Do You Ask Your Guests To Remove Their Shoes - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-23-2008, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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has anyone read the heated discussion in this thread : http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=832587

Its worth reading
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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No we do not ask our guests to remove their shoes.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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No we do not ask are guest to remove shoes.
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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It's pretty much just the norm in Canada that nobody wears shoes in the house (we'd be tracking in lots of slush & snow if we did), so it's just never a question, people walk in and take of their shoes. I find it really gross when people wear shoes indoors personally.

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Old 01-23-2008, 07:36 PM
 
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Same here. I have never asked someone to remove their shoes because they do. It is the norm and the polite thing to do here.

I find it really gross too.

I have asked guests to keep their shoes on if they want if my floor is dirty for some reason.

It really annoys me when people think it is rude to ask guests to take off their shoes or something. First of all, it is cultural. Just because it isn't your culture doesn't make it rude. Second of all, I am sure everyone has things they don't permit in their house- smoking for example.

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Old 01-23-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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Is there a country besides the U.S. where this is not the norm? My googling is showing that only the U.S. does this.

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Old 01-23-2008, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Same here. I have never asked someone to remove their shoes because they do. It is the norm and the polite thing to do here.

I find it really gross too.

I have asked guests to keep their shoes on if they want if my floor is dirty for some reason.

It really annoys me when people think it is rude to ask guests to take off their shoes or something. First of all, it is cultural. Just because it isn't your culture doesn't make it rude. Second of all, I am sure everyone has things they don't permit in their house- smoking for example.
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I agree. I think if someone is truly my friend they will respect my wishes in MY home. If I asked you not to smoke - would you light up anyway? If I told you I had a nut allergy would you bring me a Walnut Cake?? NO ... so this shouldn't be an issue either
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:49 PM
 
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I don't ask guests to remove their shoes. Most will offer to do so if the weather is bad.

I find the idea of wearing someone else's slippers really gross. I seems unhygenic to me.


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Old 01-23-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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I've never worn anyone's slippers.

We just wear our socks here or bare feet in the summer.

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Old 01-23-2008, 08:02 PM
 
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We take our shoes off, but I wouldn't ask anyone else to.
I hope that my guests follow my example but if they don't, I have to suck. it. up. I would MUCH RATHER have to clean up the scant dirt left by the the very occasional guest (what, are you people entertaining theater troups on a nightly basis?) than potentially embarrass a guest in my own home.

I'm saying this from my limited regional perspective, of course. I might have a completely different attitude about it if I lived in a place where people expected to take off their shoes, and were therefor prepared for it. I have a pair of shoes that stinks to HIGH HEAVEN, but they're so darn comfortable, so I wear them all the time. If someone insisted that I take them off in mixed company, I'd probably just leave. But, I guess if I lived in Canada or any other place where shoe removal is the norm, those shoes would be alocated for shopping, and I'd be wearing un-smelly ones to visit friend's houses.
I'm sure I'd invest in the occassional pedicure, too
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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No, but we often wear shoes around the house ourselves. Our carpet is in pretty bad shape (old, rental property). Perhaps if we had nice carpet we'd feel differently.

Sometimes guests offer to take their shoes off out of politeness. When I visit someone, if I notice shoes by the door I offer to remove my shoes too, but most people tell me to leave them on.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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It really annoys me when people think it is rude to ask guests to take off their shoes or something. First of all, it is cultural. Just because it isn't your culture doesn't make it rude. Second of all, I am sure everyone has things they don't permit in their house- smoking for example.
That's kinda funny that you put it that way. Where I come from, it's very rude to ask people to take off their shoes. You can set the example, if that's what you want to encourage guest to do, but having been raised to be a "Southern Lady", one would never ask a guest to take off their shoes simply to keep one's house cleaner.

On the other hand, where I come from, no lady or gentleman would ever light up a cigarette in someone else's house without being invited to light up. If you aren't invited to, you step outside. I was raised in KY, south but not the deep south, so I never really thought of these being strictly southern mores. This is particularly funny as KY is still a completely smoking state -- you can still smoke in restaurants even!

