Monday, November 06, 2006

Choice

Some people are of the opinion that it is very important that guests have the choice of whether to keep their shoes on or not.

However, it is not as simple as that. Some choices may impose on the choices of others.

Some visitors may want to take their shoes off, but may fear that doing so will be considered rude. Being informed that shoes-off is encouraged will be a great welcome for these people.

The shoes-on folks might then argue, "Yes, but you can still let people keep their shoes on without imposing on the people who prefer to go shoeless."

However, this is not the case. Firstly, those people who want to take their shoes off may fear, if there are lots of other guests, particularly at a party, that their feet may get squashed by other peoples' shoes. In a crowded party, it can be hard to avoid having people tread on your toes.

Secondly, people who take their shoes off will prefer to walk on a floor that is cleaner. In fact, there is another issue here, as Angie pointed out in a previous post. Some guests will enjoy sitting on the floor. And sitting on the floor is a much more pleasent experience when it is clean. So allowing guests the choice of wearing shoes imposes on those who like to sit on the floor.

The simple truth is that no host can please everybody. However, there are far more good reasons to insist on shoes coming off at the door than for allowing shoes to stay on. Let guests chose between slippers, socks ot barefeet. That is choice enough.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well thought out arguments. And what about the right of the householder to have clean and healthy floors. Surely the owner of the house has the right to insist on that from visitors. What about all that stuff about an Englishman's home being his castle?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks. Good to see you again.

I have guessed the reason you comment anonymously.

I think you must be somebody famous.

Are you a television personality?

Anonymous said...

Are you a television personality?

No I'm not! The only reason why I log on as "anonymous" is that I can't seem able to do so otherwise on this site, can't seem to log in with a screen name, that's the only reason. If I was a media personality, I would try and find a way of promoting shoes off lifestyles through my work. Have you ever heard the subject of this blog being discussed or mentioned in the U.K. media?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Unfortunately I have seen little coverage beyond the occasional reference in newspapers.

The Good Housekeeper magazine (or some other popular magazine) did provide a guide to modern manners which apparently urged women to comply with hosts who insist on shoes-off.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I just posted as 'other' and entered my name and blog URL into the fields.

Did that not work when you tried posting as 'other'?

Anonymous said...

just posted as 'other' and entered my name and blog URL into the fields.

I might try that.

Anonymous said...

The Good Housekeeper magazine (or some other popular magazine) did provide a guide to modern manners which apparently urged women to comply with hosts who insist on shoes-off.

Do you remember when that was?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Does not look like it worked. Maybe blogger does not like your name for some reason.

It must have been Summer to early Autumn 2005.

richyrich said...

I hope it has worked this time!

richyrich said...

I am no longer anonymous I hope!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

That appears to be the case.

richyrich said...

Thanks for explaining to me about how to overcome the problem.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

That is fine. I am glad you have a name.

missmellifluous said...

Ah, the ethics of shoe removal. Tricky. I think a guest should always follow the example of the host. This is polite and simple. All the guest has to do is quickly glance at the host's feet to see if they are wearing shoes or not. This can happen while the visitor is wiping his/her feet on arrival. It will not take very long to establish whether the host prefers shoes off or allows shoes on.

Do you think it matters whether the occasion is a formal or informal occasion? Do you think it is appropriate to expect guests to remove their shoes at a business/work/party-ish dinner?

missmellifluous said...

...assuming, of course, that this dinner is hosted in someone's home.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

In Japan, shoes-off would probably be required for a party in an office or restaurant, never mind a home.

I will probably be posting more on this subject.

I suppose it might be difficult to maintain formality at a shoes-off event. But is that such a bad thing?

I suppose people's attitudes would change if it became more common.

In the West, we associate shoes-off with relaxation, but in the East, shoes-off goes together with reverance in religious places.

I think for a formal party or dinner, men can look smart enough in slippers and women can look quite elegant without their shoes.

Just as long as guests know in advance so they can plan their outfits.

God Bless

Matthew