Tuesday, April 25, 2006

How I became an Offalist

I will begin my inaugural post by giving special thanks to Matthew for inviting me to join the cause. It is an honor and a privilege for me to join him in this fight against unnecessarily dirty floors. My journey to this place began when I moved to New York state. In my native Southern California very few ever asked their guests to remove their shoes. I can think of four places that I visited in the last three years I lived there where the host requested shoe removal. While it was not a completely foreign notion, it was certainly not normal. Here in New York with rainy spring, summer and autumn and snowy winter, shoe removal is much more common. As a guest I became accustomed to the courtesy of taking off my shoes at the door, but I still often wore shoes in my own apartment and never requested that anyone take theirs off. Then one day I read a blog called "Shoes Off at the Door, Please" that made me think. Once I began to ponder what is on my shoes when I walk into my apartment I realized that shoe removal is about more than keeping wet shoes off of the carpet so I won't step in the wet spot wearing just my socks. It is about the worms on the sidewalk when it rains. It is about the cigarette butts on the stairs that my neighbors dropped. It is about the gum on the street. Do I want worms, cigarettes and gum on my floors? Absolutely not! I am not a neat freak, but dirty floors have always bothered me. Now I know that there is a solution better than constant cleaning. Floors do not have to become dirty if we choose to take off our shoes at the door. I realized yesterday that I really have become an Offalist and can now only regret the contribution I have made to my own dirty floors and look forward to the day when I can start afresh on a new carpet and politely ask my guests to take their shoes off at the door, please.


Redeemed said...

Angie, I just want to say that you write very beautifully!

Those are some excellent points, and I understand the New York mentality of removing shoes at the door, since I live in Montreal where we only have 2 seasons...winter, and the month of July!

The IBEX Scribe said...

Thank you! I attribute my ability to write to my extensive reading. I love classic literature and read it by choice and have a lot of reading to do for school, so between the two I am exposed to some of the best use of the English language. :)

Redeemed said...

I have to admit that I do believe I have become a better writer thanks to my Bible reading!

I do encourage reading.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

That was an excellent post, Angie. You are a great writer. I feel very privileged to have you on this blog.

I shall look forward to other posts that you write.

Every Blessing in Christ


The IBEX Scribe said...

Thank you. I will endeavor to maintain a high standard in my posts. :)

Carey said...

*claps and cheers loudly* Beautiful speech!

Reading - especially classic literature - does greatly enhance one's writing. You can't be a good writer unless you're a good reader.

What are some of your favourites, Angie?

Candy Minx said...

Um, I am curious at the use of "offalist".

The first thing that came to my mind was "the fallen" where the word offal comes from. Then garbage and decomposing animal flesh.

Are you saying that shoes off is associated with our fall from grace? Interesting.

Hey, I don't have any kind of issue with taking shoes off, of course I do when I enter a church and temple and someone elses house. It is respectful.

But D.F. have you ever heard...? You can't suck and blow at the same time.

I need to you to get on board and not waffle which is it? You seem to jump around like a politiician on your beliefs here I quote you...."Offalists in contrast, always remove their shoes at the door. Offalists believe in the Total Depravity of the soles of their shoes. The corruption of city streets has completely ruined the condition of their shoes, they argue, and the only hope is a change of nature for their feet, namely into slippers or clean socks. The Offalist pays heed to warnings about the health risks of pesticide, lead paint and animal excrement."

Is our world in need of us cleaning up the Lords house or not.

One minute you say the Lords house is a mess with lead paint and pesticide. The next you say the Lords house is not in grave danger.

Although I am all for respecting chirch, temple and others houses with my shoes off...I have little reason to respect your ideas here till you get straight with the Lord and his home. We are just guests here ya know? Which is it? Lead poisons and pesticides or not?

Please my darling, make up your mind. Always the egos of the Lords children making up their rules as they wish....look in the mirror sweet and clean up the Lords house.

when you've cleaned up the Lords home, I'll \be more interested in your waffling.