*I* get particularly incensed when someone asks me to take off my shoes in their house and their floors are so dirty that my socks get so dirty and crusty that I don't want to put my shoes back on. Now *that's* rude! And it's happened to me more than once!
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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I don't ask but only because everyone that I know automatically removes their shoes when coming into the/a house. I would ask though if they didn't. I have enough trouble keeping my floors clean with my 3-year-old without cleaning up outside dirt as well. I also automatically remove my shoes when going to someone else's house. It just feels strange for me not to.

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Old 01-23-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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I would never ask someone to remove their shoes in my house. I wear shoes a majority of the time just because it's the only way I get anything done- and most people who know me know this.

ETA- The 'open' part of our house (ie. the only part that guests will walk in) is hardwood. Don't know if that makes a difference in people's decisions to remove their shoes or not. It's easier to clean (IMHO) and much more hygenic.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:17 PM
 
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i didn't realise it wasn't just the thing to do! i guess it must just be canadian
i would ask if someone didn't...we live in the city and my kids eat off the floor

you could start a cultural revolution.

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Old 01-23-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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We don't have to ask people to remove their shoes. It's the cultural norm here. It would be completely shocking in Hawaii ,where I live, to wear shoes inside someone's home. It's just not done. Ever. Well if one is a newcomer or a tourist perhaps it's done but locals and long-time residents don't do it. Even newbies can tell what needs to be done because there's usually a big pile of shoes by the front door.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:02 AM
 
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Yep! But its because my 2.5 yr old has lots of unknown environmental allergies so we dont want stuff tracked all over our house (even though we DO have wood floors thru out-at 34wks pg, I dont have the energy to mop all the time) =) But everyone is always understanding and we never have guests over that are 'surprise guests' so I always tell them ahead of time that we have a no shoes house, so they might want to wear their 'good socks' =)

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Old 01-24-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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It's pretty much just the norm in Canada that nobody wears shoes in the house (we'd be tracking in lots of slush & snow if we did), so it's just never a question, people walk in and take of their shoes. I find it really gross when people wear shoes indoors personally.
totally agree. even if the person's home is less than spotless, I still remove my shoes. IMO it shows respect to remove shoes.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:28 AM
 
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We take our shoes off, but I wouldn't ask anyone else to.
I hope that my guests follow my example but if they don't, I have to suck. it. up. I would MUCH RATHER have to clean up the scant dirt left by the the very occasional guest (what, are you people entertaining theater troups on a nightly basis?) than potentially embarrass a guest in my own home.
This is how I feel, too. I prefer when people take off their shoes, especially since my kids play so much on the floor.. but I don't want to embarass or make a guest uncomfortable. I almost always take off my shoes when I visit someone else.

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Old 01-24-2008, 01:30 AM
 
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It's pretty much just the norm in Canada that nobody wears shoes in the house (we'd be tracking in lots of slush & snow if we did), so it's just never a question, people walk in and take of their shoes. I find it really gross when people wear shoes indoors personally.
Actually, it is not the norm here. Nobody takes off their shoes when visiting and I don't ask them to take them off.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:52 AM
 
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IS it all of Nova Scotia I wonder? A friend of mine lives in Halifax and says it is the norm there as well.

Another thing I don't get is how asking someone to take off their shoes will embarrass someone or make them uncomfortable any more than asking them to take off their coat or have a seat.

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Old 01-24-2008, 02:56 AM
 
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I don't have any problem asking people to take their shoes off. We typically have a few pairs of shoes sitting by the entry door anyway, so that is my guest's first clue. On occassion people haven't taken them off, say my dh's elderly grandparents and I haven't freaked about it. I just tell them about a baby/toddler putting everything in their mouths. Everyone has been understanding and I haven't had anyone seem upset or that I had been rude. Just my 2c.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:59 AM
 
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Another thing I don't get is how asking someone to take off their shoes will embarrass someone or make them uncomfortable any more than asking them to take off their coat or have a seat.
First of all, you don't DIRECT someone to take off their coat or have a seat. You INVITE them to do so, for their comfort.

