Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Apartment Therapy: Is Shoes Off at a Party Proper?

Apartment Therapy: Is Shoes Off at a Party Proper?

I have posted this link at least twice before. The discussion started in 2006 and people still keep commenting there.

This one got rather heated in places.

4 comments:

Sacramento Bob said...

Matthew, this was the forum that I mentioned in my first post and it gave me a better understanding of the shoeless position.

Previously I offered to share some reasons why people like to wear shoes in their homes and permit others to do the same; below are some that come to mind. I have to confess that I used your list of 37 reasons NOT to wear shoes as a starting point, which accounts for some being light-hearted like the politically incorrect reason no. 18 (Kicking dogs! Really, Matthew! ;-). I’m certain these reasons won’t convince you to put your shoes on, anymore than your list has moved anyone from shoes to shoelessness. But perhaps it can help “shoeless” folks to recognize that those who wear shoes in the home likely do so for more than simply tradition or an unwillingness to change.

1. With today’s technology and materials, carpets are just not that difficult to clean and most visitors are sensitive to cleaning their shoes before entering your home (or they shouldn’t have been invited).
2. Shoes protect your carpets from dust and flaking skin found on socks and bare feet, thereby preventing dust mites which foster the development of asthma and allergies.
3. If you don’t have a rug or carpeting, shoes will prevent the dust and flaking skin from being released into the air and you’ll be less likely to breathe it in.
4. Shoes seldom leave marks on wood, PVC and marble floors and, even if they do, they’re easily removed with a variety of commonly available products.
5. Shoes seldom leave noticeable scratches on wood flooring since a) it’s usually a dense hardwood such as oak or, more currently, bamboo and b) today’s floor finishes are both hard to scratch and easy to touch up.
6. Socks and bare feet can cause wear and tear on carpet because they create more friction on the carpet fibers than smooth-soled shoes.
7. That goes for rugs as well.
8. The moisture released from sweaty bare feet can cause soil to permeate a carpet’s fibers and become trapped more easily than if deposited by dry shoe soles.
9. Walking around in socks and bare feet can generate anxiety among guests about acquiring fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, irrespective of any assurances you might give to the contrary.
10. Walking around in socks and bare feet can generate anxiety among guests about acquiring communicable viruses such plantar warts, irrespective of any assurances you might give to the contrary.
11. Shoes and bare feet may well carry the same contaminants as shoes if they’ve been previously worn in areas were others have worn shoes.
12. Ever noticed how tacky people look in their stocking feet?
13. In a square mile, there are more insects than people on the planet and they’re indoors, too. So why worry about trace exposure of insect guts from shoe soles when live creepy-crawlers are already inside your home?
14. If you have a crawling baby and worry about exposure to the soles of shoes, you’ll worry yourself sick by the time the kid reaches kindergarten when you see what else he/she gets into. Chill!
15. You’re less likely to slip and fall with shoes on.
16. You’re less likely to stub your toe or be injured by someone stepping on your foot with shoes on.
17. If you have a baby, he/she won’t be injured when being carried if you avoid slipping by keeping your shoes on.
18. If you get mad and kick the cat or dog, you will get more satisfaction while wearing shoes by causing an injury that befits your anger (apologies to animal lovers).
19. If your children play rough while wearing shoes, they will quickly learn that kicking one another is hurtful and should be avoided.
20. Shoes create a more formal atmosphere, befitting many social functions.
21. Shoes energize you to get more done; being shoeless makes you lazy and unproductive.
22. Your guests will become more like you by keeping their shoes on and will feel part of the family.
23. An Oriental, Scandinavian or East European visitor will gain some appreciation for how most Americans really live in their homes. When in Rome…
24. Shoes teach children the importance of dressing for the day.
25. Psychologically, keeping your shoes on helps you to enter a frame of mind where your time at home can be as productive and fulfilling as your time at work.
26. Wearing shoes is more comfortable (assuming that you have shoes that properly fit your feet).
27. It is healthier for your feet to keep your shoes on during the day because they provide proper arch support and protect your feet from injuries.
28. ''A child who is allowed to go barefoot and not have the support of a shoe will usually lag behind in walking,'' says Dr. Mark Tozzi, a Cleveland podiatrist who is president-elect of the American College of Podopediatrics, podiatrists who specialize in the care of children's feet.
29. If you wear high-heeled shoes, your feet badly need a break. But they get a break when you go to sleep so keep those stilettos on all day, right guys?
30. You can put your feet up on the sofa without taking your shoes off first (unless you’re mysophobic).
31. You can put your feet up on the coffee table without taking your shoes off first; it’s not like it’s against the law!
32. If you ever visit Japan, it will seem weird to be shoeless inside…but then everything about Japan will seem weird so get over it!
33. If you are ever arrested and they confiscate your shoes, along with your belt and jewelry, it will seem weird to be shoeless…but then everything about being arrested will seem weird so don’t get arrested, OK?
34. Your feet smell less if you keep your shoes on because the smells can’t escape.
35. When you lovingly chastise your children, you won’t be tempted to beat them with a slipper if you’re wearing shoes.
36. It was a Biblical custom to take your shoes off inside…but stoning was a Biblical custom, too, so let’s just forget Biblical customs around the house, shall we?
37. Do you really think the Saints in Glory are going to give a damn about wearing shoes, one way or another? I think not…
38. You won’t have to ask your guests to perform an unnatural act whenever they visit your home.
39. Guests can maintain the stylish wardrobe they wore specifically for the benefit of visiting your home.
40. You won’t have to embarrass your guests be asking them to expose their holey/smelly/mismatched socks.
41. You can avoid lawsuits resulting from your guests a) slipping on your hard-surfaced floors in the stocking feet, b) stubbing their toes on your furniture, c) being stepped on by other guests or d) stepping on broken glass from a spilled drink.
42. You can enjoy the company of all of the people who stopped coming over to your house because of your repressive “shoe code”.
43. You can hold a party that doesn’t have to feel like a slumber party.
44. You can justify the money that you spent on that nice doormat.
45. You can always immediately find your shoes when you need to go outside.
46. Your guests can be assured that their expensive shoes won’t get stolen.
47. It’s less likely that people will be able to sneak up on you.
48. You don’t have to provide a place for guests to remove and store their shoes.
49. You don’t have to unlace and re-lace your shoes each time you enter and exit the house.
50. Your feet won’t get cold, nor will those of your loved ones or your guests.
51. Your guests won’t consider you to be rude, inconsiderate and/or inhospitable (at least on the topic of footwear).
52. Guests who require shoe prosthetics won’t find themselves caught between protecting their feet and complying with your shoes-off edict.
53. You’ll save countless hours in a lifetime, not taking off and putting on your shoes each time you enter and exit the house.
54. You won’t have an unsightly “shoe pile” creating an eyesore in your house (especially important for all those folks trying to impress us with their spotless carpets and unblemished hardwood floors).
55. You won’t have to defend your lifestyle against charges that you’re obsessive-compulsive, paranoid, neurotic, mysophobic, controlling, manipulative or just plain weird.

Sacramento Bob

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Bob, that is pretty creative.

Well done for coming up with a longer list than mine.

Sacramento Bob said...

Hey, who's counting. As I said, I don't think people's practices will be changed by the number of reasons to take shoes off or leave them on. By way of example, if I lived in Arles, France (from my experience, the dog feces capital of the world), I'd probably be a die-hard shoeless person, notwithstanding my 55 reasons to do otherwise.

Sacramento Bob

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Yes, I think experience and circumstances are most likely to make the difference.