Do you take your shoes off when you enter someone's home, or leave them on?
At first glance it may seem like a simple question. And maybe I'm strange. Either way, please tell me that you too have been in a situation where you don't quite know what to do. Here are some scenarios I've faced:
I arrive at a good friend's house. Or my in-laws. Or my parents. Or someone I know well. It is cold. My feet are toasty and my shoes are not slip ons. I know these people love me regardless…or have to love me. To shoe or not to shoe? I of course am going to shoe. I give my feet a couple swipes on the rug for good measure and then essentially, do what I want.
UNLESS…they have a hard and fast no shoe rule. Or do they? Is it my imagination? Maybe they are just shoeless people. I never wear shoes in my own home. Maybe everyone assumes they want you to NOT shoe but they don't really care?! Look for a pile of shoes by the door, this may give you a hint.
But then there are those people you don't really know very well, or you've never entered their home. You have no idea what to do. If you're like me, you feel like you should ere on the side of going shoeless, as it seems more courteous… but it's summer and your toes are unattractive and is it really the courteous thing to do to tromp around BAREFOOT in someone's home you barely know?
I told you this was more complicated than you originally thought.
There are a few times it's a no brainer, like scenario one when you know the person and speak their shoe lingo or know they don't care, OR when it's sloppy out and you're literally dripping from your soles [hint: take your shoes off].
But sometimes, I WANT to take my shoes off so I do and then I walk in and I see they are SHOE people and I suddenly feel underdressed. Or sometimes I don't take my shoes off and I walk in and I see them making side-glances at my shoes and I suddenly feel very ashamed.
So…I ask again: To shoe or not to shoe when you enter someone's house?
I try to bipass people at the door and nearly always say: "Don't worry about taking your shoes off if you don't want to." This is because, though I'm a barefoot walker, my husband CANNOT be barefoot [like his father], and so heaven knows what has already been tromped through my house and I know there are very few things that I can't figure out how to clean from the floor or carpet. Shoe on at the Irwin house, my friends! Or shoe off. I don't care.
But I need to know what to do at your house! Help your guests out! Post a sign! Shout it from the other room when I enter!
When I googled for images I wasn't too surprised to find there is apparently a market for signs to post in your home [maybe I should get into this business?]