Saturday, March 05, 2016

Another Mumsnet Discussion

Mumsnet: Shoes off house rule

So we have a shoes off rule in our house. Mainly because of the grubby London streets and dog poo everywhere locally plus a floor licking toddler.

Every time my parents visit I have to ask them to take their shoes off. EVERY Fing TIME! They act like its such a massive imposition.

AIBU or would you just shut up and put up?

The usually strongly divided opinions.


Paul said...

The poster's parents are right. It is an imposition on your guests. Doubly so if you fail to provide slippers.

Anonymous said...


Many people all around the world regard removing their shoes wand wandering around in socks etc, as entirely normal, even required in many circumstances. This is for a complex mixture of cultural, religious, spiritual, practical, "upbringing" and personal reasons.

It's hard to be certain - and it varies by region, but around the world I suspect the number of people who regard removing shoes inside as normal is a modest, but significant overall majority. Its certainly not some outrageous, tiny minority view. So you start from being in a minority here.

I know there are few people who have issues with it, some for medical reasons, which I accept (but are disputed by quite a few, not helped because a very few people seem to use the medical excuse as a bogus means to cover up what is really a personal preference or hangup).

A lot of the people who regard not wearing shoes inside as the norm, completely fail to understand why anyone would have a problem with it - just the same as you (Paul) seem to completely fail to understand their reasons for choosing shoes off.

They're not asking you to change what you do in your own house, merely to respect what is a deeply established custom, policy and norm in theirs.

In particular, I don't understand why you seem to think not being seen not wearing shoes would make someone inferior or of lower class. I know, historically, where such an attitude comes from - but in a busy, interconnected and cosmopolitan world I find it hard to understand how any belief so obviously ill-founded still continues. There are millions of high status people to be found who regard it as entirely normal to be seen without shoes. Do they all count for nothing?

Bluntly, many people think those people who have an active problem in removing shoes have a hang-up about it and thus regard it as entirely the problem of that person and just don't see why they should make any accommodation for such people: Either come in and kick your shoes off, or go elsewhere.

In your home, you get to chose the rules. In other people's homes (etc) - their rules apply.

So you have two choices

(1) Take your shoes off when asked, grin and bear it as another example of the complex diversity of human society - and come in.

(2) Forego that place and go elsewhere.

Your choice - either way, I think you'll live just fine.

That's the policy which applies here and I'm not going to apologise for it, nor am I going to accommodate the people who have an issue for some non-medical reason. No, I don't provide slippers, but you are welcome to bring some if you wish, provided they have not been worn outside and have a soft sole.

Yes, some people regard this as rude. Fair enough. They can regard me as rude whilst I regard them as rude for not my choice and reasons. That seems a fair exchange to me. It really does all go two ways. When I am out and about, I often find I am asked to do quite a lot of other things which I find rude or crazy. Such is life - so I usually just smile and get on with it, (Unless and until it is something which really matters beyond my own personal preferences). Such is life.