Friday, May 28, 2010

Treating other people with respect

re-post

We should always do our utmost to treat other people with respect.

All of us have little things that we are sensitive about. Other people might find it hard to understand those things and may think we are oversensitive about them. However, that does not mean that we should not take those things into consideration.

For instance, some people may not like to hear bad language. If so, you should try as hard as you can not to swear when in that person's company. You may think that is silly. You may think they have the problem, not you and they should deal with it. I disagree. I think that you should respect the fact that those people do not like bad language.

Some people may not like you to smoke when there children are present. You may think that is silly, after all they are not going to be affected by you smoking just one cigarette in front of them. However, perhaps these people do not want you to set an example to your children. You should respect that.

Likewise, some people do not want shoes to be worn inside their homes. This is something important to them.

You may think this is daft. If it is for cultural reasons you may think "They are living in the UK not in China." If it is to protect the carpet you may think "Carpets are meant to be walked on." That is fine. You are entitled to your opinion. However, you should still treat their preference with respect. They are fellow human beings who have the right to their preferences and opinions as much as you do. So please don't complain if you are asked to remove your shoes in such homes.

We should also not be afraid to state our preferences. Nobody is going to know that you would rather they avoided using bad language in front of their children unless you tell them this. In the same way nobody will know that you would like shoes-off in your house unless you make it clear. There is nothing wrong with expressing how you feel and asserting your wishes. You have the right to be respected.

126 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Just wondering what you think of this situation?

I was at a dinner party last night in a friend's house. It was'nt a house with a shoes off policy and I kept my shoes on like everyone else.

However, there was one young lady there who was smartly dressed in a nice top and skirt, but was just in her stockinged feet the whole evening.

It turned out that as it was wet she had worn wellies but taken them off at the door, and had deliberatlely not bothered bringing any shoes with her to change into.

Do you think this is a bit odd or completely normal.

Colin.

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for visiting, Colin.

Her removing her shoes? I think that is perfectly normal and it is pretty common these days.

Given the theme of this blog I am not likely to think it odd.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Thanks for such a quick reply.

You don't think its odd that she was smartly dressed, but wore wellies and did'nt even bother taking any shoes to wear?

I hope you don't mind me asking. It's just that we got really well and I want to ask her out, but thought this a little odd.

Must admit I am not a shoes off at home person so maybe I have the wrong perspective, but equally she was in someone else's home.

Colin.

Celestial Fundy said...

Okay. The change of shoes issue.

In some countries where people take their outdoor shoes off, such as Sweden and Canada, people will sometimes bring a change of shoes. But in other countries like South Korea or Thailand, they don't tend to do that.

As you say, she could have done so.

Personally, I am not keen on the change of shoes thing.

If somebody brings a change of shoes, they need to be flat, as heels can cause wear and tear to both carpets and wood floors.

They also ought to be shoes that are not worn outdoors. Not many people in Britain will have shoes that they never wear outdoors.

Personally, I think having people wear shoes in your home changes the atmosphere.

I feel more comfortable in a room full of people in their socks than in a room full of people wearing shoes.

I wish you sucess in your courting this lady.

Anonymous said...

Thanks,

I understand your point of view, but she was in a house full of people wearing shoes, but she was just in her stockinged feet and had'nt even bothered bringing a pair of shoes with her.

Colin.

Celestial Fundy said...

Why do you think she should have brought a change of shoes?

Perhaps she might have expected the other guests to be shoeless. These days it is not unusual for hosts and guests to be in their stocking feet.

Sandro said...

Stockings in a proper condition look perfect with a smart outfit and are the best choice for home environment

Sandro said...

Whoever did what, this lady did what she thought she should have done, which is the best approach to life IMHO

Bob said...

The one explination for her behavior that has not been mentioned was that she simply forgot to bring a pair of shoes to change into when she arrived

Sandro said...

I think she doesn't need any excuses

Bob said...

I was not offering an excuse or impugning her behavior merely offering an explanation of what might have occurred

Sandro said...

it could have been, you are right
ps it would be nice if Colin would invite the lady to the site with comments of her own

Celestial Fundy said...

I very much doubt that he will, Sandro.

Eldar said...

Hello! I am new to this blog, but find it very useful!

