Monday, February 25, 2008

The relationship between host and guest

Some people seem to see the shoes-off rule as an unfair restriction on the freedom of guests. I think that is a very sad attitude.

I rather see the removing of shoes as a beautiful and peaceful exchange between host and guest.

The guest removes her shoes when she enters the home. She shows respect to the house she is entering. She does not treat it like a restaurant where her custom is king. Nor does she treat it as her own home, where she may do as she pleases. She has entered the home of another family and she must respect the fact that their lives are lived here.

The hostess is in turn delighted by the respect that the guest shows her. In removing her shoes, the guest has entered into the environment of her family. The hostess will treat her guest with all the courtesy and kindness that she would show to her own family members. She will take care to look after her to the utmost while she remains under her roof. She will serve her the best food, give her the best seat. If necessary she will drive her home in her car or let her stay the night.

In removing her shoes, the guest becomes like the hostess, who is already shoeless. She identifies with the hostess who has welcomed her into her home. In their both becoming shoeless, the host and guest enter a fellowship and unity. They are both without shoes; they are equals. This is true friendship.

7 comments:

richyrich said...

Very well put

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks a lot.

I wanted to highlight the aesthetic aspect of shoes-off.

I think it is a beautiful as well as a practical custom. If they invented shoes that clean the carpet (and they actually worked, which I doubt they would), I would still want people to take their shoes off.

God BLess

Matthew

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Apparently they have designed such shoes. But I think it is a going to be a long time before every single pair of shoes is fitted with such a device.

And how would you know that the floor cleaning device on the shoes was functioning?

richyrich said...

The shoes would still have all the germs picked up from outside on them. Abd what about the comfort aspect of shoe removal?

Anonymous said...

I have a no-shoe policy -- I just get squicked out thinking of all the stuff people step in. I know it's probably no dirtier than what people touch with their hands, but I find it really unnerving to have street shoes worn in my home.

And I have hard wood -- I dread the thought of having to deal w/carpet.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Rich, I think the idea of floor-cleaning shoes is horrible. Who would come up with such a daft idea?

And I seriously doubt they would put such devices in cheap rubber flip flops.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Anonymous, thanks for visiting and for leaving comment.

Those of us who like shoes-off are not all the same.

Some of us wear slippers, others like to be barefoot all the time. Likewise some of us love a soft carpet and others find carpets disgusting and unhygienic.

I appreciate that carpets are harder to keep clean. But they do have the advantages of improving air circulation, reducing noise and being a soft landing for children and elderly people who may fall over.

However, whether one opts for carpets or hardwood, a no-shoes rule is a must for looking after the floor.

God Bless

Matthew