Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Some Serious Theology: Are you a Tramplian or an Offalist?


If you are an Evangelical Christian, you may be sick of the Calvinist/ Arminian debate, so let me introduce you to some new theological terms; Tramplian and Offalist.

Tramplians like to trample the carpets or flooring of their homes with their shoes on. They find it rather objectionable to be asked to remove their shoes when visiting somebody else's home.

The central principle in Tramplian theology is the freedom of the will. They believe that they should be the ones to decide whether they take their shoes off at a dinner party. Their attitude is "I decided what outfit to wear. I decided what shoes to wear. I should be able to keep them on if I like". They do not believe that a hostess should impose shoelessness on them.

Tramplians have a strong belief in the goodness of hosts. They consider that a hostess should be above all concerned for her guests wishes and convenience above keeping her home clean. They believe that if a hostess likes them enougth to invite them into her home, she will accept them with their shoes on.

Tramplians believe in the power of their own ability to keep their shoes clean. They consider themselves to be grown-up and to be careful about what they tread on. They do acknowledge that their shoes can be tainted by the corruption of dirty streets, however they hold that this can easily be dealt with by wiping their feet on their hostess' doormat. Their shoes can be restored to cleanliness by the exercise of their will.

Offalists in contrast, always remove their shoes at the door. Offalists believe in the Total Depravity of the soles of their shoes. The corruption of city streets has completely ruined the condition of their shoes, they argue, and the only hope is a change of nature for their feet, namely into slippers or clean socks. The Offalist pays heed to warnings about the health risks of pesticide, lead paint and animal excrement.

The Offalist upholds the sovereignty of the host. The hostess has been very generous in inviting her guests, however, she is sovereign over her own home and has the authority to set the rules. She will not allow anything corrupt to defile her home. Those who would enter her home must not come in their own shoes, but must meet her condition of a change into slippers or stocking feet.

The Offalist holds that the root problem of the Tramplian's theology is human pride. The Tramplian is proud of her ability to make decisions about her outfit. She is proud of her Manolos, her Prada heels or her Jimmy Choo boots. She is too proud to combine her outfit with stocking feet. She resents the idea that her hostess would not accept her in her own shoes.

The Offalist argues that if the Tramplian would only forsake her pride, she would actually find that she was far more comfortable in slippers, socks or bare feet. Her determination to remain in her stilettos will in the end hurt her feet and drag her to destruction. She may well remain outside the dinner party in the outer darkness.


Moderate Mouse said...

When I first came here, I probably would've identified myself as more on the Tramplian side (especially since I was the kind of person who would dress to the shoes every day whether or not I would be venturing beyond the front door, let alone off the property). Now, I'm afraid I can't consider myself to be stricly one or the other any more than I can call myself a liberal or conservative. (Why do you think my screen name includes the word "Moderate"?)

I'm not at the point where I would never wear shoes in the house for any reason. However, I think once I got some slippers that I was willing to wear when wearing regular clothes and up and about my "at home" business and started wearing either those or my blue "at home" flip-flops did I realize that I didn't really need to wear my sneakers or other "going out" shoes in the home to the particular extent that I had been. (As it stands right now, I generally change from shoes to slippers when I get home and plan on staying home for the rest of the day/evening or if I'm not going out in the first place. I also hold off on the "shoes" portion of my ensemble until closer to time to leave the house, though I've slipped up a couple of times on that. The next step I'll probably need to work on is having my "real" shoes off in favor of slippers whenever I have mulitple outside commitments and have time to be home and take care of some stuff in the home in between said commitments.)

Celestial Fundy said...

Is that a difficult step to take?

Anonymous said...


Just wondering what you think the hostess should wear?

I am organising a dinner party at my boyfriend's in a couple of weeks.

He does'nt have a shoes off policy so I know that he and the other guests (who are his boss and boss's wife) will be shod.

Although, obviously I will arrive in shoes I would rather spend the evening in stockinged feet or slippers - partly for comfort, but also because I think it will be more practile.

Apart from this I will be wearig a smart woolen dress.

I would apprecaite any advice.


Celestial Fundy said...

There is no reason why you should not be shoeless when hosting that dinner party. There is no rule anywhere that says that you have to have shoes on or not at dinner parties. Ignore the so-called 'etiquette experts' who claim there is.

You have commented before I believe?

Moderate Mouse said...

CF, it would depend on how long I'll be in the house in between commitments, I think. If I'm going to be in the house for a few minutes at best before going back out, I'll probably leave my shoes on. However, let's say for instance I have my volunteer work at a local thrift store in the day and a reading I want to go to at night. Let's say the time gap between the end of the former commitment and the beginning of the latter one is at least 2-3 hours, which I plan to spend at home. That should be time to do a load of dishes (if applicable), eat a leisurely dinner, check email, etc. Switching to slippers or my "at home" flip-flops wouldn't necessarily deny that I'm going to be going out later (though I used to be worried that it would). It would just be an indication to myself if nobody else that I'm going to be in the house for a substantial amount of time and as such might as well use said time ot focus on of some of the things that pertains to being in the home rather than dwell on anticipating the next time I'm going out. (I'm considering placing myself under the rule that if I'm going to be in the house for at least three hours in between comings and goings in a given day, that I'd switch to slippers. Depending on how that works out, I might change my "three-hour rule" to a "two-hour" one.)