I think the lady was perfectly right to walk around in her stocking feet, even if her outfit was elegant. Why not? Stockinged feet can look very elegant and natural indoors. I wish others did the same at that party. Hopefully this will become a norm everywhere, not just in some countries like Sweden or Canada..

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment, Eldar. Do come again.

Interesting choice of user name. Assuming that is not actually your real name.

Eldar said...

no, it is not:) It´s a Hebrew name:) I myself am of Eastern European origin. In my country it is pretty much a given that everybody will remove shoes indoors. It doesn´t matter whether it is party, or a casual visit, or whatever the outfits are. Shoes come off the moment the person steps in. I have been to a plenty of parties where all (!) the ladies wore nice outfits, but were in their stocking feet, or even barefoot (in summer). In fact, if a person would enter with her shoes on, even for a party, she would be considered as very ill-mannered and low class indeed!

Celestial Fundy said...

And I was thinking you were refencing Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' with that name.

Yes, Eastern Europe is a lot more civilized than the UK.

What country are you from if you don't mind my asking?

Moderate Mouse said...

I was taught, at least by example that, in other people's homes, to plan on remaining in shoes at all times. Potential execeptions to this were maybe if I was going to remain there overnight and/or if I was going to be doing something that of itself warranted bare or stocking feet.

I use to dress all the way to "real" shoes every day whether or not I was going anywhere. However, these days, since I have three pairs of ballet flat-style slippers (one pair in black, another pair in white, and another in a multi-colored floral print pair) and a pair of blue flip-flops that, because of a fuzzy detail one the v-strap, I reserve for "at home". If I'm not going anywhere on a given day (that I know of) or if I've come in and have no intention of going anywhere else for the day/evening, I'll wear one of my pairs of slippers or the at-home flip-flops. (I'm to much of a "dress to the shoes" girl at heart to go about housework or anything else active in the home in bare or stocking feet. But the "shoes" I put on depend on what I'll be doing.) I've brought my "slipper" habit with me to my sister's house for the summer. Given the period of time I'll be there (up until sometime in August), it'll be like an extension of my own home both in the sense of some of the liberties I'll be taking (e.g. grabbing a drink from the fridge) as well periodic assistance in household chores (a "necessary courtesy" that I HAVE been taught; according to my dad, it is rude NOT to help family members out in their home), I might as well dress how I would on an ordinary day at my own home, including leaving real shoes alone in favor of slippers when I have no known intention of going anywhere.

Eldar said...

I am from Estonia. In fact, once upon a time I had a very elegant and beautiful Argentine girlfriend. We lived in Tallinn for a while, and at first she was quite put off with this custom of taking shoes off. She always dressed to the nines, and loved high heels:)) But with time, she realised that you can look very elegant in stocking feet at parties:)

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks.

Latin cultures seem to be the most resistant to removing shoes.

Eldar said...

yes, you are right. But this is perhaps because they are not (yet) very well aware of the benefits of the shoes-off approach. Don't want to sound patronising, but this is my feeling. But as people travel more and are in touch with other cultures, perhaps this opposition to the shoes-off will become less rigid. My Argentine ex-girlfriend got very well used to the shoes-off:)

do you often see ladies in stockinged feet at dinner parties in UK?

Celestial Fundy said...

Its not unusual, especially if they are less formal and particularly with younger women.

Eldar said...

that's cool! and also in summer, they remove their shoes and walk around barefoot at parties, even with smart skirts?

Celestial Fundy said...

Are you sure it is etiquette that is on your mind, Eldar?

Some people do go barefoot indoors, though removing shoes when visiting seems more common in colder weather.

Of course over here, with our mild winters, a lot of women do bare legs all year round.

I remember a lady visiting my parents around Christmas time who removed her shoes on entering. She was bare foot even though it was winter.

I am trying to show on this blog that wearing shoes indoors is as bad in summer as in winter.

Eldar said...

yes, it's etiquette, of course:)) but, in my opinion, the custom of removing shoes can win more 'converts' if it has an esthetical dimension, specially for women. If people see that removing shoes can be not only practical and respectful, but also stylish and elegant, I am sure more people will adopt it. Just my humble opinion:)

I imagine that that lady who visited your parents was dressed stylishly?

Celestial Fundy said...

Yes, she was wearing a very elegant long skirt.

Eldar said...

