October 04, 2005

Lisa: For heaven's sake, please leave them on. No, seriously, we don't need to see your toes.

It looks like the Etiquette Grrls have already covered this topic for me, here. Here it is, edited only to remove a few instances of Cutesy Affected Capitals that distracted from the intelligent and reasoned response.

Dear Etiquette Grrls,

I get sooooooo aggravated... I mean extremely... on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown aggravated when people wear shoes in my house. I have put up signs on the front door (which may not be the most proper thing to do, but it worked) telling them to PLEASE remove their shoes before entering. That worked, but then we moved. I thought that by then everyone who ever was a guest in my home knew that I did not like shoes in the house, so I didn't place another sign. My in-laws don't get the picture. My mother in-law, father in-law, brother in-law, and even his wife still wear their shoes in my house. I have made comments, I have asked nicely... they have to know how I feel about this. It literally drives me insane if I am sitting in the same room with someone who has their shoes on! My husband tells me it is rude to ask someone to take off their shoes. Personally, I feel it is rude to not take off your shoes! I don't live outside in the dirt, and animal doo-doo, and I certainly don't want to bring it into my house! What can I do? And am I being rude?

Thank you,

Dear K,

Oh, Dear Reader, we are sure you won't be happy to hear this, but we cannot agree with you on this one. It is perfectly normal to wear shoes indoors. When the EGs go to a party, we wear nice shoes-- pretty Kate Spade slingbacks, say. We would be shocked and appalled if someone were to request, nay, DEMAND that we remove them and walk around in our stockings all night! The EGs would have spent a long time deciding which shoes would go with our outfit, and it would be just silly to leave them at the door! And furthermore, would you really want us to stub our toes or get runs in our stockings? Dear Reader, we'd probably walk out the door and celebrate somewhere else where our nice slingbacks were made welcome!

Dear Reader, the EGs would like to ask gently if perhaps you are over-reacting, just a wee, wee bit? Of course, we would be utterly horrified too if someone who had apparently been traipsing through sewers tried to wander into the Etiquette Flat, tracking filth everywhere. But Dear Reader, honestly, we are sure your in-laws do not, as you have put it, actually live outside in the dirt, etc., etc. It's more than slightly insulting to them for you to imply this. The EGs can only respond to your question from our own perspective, and we have offered our opinion on the matter, as you asked. However, we just want to say that if you find you're obsessed with this issue-- if you truly feel in actual Nervous Breakdown Range-- you might want to talk with a professional who has experience helping folks with issues like this. You shouldn't have to worry so, Dear Reader!

With best wishes,
The Etiquette Grrls

Posted by lisa at October 04, 2005 11:12 AM

I disagree with EG on this one. We have a shoeless house, and it is a lifestyle, a choice. We offer slippers at the door for those with cold feet. Shoes, even clean of dirt, track in polution, ashes, and the hard soles press small scratches in hardwood floors. We stopped wearing shoes inside when we had crawling toddlers and never went back.

I have also noticed that the amount of housework I have to do is far less in a shoeless environment. It is a tradition in many cultures, and now at our house. Our house feels like our sanctuary, and now we feel like we are wearing shoes to bed if we enter anyone's house and leave our shoes on.

I don't think there is a right or wrong here, but those who wear shoes in their home ought to be aware they are increasing their housework and decreasing the life of their floors, and that they are really missing out on another way to do things. And those nice shoes you mentioned? Pointy heels leave divits in hardwood floors.

Posted by: Also Shoeless on December 26, 2005 03:02 PM
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