Secondly, (like I said in my earlier post) if you're unaccustomed to it, you could find it embarrassing for a variety of reasons: socks with holes in the toes, foot-odor, hairy toes with grown-out polish and crusty cuticles and in-growns :Puke... who knows. But, like I said, these are things you probably prepare for when you expect to be taking your shoes off. People in my area don't expect to take their shoes off, so they might be taken off guard and possibly embarrassed. If a guest sees me take off my shoes and my children's, and the guest doesn't follow suit, I figure s/he isn't comfortable doing so and I leave it alone.
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's kinda funny that you put it that way. Where I come from, it's very rude to ask people to take off their shoes. You can set the example, if that's what you want to encourage guest to do, but having been raised to be a "Southern Lady", one would never ask a guest to take off their shoes simply to keep one's house cleaner.

On the other hand, where I come from, no lady or gentleman would ever light up a cigarette in someone else's house without being invited to light up. If you aren't invited to, you step outside. I was raised in KY, south but not the deep south, so I never really thought of these being strictly southern mores. This is particularly funny as KY is still a completely smoking state -- you can still smoke in restaurants even!

*I* get particularly incensed when someone asks me to take off my shoes in their house and their floors are so dirty that my socks get so dirty and crusty that I don't want to put my shoes back on. Now *that's* rude! And it's happened to me more than once!
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I was raised to be a "lady" too !! and its not very "Lady Like" to walk into someones home and all over their floors and carpets with your outdoor shoes. Particularly if you know they have small children crawling around on the floor. ... then again a true "Lady" would know that!
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:30 AM
 
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It's a cultural norm here to remove your outside shoes when entering someone's home. But even in the States, we had a little shoe rack by the door. Most people removed their shoes and some refused.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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Another thing I don't get is how asking someone to take off their shoes will embarrass someone or make them uncomfortable any more than asking them to take off their coat or have a seat.
Taking off your shoes is *very* different than taking off your coat. People can be really funny about feet. Feet are personal. To ask a guest to do something that has the potential of making them feel uncomforable is inhospitable, IMO.

Taking off your shoes is also a sign of extreme relaxation and comfort level. I don't want to take off my shoes and be exposed in someone's house unless it's someone I'm really close to.

Also, I'm a very cold person. I'm cold all the time, even in the summer. Exposing my feet, even in socks, makes this much worse.

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I was raised to be a "lady" too !! and its not very "Lady Like" to walk into someones home and all over their floors and carpets with your outdoor shoes. Particularly if you know they have small children crawling around on the floor. ... then again a true "Lady" would know that!
Hmmm, never heard that. Where I come from, a lady would never remove her shoes in public unless there is a need for having one's feet exposed eg a pedicure.

I understand there are parts of the world that it's the norm. If I were in Japan, I would take of my shoes. In the USA, in every part I've ever been in, it's NOT the norm, not even in parts of the country with snow and slush. You have a door mat outside and perhaps even a rug inside the door and people wipe their feet.

It is kind of funny, though, the passion this topic arouses.
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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I've never actually had to ask someone to take off their shoes when they've come over. If someone didn't take off their shoes, I don't know if I would or not.

It isn't just Japan. It is the cultural norm in most of the world.

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Old 01-24-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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It is the cultural norm in most of the world.
Are you sure? In England and Ireland it isn't. In Australia, it isn't. In the parts of Canada I've visited, it isn't. Where I've been in Mexico, it isn't. It was in Hawaii but that made sense in that everyone was trying to keep the sand out of the house. We were all in flip-flops anyway.

I'm by no means a world traveler but I would think if it's the norm in "most" of the world, I would have encountered it more than the handful of times I have been asked to remove my shoes.

I guess it's just one of those things. I can't explain why I hate it any more than you can explain to me in a way I can understand why it is important to you.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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I've only heard of one Canadian who said it wasn't the norm where they live and that was just yesterday.

In fact, that is one of the things they advise American ex pats in the ex pats groups that meet here.

That's neither here nor there. I don't care what people do or don't do. I care that people, where it is the cultural norm to remove shoes, are being called rude.

I am also blown away that people wear shoes in their own house.

In fact, one reason why it bothers me is something others probably find rude- everyone I know when visiting curls up on the couch or otherwise puts feet on the ottoman or other furniture. I'm sure a lot of people find it rude to put your feet up in other people's houses.

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Old 01-24-2008, 12:40 PM
 
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I'm not 100% sure, but it has been that way everywhere I've been and a quick google search shows most of Asia and most of Europe does it. That is all the information I can find however.

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