Just to make my point clearer, in Estonia and pretty much every Central and Eastern country the women are famous for taking good care of themselves and being feminine. And they take their shoes off not only because of the etiquette, but also because it looks good.

Celestial Fundy said...

Good for them.

Eastern European women are always very pretty too.

Your English is very good, by the way.

Eldar said...

thanks for commending my English.

I really think your blog is excellent.

what I find puzzling though is that in almost all the threads on the subject the vast majority of people are in favour of shoeless households. Yet in much of the West the prevailing attitude still seems to be shoes on, rather than off. Do you have any explanation?

Celestial Fundy said...

I suppose people who are in favour of shoes-off are more likely to visit and comment.

On the other hand, it may not be as prevailing as you think.

Probably most people who don't ask for shoes-off of guests and who might not always remove their shoes when visiting would still generally be shoeless in their own homes.

The norm seems to be for people not to wear shoes in their own home and gradually the expectation of shoes-off for guests is coming in.

As somebody commented recently, television does not seem to have caught up with this.

You may have noticed that not so many of the posts on this blog are about reasons for removing shoes and are more about defending the right of hosts to ask guests to remove shoes. I think that is the key area of contention in the west.

Eldar said...

Yes, this is a good point. Fortunately, where I come from, nobody has to ask anybody to remove shoes. It is just done automatically. Actually, a friend of mine was really shocked when he once invited a lady he was dating to his place, and she failed to remove her shoes. The poor thing was really puzzled, and thought she was a freak.

Celestial Fundy said...

Did he let her in?

Eldar said...

yes, he did. Eventually, after some mild prompting, she did remove her shoes, reluctantly. But it was really not nice. My friend was very much taken aback.

Celestial Fundy said...

I should think so too.

Looking at the stats counter, you are not in Estonia at the moment. Are you in Belgium?

Eldar said...

yes, I am. Work.

Celestial Fundy said...

People don't tend to take their shoes off in homes so much in Belgium?

Eldar said...

how would you comment on the case of my friend with a lady who didn't want to remove her shoes? what would you do?

Eldar said...

no, in Belgium unfortunately they don't. Although it would have made a lot of sense, since it's raining a lot here.

Celestial Fundy said...

I would have asked her to please remove her shoes. If she made a fuss, I would not be inclined to invite her again.

Celestial Fundy said...

You will have to work on converting the Belgians.

Eldar said...

yes, you are right. Once I visited a dinner party here with an Estonian friend of mine, and upon entering and greeting the hostess, she immediately proceeded to remove her sandals (it was in summer). When she was told not to, she looked so unhappy...eventually, she did remove her sandals.

Celestial Fundy said...

Over here its not uncommon for hosts to tell guests that they don't need to remove their shoes, but a lot of these hosts would really prefer shoes-off.

Eldar said...

I think it would be better if the hosts just let the guests remove their shoes. In Switzerland, for example, shoes off is not straightforward, but most people still do it. The guest asks whether he/she should remove the shoes, the host usually says not to bother, but the guest still removes his/her shoes, because he/she knows that this is the wish of the host:)

Celestial Fundy said...

It often works like that here.

But more and more, removing shoes is becoming normal and less and less people are afraid to insist upon it.

Eldar said...

that's excellent news! I hope one day it will become as natural as in Estonia, Sweden, Finland, etc. It makes sense. However, in Estonia it is not usual to wear slippers. Most people wear either socks, or stockings, or barefoot. Sometimes ladies would bring slippers with them, but mostly older ones. Younger people just walk around in socks, stockings, barefoot.

Moderate Mouse said...

In that case, I probably wouldn't fit in so well in Estonia. (Not that I see myself going there anytime soon.) When I'm not wearing actual shoes in my own house (or someone else's) and am going to do anything active and/or serious, I prefer slippers in a style that blends with regualr clothing than restricting myself to socks/stockings or nothing. (And I'm 25 by the way, but if you saw me, you'd think I was younger.) Wearing one of my pairs of ballet flat style slippers or my blue "at home" flip-flops makes me feel more ready for action in the home so to speak than do bare or stocking feet. Having said that, I may at times slip off the slippers or flip-flops when curling up somewhere to watch TV, read, etc. For reasons that would make my commentary longer than it already is, while the concept of guests going unshod in the home upon arrival is a gray area to me personally, and the leaving of shoes at the door (let alone leaving them off at all times until THE minute it's time to go) doesn't happen in my home or any one that I've been in, I usually leave my "real" shoes alone in favor of a pair of my ballet flat type slippers or my blue flip-flops unless I'm going somewhere (or at least outside) or about to do something in which not wearing shoes would do more harm than good. But that's just me.

