Sunday, February 26, 2017
Bob mentioned Mahabis the other day. A very clever invention; a casual shoe, with a detachable sole enabling it to convert into an indoor slipper. I had seen them advertised a lot on the internet and I had visited their website, but I had not seen anyone where them until yesterday evening, when I saw a Filipino woman wearing a pair at mass (some say that deep down, every Filipina is an Imelda Marcos).
It's a good idea for those who are nervous about taking their shoes off when visiting because they are worried their feet smell or they feel embarrassed about showing their feet. I wouldn't mind at all if somebody came into my apartment wearing Mahabis (with the sole detached).
But, but, but... somehow I don't feel, deep down, that I like the idea.
One practical problem is bad weather. In heavy rain, the slipper part would get soaked and so would not really be suitable as indoor slippers. However, I doubt that they would be the first shoes of choice in wet weather for most people.
Aesthetically, I sort of feel that indoor and outdoor footwear ought to look different. For that reason, I don't think I would ever wear flip flops or Crocs as indoor slippers, as I wear those outdoor. Just my aesthetic preference.
I know this is something some people dislike about the shoe-removing custom, but I think there is something positive about the sense of intimacy it creates. There is a sense of trust when people make theselves vulnerable by removing their shoes in somebody else's home. They exercise trust that the floor or carpet in that home is going to be comfortable. Even when one brings a pair of slippers, one must make oneself a little vulnerable by removing one's outdoor shoes. The Mahabis concept rather removes that. Just my traditionalist instincts kicking in; the Mahabis are a good idea.