athletes foot. But who knows if 'they' do). And I like to wear my shoes. My feet feel better and are more supported. And I like to be ready to run outside quick, or down to the cold basement without having to deal with changes in footwear. As a mom of 3 little boys, I have to be ready to chase down escapees at a second's notice.

So I try to remember, if I am going to one of 'those houses', to take along a pair of socks.

When people come to MY house they will say, "shoes on or off?" and I always reply, "whatever you are most comfortable with. I myself would leave them on, because you never know what you may step on around here."

And most people graciously won't comment if someone enters their house with a, horror of all horrors, SHOE on. They just let it go. But some people can't let it go and ask or insist or remind the person to take their shoes off.

But how do they know that the shod person doesn't have a medical condition that requires the use of shoes? I, of course, am more sensitive to this because both my parents have trouble walking without supportive footwear.

So at my house we wear our shoes. And I try to respect others at their houses. And I try not to grimace when I see a sweet/funny little sign in an entryway that has a very clear underlying threat regarding the presence of shoes. And I try not to offend people on my blog.

But, all that being said, let the Conrtoversial Monday debate begin! Shoes or not? What is your opinion? Do you have a little basket of those shoe store half sock things for people because you can't stand barefeet or shoes? Do you make all your guests stay outside? Did you strategically buy a house with a bathroom right by the front door so people don't have to take their dirty selves too far in? Did you refloor everything in your house to wood or tile so you don't have to worry about it so much? Do you live and let live? Do you spend most of your life putting little shoes on and off because their sweet baby shoes are definitely too dirty to cross your threshold?

I want to know! That way I can add you to my spreadsheet. You know, the spreadsheet I have that I can refer to in order to see which houses I can wear my shoes at, which ones I need to bring socks to and which ones I should proactively sterilize my feet before I approach.

I am kidding. I have no spreadsheet, and I couldn't find it if I did. But still. I want to know.


The Triathlete... said...

ha ha. When I bought new running shoes at REI the other day, the associate said, "Sir, if you'd like, you can borrow a pair of socks from the bin while you try on running shoes."

So I said, "No thanks, I'm a triathlete."

joolee said...

we don't have carpet, so no rules here other than no shoes on the couch........but i've been to a home where their carpet was enough reason to wear not only shoes but mud boots. eeeeeew. Also, i've found i'm more productive when i wear my tennis shoes all day.......

Karla said...

I loved our brown shag carpet....and the red....(:
I now usually take my shoes off..out of habit, because of the dirty muddy roads in Brazil. I really don't care if people wear shoes or not in the house...just as long as they aren't too wet or muddy (just so I don't sit on the floor and get wet).

Billi Jo said... home would probably fall into the shoes off category, however I don't panic to remove my shoes when I heading back into the house, for the third time, to fetch a missing something-or-other. And I do not "insist" that others take their shoes off. But the residents in my house view carpet as a place to "roll" and for that reason I don't want the affects of the outdoors smeared into the coils of my carpets. You know I am a clean freak; part of maintaining fresh carpet is to enforce the no shoe policy with children.

Matt said...

I really don't like wearing socks, or shoes (which is why I try to wear sandals through as much of the year as possible). This has made me prefer to not wear shoes in the house. I find that it also makes it easier to clean. As far as running in and out after children - I don't have to deal with it.... yet :-)

Momma Bear said...

i love being barefoo, even in the winter. But i don't like being asked to take off my shoes at other folks houses. I understand why but i don't like it. Like you though if someone asks me i will. Also, i never ask folks to take their shoes off when they come to my place cause then they wouldn't get the full effect of 3 little monkey's running around. You know they must experience playdoh between the toes or last nights dinner crustiness stabbing you in your heel, you know I like folks to have had an experience while visiting my house.

Anonymous said...

My grandparents have told me on numerous occasions that this is a 'Minnesota thing'. They probably even have more muddy snow days than we do - Ohio. We have a mutual appreciation for being allowed to keep one's shoes on in our house's.

Like your parents, I wear corrective footwear, if I don't I get to visit a chiropractor. So, I am glad that my friends have been able to lessen their MN standard for me! And my husband - grew up on a farm so he is used to a little dirt on the floor, carpet or not:)

Heidi B.

Aunti Kendy said...

I think when the weather is questionable it is always nice to say "should I take my shoes off?" then the homeowner can let you know how they feel about it.
I take a clue also by checking out the feet of those answering the door!

Elise said...

I find that when visitors come to my house, they generally ask, "Should I take my shoes off?" or "Do you mind if I leave my shoes on?" To the first I reply, "If it's not too much trouble," and to the second, "I don't mind at all."

See, at our house, we do remove our shoes to prolong the life of the finish on the hardwood floors. However, I think my priorities would be seriously out of whack if I put the finish on the floors above the comfort of my guests, so anyone who needs or wants to wear shoes is welcome to do so.

On the other hand, if we ever got a pool (which will never happen) I would totally have one of those signs that says "We don't swim in your toilet, please don't pee in our pool."

Rachel said...

I'm definitely a shoes off person. Living in the country and being the owners of cows and chickens, I'd prefer all animal excrement that gets onto unsuspecting shoes to remain in the entry way. I like going barefoot in my home and I think that people's bare feet are probably much cleaner than the bottoms of their shoes.

Anonymous said...

I am also going to have to stand up for shoes off in the house. It's kind of a zen thing for me - I like having that distinction between my castle and the outside world. Also, I have white carpet and a baby, and I like to sit and lay on my floor, so it's a cleanliness thing too.

What I really dislike are homes where people ask you to remove your shoes, but don't make everyone do it. Then my socks (and therefore the inside of my shoes) get all dirty, but I feel rude leaving my shoes on.

And I don't judge people with messy floors :-) Well, just as long as they don't demand I walk around on them in my socks.

Dana said...

I have to admit, at our house, it is pretty much shoes off. I will be the first to admit, I AM a clean freak. It is who I am. However, I do not insist on anyonoe taking their shoes off at my house, other than the dead of winter or a good rain storm. If anyone feels more comfortable keeping shoes on, that is okay by me.

Celestial Fundie said...

Shoes-off is absolutely the way.

I actually have an whole blog on this subject: Shoes Off at the Door, Please You might want to take a look.