Eldar said...

Dear Moderate Mouse,
walking in stockinged feet indoors is not a law in Estonia:) If a person wants to wear slippers, no problem at all. Nobody will force anybody to do what he/she doesn´t want to. Estonia is a relaxed and liberal country:) One thing that is NEVER Ok though is to come in in outdoor shoes. That´s all.

Sandro said...

Eldar, your name sounds of Caucasian origins. Aren't from there?

Celestial Fundy said...

Sandro, he did say it was not his real name.

Celestial Fundy said...

Eldar, slippers seem to be pretty much the norm in other East European countries.

Yet another thing which Estonia has in common with Finland.

Estonia seems like it is on the wrong side of the Baltic. :)

Eldar said...

indeed, you are right! it used to be the norm in Estonia too. But it is getting increasingly old-fashioned, at least for guests. Unless, of course, guests bring their own slippers to match their outfit. But few people do it. And wearing slippers used by other people is not really such a wonderful idea.

Sandro said...

Yes, I know he's said it's just a nick, but the choice may seem prompting :)

Eldar said...

Sandro, I have nothing to do with Caucasus. Let´s discuss ´shoes off´ better.

Sandro said...

OK)

Moderate Mouse said...

Thanks for clearing that whole thing up on slippers Eldar. I'd probably opt to bring slippers to switch out to if I ever visited Estonia. (I'm from the US, and as young as I am, there are some norms here, especially in fashion, that various peers of mine take part in but I'm not all that anxious to have anything to do with myself if I don't have to.

As for wearing outdoor shoes indoors not being okay is concerned, as much as I will try to respect that rule if I go anywhere that has it, I can't promise that I will NEVER slip up on it. If I do accidentally slip up on that in front of any of you and cause you to automatically think I'm not a good person for that reason alone, I apologize. I'm not trying to be rude at all. It's just that I'm very prone to making such stupid mistakes (MUCH to the annoyance to my conscience AND various members of my family) that it even happens in connection to things that are SUPPOSED to be second nature to me and that I should be able to do every single solitary time without fail (such as turning off a light whenever I'm about to leave a room that is not otherwise occupied).

There have been various times when such careless behavior has upset not only whoever witnessed and/or was affected by my wrongdoing, but my guilt from it would linger for a while.

Again, if I accidentally wear outdoor shoes somewhere that they are not welcome (though I'll make sure I bring slippers to switch out to in their place) or do anything else that is improper to your judgement, I apologize. It is NEVER my intention to be rude. It's simply that I have yet to figure out how to keep my mistakeful side from rearing it's ugly head. That's all.

Eldar said...

Moderate Mouse, as I said before, wearing shoes indoors in Estonia is not a crime!:) And nobody will think you are a bad person just because you occasionally didn't take them off.

Sandro said...

CF are your sure the Finnish mode is wearing slippers preferably to just stockinged feet?
Eldar, BTW it's been a very good point about the aesthetic dimension
of shoes-off etiquette.
Regarding Belgium: considering the natives thereof are originally of two cultural and ethnical sources, haven't you witnessed any exceptions from the shoes-on-indoors policy in non-French families?

Eldar said...

Dear Sandro,
in Belgium there are people of very different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, especially in Brussels. Native Belgians, either Valloons or Flemish, usually don´t take their shoes off. In immigtrant communities it depends where they come from.

Thanks for sharing my point about the esthetic dimension of the shoes-off policy. Where I come from ladies plan their outfits beforehand with the thought that they would walk around in their stockinged feet. For guys, it is usually more straightworward: wearing clean socks is enough. Have you been at many dinner parties where ladies dress elegantly in stockinged feet?

Celestial Fundy said...

Sandro, I actually meant slippers was not the norm. Some Finns wear slippers or sandals indoors, but usually people just wear socks and guests are not usually offered slippers.

Sandro said...

Sorry, CF, now I see I've skipped the context of the earlier posts of yours.
Just to make it sure, is it wearing no slippers what you think makes Estonia similar to Finland in terms of the shoes-off etiquette?

