Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shame on Philip Howard!

Philip Howard, the Times' "etiquette expert" received a question from a correspondent in Swindon about removing shoes. I don't like his answer:

Q.We always take our shoes off when entering anybody’s house. We expect the same of family and guests. If we know people are coming, we inform them by phone to bring their slippers — very nicely, of course. What if somebody unexpected turns up? What do you advise?

Philip Howard: It is your house. And you are entitled to set house rules. But it is the prime function of the hosts to make their guests feel at ease. I do not think that asking an unexpected guest to remove his or her footwear as he or she arrives (however politely) performs this function. This is an occasion to welcome your guest warmly, and put your customary rules on ice, and your fastidiousness in the cupboard. The golden rule of Etiket is to think of others before yourself and your carpet.

Modern Times November 22, Times newspaper


victoria p said...

Hi there,
Yes I agree with your obsevations and i also endorse Mrs Marsh's actions.The fact that she attempts to kindly requests guests in advance to bring their slippers when they visit her home indicates that she is sensitive to the issue that shoes removal can be embarassing and difficult for some people.
It is actually what i attempt to do with guests especially at this time of year when it is simply too cold not to wear slippers.
I have to say that having recently discovered your blog (by accident,)i find it to be largely very interesting and i actually do agree with many of the articles.
I myself grew up in a 'shoes off,slippers on,'house.And as is often the case, years later i (and my family}do the same.All our friends accept it when they visit.
keep up the good work.

Celestial Fundie said...

Victoria, thankyou so much for visiting and for your encouraging comment.

Just out of interest, where in the world are you from?

victoria p said...

hi again.It probably won't surprise you Matt from my last posting, that i am from the kent/Sussex border and my mother is Canadian.This background accurately reflects many of your postings.Yes the majority of Canadians do remove their shoes without question and given the climate slippers are an absolute necessity for most of the year.And here in the UK we always have been fortunate to live in rather affluent areas and you are correct in suggesting that removing shoes in the house in understandably quite an acceptable practice and as in Canada its not considered rude to ask visitors in advance to bring their slippers with them when visiting.

Celestial Fundie said...

Victoria, thanks for coming back.

Kent/ Sussex border? You are almost one of the neighbours.

I do like to hear from British readers.

God Bless