Sandro said...

Dear Anna,
thanks for the question; I fully agree with CF. Your feedback upon the event would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I am a moderate offalist depending on who's house i am visiting. In my own home I am a serious offalist and my home reflects that. However if I visited someones home with dogs and cats and they wanted me to remove my shoes?.....forget it. Dirt and filth galore is already on their floor why would I want that on MY feet. You know that there have been accidents, barf, poo, urine and everything else imaginable in the home. There are some animal owning "offalist extremist", just like a liberalist, who would say "WHAT??? MY FIDO does NOT have dirty feet!" (And I say "feet" because that is what they think their dirty hound is, is a human with feet.) If people are clean and tidy, I respect that, if they have animals living with them, then no, they are not "clean" in any way shape or form. This is in my opinion only when comes to shoes off in the house and house rules.

Celestial Fundy said...

Anonymous, thanks for visiting.

I like cats. I can't say that I am likely to get one, but I am afraid to say if I did, I would still ask you to remove your shoes. Feel free to decline any future invitations if we ever meet.

A recent study of bacteria on peoples' shoes found that shoes are much dirtier than the paws of cats.

Some Offalists with dogs wipe their pets' paws.

Some people with puppies and kittens actually have a shoes-off rule simply to protect their pets.

I doubt I will ever tolerate animals in my home, but I am never tolerating the filth from shoes either.

The American/ Canadian family I stayed with in Japan had four cats and they kept to the Japanese custom of shoe removal.

Readers with cats or dogs, please feel free to offer your opinion.

Anonymous said...


No I have'nt commented before. Just wondering why did you think that?

I like your blog though. As you may have gathered the whole shoes off thing is a point of contention between me and my boyfriend!! I have pursuaded him to remove his shoes in my flat, but mostly he keeps them on elsewhere, whereas I tend to slip mine off whenever I can.


Moderate Mouse said...

To the moderate offalist:

I see where you're coming from. The paws of an animal that goes in and out can potentially undermine the cleanliness angle of shoe removal.

Where I'm living, we have a dog who goes in and out. (And by "we", I technically mean my stepdad, though neither he nor the dog consider her to be strictly HIS dog, but I digress.) Not only could her paws be tracking in the same things that shoes allegedly do (though we'll wipe her paws when she comes in if it's snowy or muddy out), but the other floor-dirtying culprit that pertains to her is whatever fur she sheds (Golden/Lab Retriever if that tells you anything), especially in the summer. (Last time I checked, shaving her is NOT an option, but brushing her helps the shedding somewhat.) Regardless of how often the fur is swept up, there's no promises as that whoever swept didn't miss a spot. Just saying. (And no we don't have an official shoes-off rule. My mom had thought about having one, but apparently it has yet to become feasible.)

Celestial Fundy said...

Anna, the reason I ask is somebody else commented about a similar contention with her boyfriend. It must be a common problem!

Anonymous said...

I think you are right it is a common problem, - I don't really understand why men seem so reluctant to remove thier shoes.

However, I think I am going to have to wear heels at this dinner party - unfortunately. My boyfriend seems fairly adamant.

Did I read somewhere on here advice from Trinny and Sussanah about what the hostess should wear and if so could someone please remind me what it was?

It seems a bit unfair that I am cooking and everything and he is still adamant on this relatively trivial point.

We have been to dinner parties at friend's in the past and he has complained about me taking my heels off at the door even whan I have changed into slippers. I think it was just because other people had all kept theirs on.


Celestial Fundy said...

I am sorry that your bloke is being so unreasonable.

What are you going to do if you have a dinner party in your own home or if you marry?

Trinny and Susannah recommend wearing a long, floaty skirt with either slippers or bare feet in that situation.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, - that's v helpfull.

To answer your question - as I mentioned before he does at least take his shoes off in my home.

I think to be fair I should maybe point out that there is nothing wrong with his feet in terms of smells or anything - nor incidentally is there with mine which I think makes it even harder to understand why he objects so much. I think he just considers that I should keep my shoes on.

Do you by any chance know where that advice from Trinny and Susannah came from - was it on the web or in a book and what was the thinking behind it?

I was planning to wear a dress and stockinged feet rather than barefeet, but would be more than happy in slippers.

Apart from all the higene issues it just seems more practical to be shoeless or in slippers when cooking and serving etc.


Celestial Fundy said...

It was in a book, can't remember the title. It was not the 'What not to Wear' volumes 1 or 2; it was a kind of lifestyle handbook.

When you live together, you are going to hold dinner parties. You will have to work out whether you wear shoes and whether guests can keep theirs on.

Will he be okay with a shoeless dinner party?

I am sure you have a great relationship and you can come to an agreement.

I don't think I could marry somebody who was not accepting of a shoes-off rule for all.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how he would react - I hope by then I will have "educated" him!!

I am pretty strict about shoes off in my flat, and most of my friends are completely cool with it.

Hope you don't mind me asking but are you male - if so I think it's great that you are so supportive of shoes off.

Do you always remove your when visting people or at other places like work?
I used to have a male boss who was always in socked feet around the office.

I must confess my shoes are usually off in the office as well!!


Celestial Fundy said...

Yes, I am a bloke.

I normally remove my shoes when visiting others and I do take my shoes off in the office at work.

Sandro said...

Me too, Anna )
ps. Where are you from?