Bob said...

we keep talking about Eastern Europe and people attending parties in stockinged feet. I am sure that the same thing occurs in Asia where not removing your shoes is a sign of disrespect. Matthew, you have been to Japan can you enlighten us on what occurs there in a party situation?
BTW Eldar, my wife plans her outfits knowing that she will remove her shoes upon arrival. She has a number of soft soled shoes which she color coordinates with her outfit to change into upon arriving.

Celestial Fundy said...

Sandro, yes.

I don't know if you are aware, but Finland and Estonia are also very similar in language and culture.

Celestial Fundy said...

Bob, in Japan, large parties tend not to be held in homes.

When visiting a Japanese home, one is usually offered slippers, but these are always removed when entering living rooms to protect tatami floors, or even carpet.

I attended a party held at a municipal hall. This was carpeted, so all the guests were in stocking feet.

Sandro said...

yes, their languages are from the same group (Finno-Ugric I guess), don't know about their ethnical similarities

ps. do you know there is a theory Japanese has some common roots with those?

Sandro said...

Bob, sorry for having missed this, are you planning a trip to Japan?

Celestial Fundy said...

I dare say it has been suggested. The origins of the Japanese are mysterious and contrary to Japanese nationalists, they are a mixed up people (I was amazed at the diversity in their facial features).

South-east Asia and the south pacific have been suggested for the origins of the Japanese as well.

Eldar said...

Bob, you are absolutely right! I am only happy taht this custom is not confined to a certain part of the world only. And I am happy for your wife! It´s an excellent idea. does she always change into the soft-soled shoes, or does she sometimes walk in stockinged feet as well?

Bob said...

Sandro, unfortunately I am not planning a trip to Asia. I only posed the question as a backdrop to the on going commentary on the practices prevelant in Eastern Europe.

Bob said...

Eldar, if she knows that she is going somewhere she will always have a pair of color coordinated ballerina flats in her purse. I am sure that there are times when she might go to a co-workers home for lunch or after work and spend the visit in stocking feet.

Eldar said...

Thanks, Bob. It sounds like your wife is a very thoughtful and elegant lady. Cheers!

Sandro said...

In my country, dinner parties are mostly arranged at restaurants, where people keep their shoes on.
At home parties and occasional home visits, people generally remove their shoes regardless of their sex and outfit; it's fifty - fifty about ladies in slippers or in stockinged feet - not 'cause they may prefer slippers: hosts generally consider it hospitable to offer slippers, and guests may feel shy to refuse :);
other reasons for slippers include having no carpets and cold floor;
in contrast, carpeted floor generally makes the no-slipper mode more likely to happen.
I know different examples about girls' preferences:
most of them like the way they look just with their stockinged feet and skirts/dresses and don't like to put on you know ugly old slippers with germs:), yet some of them put on slippers with such outfit thinking they would look somewhat "naked" otherwise and are more likely to stay without slippers if they are in trousers and socks.
They may also fear ruining their nylons on hardwood floor.
I regret to say quite a few families find it awkward/"not a European way" to ask guests for removing their shoes especially when a more or less formal party is arranged or even insist on guests keeping their shoes on. Another misunderstanding may happen: a guest may think he/she will look inappropriate without shoes and reluctantly complies. Some guests still manage to remove their shoes:) Therefore, a party may be shoes-on/off-mixed:)

Sandro said...

forgot to add on another tendency nowadays: as more and more people renovate their homes, they get keener to give up allegedly European ways regarding the shoe issue :)

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for sharing that, Sandro.

Sandro said...

yet another nuance: shoes-on is very unlikely on carpets/rugs in any home

Sandro said...

CF, you are always welcome; but for you, never would we have a chance to share!

Celestial Fundy said...

There are plenty of discussion forums on this topic. I am sure you would get the chance.

Sandro said...

CF, yes I might have been too complimentary, but your resource is the only one that provides for permanent discussion
Eldar, I could say i've never been to a dinner party where ALL the ladies were just with their stockinged feet dressed, but I only know one home where people sometimes stay with their shoes on.
Under my rough estimates, it's maximum 10% of middle-class families that don't require shoes-off, while it must be zero among poorer families.

