Sunday, June 08, 2008

The relationship between host and guest

re-post

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.

4 comments:

Steve Amarante said...

"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"....

Good stuff…
Mirroring another persons action (in the form of removing their shoes) is a quick way to build rapport and comfort. It's just another layer in the "communication " process…

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks, Steve and thankyou for visiting.

Yes, that is a really important point.

Anonymous said...

I was befriended by a couple of different middle-aged women in the UK a year or so ago. They both invited me to their houses and told me to take my shoes off at the door.
I love not wearing shoes, and if I see a pale-coloured carpet I automatically offer to take my shoes off, but when told to take my shoes off, even to stand on vinyl, I felt quite unwelcome.
I love clean floors and I like going without shoes. I sweep my floors every day so that I can enjoy going shoeless. But I wouldn't dream of making anyone take off their shoes in my house. It's another layer in the communication process, all right. It says: "You are in my territory and you will dress as I see fit. My floors mean more to me than you do."



Carolinetxu

Celestial Fundy said...

Anonymous, thanks for visiting.

'It says: "You are in my territory and you will dress as I see fit. My floors mean more to me than you do."'

By the same logic, if a gym ask you to wear white-soled running shoes in their squash court, that means that they value their squash court floor more than your custom?