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.