Eldar said...

stemeouDear Sandro,
thanks for your very iluminating remarks. In Estonia it is somehow the other way around - it is in the poorer families and in the countryside that you will find more peole wearing shoes indoors, as in these houses the floors can be really cold, or not clean enough. In more prosperous apartments or houses, where floors tend to have heating and are spotless, it is of course very rare to find somebody wearing any kind of footwear, except perhaps ballerina flats to change into.

Eldar said...

I think the key to spreading the culture of the "shoes-off" indoors is to make people realise that the shoes-off look can be elegant and attractive.

Sandro said...

Poorer families in my country are closer to eastern traditions, which includes stricts shoes-off and wall-to-wall rug-covered floor.

Eldar said...

Sandro, it is interesting how diverging the perceptions are. In my country, as in Nordic countries, entering in shoes is perceived as something really rude and ill-mannered.

Eldar said...

Sandro, you sound like you are from a southern country. That means that probably ladies in your country oftentimes walk in their bare feet when visiting other people's houses? What is the general attitude towards bare feet at parties?

Sandro said...

In summer, stockings are not usually worn, and women are more likely to stay without slippers indoors because they feel even more squeamish as their bare feet touch slippers.
I think why some women are shy to walk their feet stockinged as the are wearing skirts/dresses is that they may feel it seductive ). Therefore, they may prefer ugly, but "decent" slippers:)
Yet 95% of ladies I know always refuse from slippers and obviously like the nylons-and-skirt/dress outfit vsiting homes. I guess this is the last years' tendency.
Still can't say that for dinner parties due to the reasons in my earlier posts and right above (restaurants/hosts insisting on shoes or slippers if a guest has managed to de-shoe)

Sandro said...

Yet I am sure only few ladies in my country will disclose the aesthetic reasons. They might prefer to say it's for clean floor. However, if they didn't have the reason of beauty, they would only visit homes in trousers and socks )

Bob said...

I thought that the group would find this of interest. About six months ago a co-worker of my wife had a a get together for the women in her office to show off her new home. Knowing that we are a no shoes home her co-worker asked my wife to help encourage guests to take off their shoes at the door. She did and it worked out fine.
Tonight, this same women is having five or six women over for a light dinner and female talk. She has once again asked my wife to act as shoe monitor. My wife has decided that it would be more gracious if she did not change into soft soled shoes as it might make others feel uncomfortable if she had something on her feet and they did not. Therfore she will spend the evening in her stockinged feet. She will probably go over at lunch and help her friend get things ready and no doubt will do so in her stocking feet.

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for sharing that.

It was sensible of your wife to hold-off on the soft-soled flats.

Its nice to see those who favour shoes-off helping each other out.

Eldar said...

Bob, your wife only deserves admiration for her sensible ways. I am sure she will act as a positive example for other ladies in the gathering. Let us know how it worked out.

Eldar said...

Sandro, thanks for that. At the end of the day, women everywhere care about esthetics:) This bodes well for the custom of taking shoes off indoors. Stockinged feet really belong indoors, not outdoor footwear. One obvious benefit of this custom is that people take care good care of their feet! This is healthy, and would alone justify it.

Sandro said...

It's nice to read such good points of yours, Eldar)

Eldar said...

thanks, Sandro. It´s nice that you appreciate that. The funny thing is that there are still cultures where they don´t get it. For example, a Spanish (female) friend of mine who lived for some years in Sweden wanted to introduced the shoes-off rule in her place back home, only to give up after she saw it was a non-starter. She was amused that in a Mediterranean culture women did not really take good care of their feet. Perhaps, if there existed a shoes-off thing, they did, she once wondered....)

Celestial Fundy said...

I heard women in Spain have traditionally been embarassed about showing their feet.

Still, these days with Spanish fashion being similar to Britain, sandals must be fairly popular.

Bob said...

As I mentioned previously my wife went to a ladies night yesterday.
My wife and the other ladies all arrived at the hostess' home at the same time. The hostess greeted them and as soon as they walked in my wife took off her shoes and announced that the other should follow suit as it was the custom of the home to leave shoes at the door.

Celestial Fundy said...

Excellent. Thanks for the update.

Eldar said...

CF, I wouldn´t say women in Spain are embarassed to show their feet. These days indeed they usually walk in sandals. But somehow when the issue of taking shoes off indoors is discussed, many of them are horrorized. It´s irrational, I think. Yes, tilted floors are quite frequent in Spain, and that may make removing shoes uncomfortable. But there are also a lot hardwood floors! And people are still scandalised with the idea of removing their shoes...I hope this will change as more people travel and are in contact with other cultures and customs.

