Tuesday, March 11, 2008



If asked to remove their shoes, most people are polite enough to comply. However, it is always possible that there may be some refuseniks.

If somebody refuses to remove her shoes, the host has several options:

1. Not let them in.

2. Let them in, but express one's unhappiness. Not invite them in again.

3. Let them in, express one's unhappiness, but invite them again hoping that next time they will comply.

4. Let them in and say nothing. Not invite them again.

5. Let them in and say nothing. Invite them again in hope that next time they will be more polite.

There is not right or wrong response. Whether you let them in and whether you invite them again entirely depends upon your wishes.

You have every right to refuse to admit somebody to your home. If a person is visiting to sell you a product or service, or to promote their religious organisation (usually Jehovah's Witnesses are polite enough to offer shoes-off) then you might well refuse to let them in. On the other hand, if your boss is visiting, it might be a bad idea to refuse to let her in!

If the visitor is not a close friend, but a person you have invited to dinner in order to make close acquaintance with, you have every right to never let them darken your door again. On the other hand, you may not want to loose a close friend over the issue. However, you might feel more comfortable expressing your unhappiness to a close friend than to a occasional visitor.

There is simply no right or wrong response to refuseniks.

Would you let somebody in your house if they refused to remove their shoes when asked?


natural mummy said...

I'm currently trying to write a comical sign on my door to suggest taking shoes off as my husband thinks it's rude to ask and rude to put: shoes off please...as ur site is dedicated to this subject would you ask other people what satirical signs they would put up..
I have currently come up with:
Please come in barefoot NOT bare naked
We don't wear our shoes but we do wear our clothes

or kick off your shoes come in and relax..

any other suggestions? would make a contribution to ur great blog

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Natural Mummy, thanks a lot for visiting.

With respect to your husband, I do not think asking people is rude in the slightest. I am sure your husband asks people to do lots of things all the time.

A sign like this really needs to be funny and I am glad you can see that.

I am not sure my sense of humour is good enough for the task you put to me.

I recall somebody on the web saying she had a sign that said "Remove your shoes or mop the floor. Your choice."

How about one that looks like a danger warning-

"Warning: Clean Freak! Remove your shoes in this area."

You have to be able to laugh at your self (then again it seems that it is only us British who can do that).

God Bless


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

A couple more suggestions:

"Security Notice: Passengers must remove shoes."

"You don't have to be Japanese to live here, but it helps. Please remove your shoes."

Anonymous said...

No matter how it's said, "it is never rude to ask a person to remove their shoes before entering your house". If that is your request; then they should oblige, or out the door they go. Too me, it's just plan ignorance and disrespectful of people who do not take their shoes off before entering someones house, unless they don't mine. The most ignorant people are the gas meter readers, appliance repair people, and plumbers. I have sent a gas meter reader away, because she refused to take off her shoes. Two words "SHOE COVERS", which i provide now and if they refuse to bend over to put them on,I just kindly say good bye. Although, on occations I have said, "You can live like a pig in your house, but not in mine".
As for your husband; mine was just as band-if not worse. THEY CAN BE BROKEN.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Anonymous, thankyou so much for visiting and commenting.

You have every right to refuse admittance to your house.

Some of us who have a shoes-off rule may show flexibility, but that does not mean you cannot exercise your right of refusal with absolute severity.

And I do hope Natural Mummy's husband does change his mind.

BTW, are you British?

God Bless


Anonymous said...

In common with many other cultures and nationalities for the past decade we've adopted a "shoes off at the door please" attitude.

I think that it is entirely reasonable to ask visitors to make the small effort of removing shoes if requested and sheer bad manners and ignorance to complain about it.

It's YOUR home.

Matthew Celestis said...

Quite so. Thanks for visiting.

Where in the world do you live, if you don't mind my asking?