In gods grace,love and peace, I had a dream and god said to tell you these things I am not responsible for the message please pray....

The IBEX Scribe said...

Candy Minx,

The term "Offalist" is something that was made up. Please follow the link on the original post (just click on the word "Offalist" toward the bottom) to see what it means in this context.

I would argue that the earth is not the Lord's house, it is His footstool (See Isaiah 66:1). The earth is under a curse and so it will have problems to which I am sure man has contributed. God and God alone can raise the curse from the land. We are primarily concerned here with advancing the notion that it is wise and courteous to remove your shoes at the door of a home. Perhaps our cause is small. Perhaps our cause is, to you, unimportant. We have chosen to raise this banner, however, and raise it we will. Removing your shoes at the door in no way causes additional problems to the environment. I respect your concern for the earth and your desire to care for it, but it is not a conviction that I share with your enthusiasm.

I am sorry if we fall short of your expectations, but our message is simple: Please remove your shoes at the door.

The IBEX Scribe said...


I am a big fan of Jane Austen. It is hard to say which of hers is my favorite (not favourite - I may read British literature, but I still spell like an American), although I can say that I like Sense and Sensibility least. It is a very early work and it shows when compared to her other novels - it seems a bit flat. Pride and Prejudice is probably my favorite, although I think that Mansfield Park is the most well written. As a historian I find her "History of England" rather amusing and refreshing.

I think that Les Miserables is one of the best books that I have ever read. It is wonderful. Also high on my list of good reads are Crime and Punishment (but that has to be read cover to cover) and the works of Charlotte and Anne Bronte (Emily's Wuthering Heights was a little bit too dark and depressing). For an interesting literary comparison read Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary for their takes on the topic of the unfaithful wife. I like to read Thomas Hardy from time to time and am branching out into Eliot and Thackeray. I can't stand Charles Dickens because he, like Emily Bronte, is just too dark (yet Hardy doesn't bother me for some reason, and he's no optimist).

I kind of have a thing for another rather long piece of classic literature: The Bible. It's pretty cool. ;)

So there's my long answer to your short question. :)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Angie, I like Jame Austen too.

I loved 'Wuthering Heights' though.

I read 'Far from the Madding Crowd' by Hardy.

I like some Dickens, but I am finding 'Bleak House' very boring (nearly finished it).

Every Blessing in Christ


Rose~ said...

Welcome, Angie, to this odd, but endearing cause that Matthew has taken up.

You said that we wouldn't have to clean as much if we took our shoes off at the door. Not true. Dust! Dust! Dust! My furniture in my living room gets filthy with dust and I never walk on it. I love a clean house and I dislike cleaning, so if I thought that insisting shoes came off at the door would cut down on my cleaning, then I would hang up a sign. I don't think it would help, however. I am not convinced. :~)

You are a good writer.

The IBEX Scribe said...

Yes, Rose, dust IS a problem. I have to admit that. There's this amazing thing about these bodies that God has given us: they heal themselves. Part of the healing process is a constant renewal of skin cells. If God had designed our bodies less effectively perhaps we would have less dust. I know it comes from many other sources, too, however. I like to use the Swiffer duster in my apartment. It really does pick up dust quite effectively!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Rose~ very true. But your shoes pick up dust and bring more of it into the house.

As Angie says, at least you know that a lot of house dust is made of you.

Whereas the dust on the streets has many different sources, some of them not very healthy.

Every Blessing in Christ


Rose~ said...

Your comment truly made me laugh out loud. That makes it twice you have done that in the last 24 hours. :~)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Rose, thanks but I was being serious.

Was that comment really so funny?

God Bless


The IBEX Scribe said...

Rose, I tried to send you an e-mail the other day to ask whether you attend the church where Philip De Courcy preaches, since you quoted something he said in a sermon on Jonathan Moorhead's blog a few weeks ago. Did you get it?

Thank you all, again, for your encouraging words.

Matthew, I might attribute Rose's laughter to the fact that she considers this an "odd, but endearing cause". Maybe that's just me.

Mac said...

Is it a happy sickness you have?