Eldar said...

Bob, thanks a lot for the update. Did the ladies walk around barefoot?

Celestial Fundy said...

With it being a ladies' night, I presume Bob was not there to see, Eldar. :)

Sandro said...

I know some examples of shoes-offin Italy and Portugal

Bob said...

Matthew, you are correct I was not there as I am sure it would have been boring from a male perspective...also I was not invited!!
Once they removed their shoes they obviously spent the evening shoeless

Eldar said...

Sandro, really? didn't know there are shoes-off examples in Italy and Portugal. Can you tell us more?

richyrich said...

Bob, I think what Eldar is asking whether or not the ladies were provided with slippers or did they just go about barefoot or in stockinged feet?

Bob said...

Richyrich, As I mentioned in an earlier post, my wife who generally brings soft soled flats to change into after removeing her shoes when visiting. She did not last night so that the other women would not feel out of place if she had something on her feet and they did not. Therefore I assume that everyone was either barefoot or stocking footed.

Sandro said...

Eldar, for Portugal, I just have read some comments by ex-CIS residents who said their native neighbours removed their shoes even before the door of their apartment.
For Italy, I saw a short video in Youtube with shoes removed before a trailer door. Unfortunately, don't know any tags to find the video now (have just tried).
I have also seen shoes-off in rural areas in a couple of French films. Also read an interview of a famous French bicycle racer, the world champion, Bernard Hinault, who said he had a shoes-off rule in his home as it had always been common in his, rural one, area.
I also read Lucélia Santos, a Brazilian film star, imposed shoes-off in her home having adopted Chinese experience

Sandro said...

As a memory from my childhood, there were women who would feel OK not removing pumps at homes, but
aesthetically preferred slippers to high boots, even to elegant ones, at home parties.

Celestial Fundy said...

Hi, Richyrich, you have been following this thread then?

Celestial Fundy said...

Sandro and Eldar, I read in a newspaper letter page about a lady in Italy who required guests to change into slippers.

When I did my degree, I used to visit an house shared by French, Austrians, Poles and Portugeese.

I remember the Portugeese students used to wear beach sandals when they were inside. I don't think removing shoes is customary there, however. That might just have been for their comfort.

The French students who lived there used to wear their shoes all the time.

One of them actually commented on it when one of the French students came down the stairs in her bare feet.

Celestial Fundy said...

Sandro, so is removing shoes a more recent custom in Georgia then?

Sandro said...

Not recent, but never total like in Japan, though quite common.

richyrich said...

Hi, Richyrich, you have been following this thread then?

Of course I have, I follow all threads on here with interest.

Kev said...

As an example of mutual respect:

A few years I happened to rent a flat owned by a friend's younger sister who had moved elsewhere locally. It wasn't furnished although came with basic carpetted stairs and engineered wood flooring, which I covered with a couple of large white wool rugs. In view of this, the place not being my own, and my belief as the home as one's sancturary and calming playpen in life away from the outside world (discuss?) I made up a novel multi-lingual "shoes off" sign and posted it at the foot of the stairs where there was plenty of room to remove and store outdoor footwear.

The first time my new landlady called round for a cup of tea I simply let her in and we settled in the lounge to discuss our business. As she descending the stairs to leave I remarked it must seem a bit strange to her it now being someone else's home and style. She agreed and then noticed (if she didn't before) the sign and asked whether she should have taken her shoes off. I smiled and replied I hope they weren't dirty.

The next time she called I let her in and asked lightly whether she was remembering to proceed shoeless this time and she laughed and took them off, storing them neatly in the cloakroom area downstairs just inside the door.

Every subsequent visit she would wipe her feet on the mat before stepping in and once inside immediately remove her outside footwear without prompting.

I just find it a pity that everyone isn't so accommodating on either side of the issue. How do you guys & girls feel about it?

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for sharing that, Kev.

Kev said...

Following-on: maybe it's because I'm a guy, but in any case my experience is that men are likely to notice a "shoes off" sign at home and comply whereas women prefer to be told.

I tend to find this an issue as I can be very shy with people I'm not particularly close to and, for me, inviting someone into my home is a most personal thing: if nothing else, removing shoes at the door is deeply symbolic of the atmosphere I wish to maintain, as ideally is the ease of its undertaking.

