Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Guests Bringing a Change of Shoes

I would advise those who insitute a shoes-off policy in their homes to inform guests in advance that they require removal of shoes. That way the guests are able to bring some slippers with them. I think this is likely to be more accpetable than the custom in some countries of lending guests slippers (people are often uncomfortable about wearing somebody else's footwear). I would say something along the lines of "You may want to bring some slippers with you." I think this sends a clear message.

However, what if guests turned up with a pair of shoes to change into on arrival? In Canada and Scandinavian countries, people have indoor shoes that are strictly for wearing in offices and schools that are not worn outdoors. However, in the United Kingdom, it is very unlikely that people own a pair of shoes that are only worn indoors, unless they regularly attend a gym or do ballet (and they are not going to wear that sort of shoes to a dinner party).

What should the 'no-shoes' host or hostess do in that circumstance?

If the change of shoes had high heels, I would simply say "I am sorry would you mind not putting those on, heels are not very good for the carpet/ floor". They might step on somebody's shoeless toes and do some damage, as well.

If the change of shoes were low-heeled, that would be a different matter. One could ask if they had been worn outdoors, but I think this suggests a lack of trust. The simple thing to do is to put up with this and not invite this person again if the floor looks a bit dirty afterwards.

There are a number of subtle ways of dealing with this situation. One could ask "Do you buy those shoes today?" Or more to the point, "You do not have to put those on, we are very casual here." You may not be very casual at all, but it might put them off putting on their silly change of shoes.

This dilemma might present itself in summer, when somebody might prefer to wear flip flops rather than go barefoot. That is a little awkward, because one has no way of telling whether the flip flops have been worn outside or not. I suppose that situation might have to be suffered.

At the moment in Britain, it is very fashionable for girls to wear shoes that look very much like slippers, so it is not all that easy to tell the difference between shoes and slippers.

At the end of the day, you will invite some people back and some guests will not be invited to return to your home.

13 comments:

Redeemed said...

Matthew, lol, in all honesty, if you said something like "I am sorry would you mind not putting those on, heels are not very good for the carpet/ floor". They might step on somebody's shoeless toes and do some damage, as well" I think people will not take you seriously and leave your house thinking you are weird.

My solution, move to Canada!!!!!! Ok, that's just cuz I like this country.

Seriously though, if you want to do it in a subtle way, I suggest just offering a pair of slippers at the door. Something, like "oh would you like some slippers so you can get more comfortable". Like that your guests will think that you are very hospitable. It think this would be very polite!

Carey said...

*stares blankly at Matthew*

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

*stares blankly at Eowyn*

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sarah, I would have already informed the guests that shoes-off would be required and suggested that they brought slippers. The guest's bring a change of shoes would be a frolic of her own.

It is quite reasonable for me not to want my floors damaged by somebody's shoes or my other guests to have their feet trampled by some spike.

Offering guests slippers is a good idea, but I think British people would think that even weirder than being asked to remove their shoes. I think people would be more comfortable bringing their own slippers than wearing somebody else's slippers.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Redeemed said...

But who would refuse my pink 100% cute slipper?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

A lady wearing a black cocktail dress that cost her $700?

The IBEX Scribe said...

Methinks people care too much about their appearance. I would be much more opposed to the slippers because of their color than because they would interfere with my fashion statement. If they were electric blue I would wear them! (I think I have developed an abhorrence to colors like red and pink that look terrible on me - my skin is too pink as it is and they clash with my hair...) Then again, I can't imagine hosting something in my home that someone would wear a $700 dress to anyway. Perhaps that's the middle class American in me - I turn up my nose at upper class extravangance. The middle class has enough materialistic standards as it is. When you come see me, wear what makes you comfortable (not a big fan of people wearing pajamas in public, though). Come in, take of your shoes and wiggle your toes - make yourself at home!

Redeemed said...

Oh, lol, true.

But I doubt I will be inviting a lady wearing a black cocktail dress that cost her $700 dress at my house.

My people are very simple.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Angie, I cannot actually wiggle my toes. I can only move them all at the same time.

Sarah, I am not sure your pink slippers would match my grey or my blue suit either.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

The IBEX Scribe said...

Oh, that's really a shame. I can actually cross one of my toes over the one next to it. I am just full of so many great and wonderful talents, aren't I?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

You are a clever lady.

Redeemed said...

Haha, Angie, talented, indeed.

Matthew, I would certainly hope you bring your own pair of slippers, should you ever visit!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I certainly would.