Celestial Fundy said...

That is an interesting thought about gender and signs.

I think atmosphere is an important thing.

Kev said...

If you can't have the right atmosphere in your own home there's something wrong with the picture somewhere.

As it happens, removing shoes at the door is most favourable to my default atmosphere for many and varied reasons to differing degrees. It could be I'm strongly anti-smoking or have a pathalogical hatred of hats, dogs or whatever as a cornerstone of my serenity.

In the grand scheme of things, removing one's shoes as conducive to harmony should never be a big issue if approached correctly.

richyrich said...

Actually my experience (although with exceptions both ways) has been that women are more likely to take the hint when they see shoes piled up by the door and/or the hosts barefooted or in stockinged feet and take off their shoes without neing asked or at least ask if they should do so, while men are generally more likely to ignore these subtle signs and just leave their shoes on without asking anything.

Kev said...

I'm sure how and where people live makes for a variety of experiences.

I'm 44 and have always lived in SE England - still in attitude - mostly in SW Surrey. One qualified positive I've noticed develop in my lifetime is that, where once the talking point was people who insisted on "shoes off", now it is people with a reputation of refusing to point-blank. Both rarities, and in either case fore-warned is fore-armed.

As in life, we move forward little by little.

Sandro said...

Women are more likely to
1) respect clean floor
2)need rest for tired feet (because of high heels)
3)value the aesthetic aspect

Kev said...

Yes, and for those reasons they are more likely to:

1)Be respectably shod.

2) Wear high-heels for the occasion, rather than tiring slogs.

3)Value the aesthic aspect of their footwear with regard to their overall appearence.

So a desire to remove her shoes at the earliest available opportunity isn't always a woman's driving force. It would make life easier though, and the same goes for men.

Sandro said...

In my country, women seemingly enjoy and value shoes off more than men.

Sandro said...

ladies visiting my please kick of their shoes by default maybe because I have rugs and polished parquet; if they were shy about their feet, they would wear trousers instead of skirts (as they mostly do) and wouldn't refuse from slippers which I sometimes offer/would ask for them

Kev said...

Sounds very much a culture thing of the women in general being more forward, or at least less reserved than the English.

Sandro said...

Women in my country more care about clean floors in other homes, and 95% of people who write in according forums are female; it's also common to think their feet look better than men's :)
last but not least, their feet get more tired than men's because of high heels

Kev said...

That's a general truth wherever, and there are all manner of reasons for our belief.

The key is in understanding why and where, in spite of all this, people don't remove their shoes, not that they do.

PS - Is this the longest thread so far?:)

Kev said...

That's a general truth wherever, and there are all manner of reasons for our belief.

The key is in understanding why and where, in spite of all this, people don't remove their shoes, not that they do.

PS - Is this the longest thread so far?:)

Celestial Fundy said...

Probably.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Not sure what this means but probably a respect issue. My parents are in their late 60's, know me and my husband very well and that we are tidy folk. We have recently moved to a lovely new home, with light colored carpet. The entry way in front has a hard surface. When I proudly wanted to show my home to them, I asked to please slip shoes off and they acted as if they purposely wanted to ignore me. Knowing them for most of my life, I feel that these parents have a problem with respecting their child and doing as I ask. After visiting several etiquette sites an different opinions, I see where this can be quite a touchy subject. I feel that the owner of the home can have what they ask for no questions asked. The guest should abide by the request and enjoy a clean beautiful environment. However I have also felt guilty about it. Do I want to be right?....or alone. There is quite a lot of psychological guilt involved as I felt so uncomfortable having them track all over my house and showing it to them, and so did my husband and wonder if they will ever come back. My husband remarked that he would have bootie covers for them when they came back. They just chuckled and I knew then that the knew very good and well that we had a problem with it. If they don't come back, that would be fine. I can always go there to visit occasionally. To a person who just upscaled my life style to a more modern home, I think that they are jealous, their lack of respect and thinking I deserve less has me wondering the intent of just ticking us off and having it "their WAY". Other than having the bootie covers handy, what else can someone do to request a complete a-hole to take their shoes off or leave?

Celestial Fundy said...

All you can do is politely ask. If they won't do it, its up to you whether you let them in.

Thanks for visiting. Where are you from?