Saturday, October 27, 2007

Things That Are Wrong, Part II - The Entertaining Edition



1. Napkin rings and folded napkins. As cute as the little urchins are, I have to say, napkins rings just shouldn't happen. If you need to glitter up the occasion, maybe wear some killer jewelry. And folded napkins... totally go for it if you want to have your table look like a bad Catskills buffet.


2. Wine charms. Seriouly? Can people really not remember which glass belongs to whom? You know what my wine charm is? It's the lipstick stain I leave on my glass.

3. Paper napkins. I know I shouldn't even have to say it, but paper napkins when company is over is, well, not cool. Don't get me wrong, we rock paper-towels-as-napkins when we decide we want pizza for dinner and we're going to eat in front of the TV while we get caught up on episodes of The Office, but real napkins are inexpensive. Make good use of them and be a gracious hostess. And if you haven't spent 30 minutes on a Sunday ironing white cotton napkins, you really haven't lived. Seriously, you don't need that Zen-spa bullshit to relax, you need to do some monotonous homekeeping while listening to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me.

4. These wine ring thingies. The just remind me of cock rings and they seem really uptight. It's like the OCD hostess's version of putting plastic on your couch.



5. The stupid Pottery Barn reindeers. Kill me now.


6. Asking me to take my shoes off at your house. This is my OFFICIAL announcement to all my friends that if you like your carpet or your hardwood floors more than you like me to be comfortable (and by comfortable, that means, keeping on the clothes and accessories I deemed nice enough to wear to your party) then that means you should not invite me.

The shoes-off requirement is so completely offensive. I want to ask these people when exactly did they buy their house at a Christie's auction?? Because only a house with that kind of pedigree could be so precious that it would need to be defended against my Louboutins.

66 comments:

Haydee said...

Uhhh Totally! I couldn't agree more. I especially agree with the ridiculous PB reindeer, they're ugly and for some reason remind me of the crude commercialism and corruption of Christmas..but that's just me. Oh and the shoes, good grief! I'm married to a Polynesian and in their culture it's good manners and respect or something like that, but I wear heels for a reason people...I don't need my pants dragging on the floor and frankly, it makes me feel like I'm in a pajama party and I have to sit Indian style.
(Keep up the excellent Things That Are Wrong and random rants posts, In the world of blogging you are the cool and dangerous girl who I secretly wish was my BFF's with.

Forever Chic said...

Hmm. I hadn't ever seen those wine rings before. Indeed, they are totally OCD and yes, cock ring-like. For that, though, they're kind of fabulous!

erin said...

i completely agreed with every single thing you said, until i scrolled down to the shoe thing. i think it's because i'm canadian, but up here we take our shoes off without being asked. you'd hate it here. honestly, even when people say "oh no, leave them on" i inevitably feel like a total shit clattering around in heels on hardwood in someone's house.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Well, I guess it just confirms what Americans have always thought... that Canadians are totally weird.

Just kidding!!!

I can understand respecting the rule when it's a cultural thing, but honestly hardwoods are called hardwoods for a reason. They are HARD. It's not like we are all flooring our homes with balsa wood.

Tonight, I had 5 kids and 5 adults over to carve pumpkins in my house... there were adults running around with red wine in one hand, and knives in the other, and little kids carving up their pumpkins on my hardwood floors and on my dining table... and you know what? Who cares if we get a scratch. I am a decor freak, but I still think homes are for living, and if that means my friend's bitchy pumps put a dent in my floor, my point of view is that it was meant to be. Homes are for living... and sometimes that means a little scratch and dent. :)

SGM said...

L-O fucking L, Decorno! Esp. on the cock ring comment. And everything else. You articulate so very precisely why all of these things do in fact suck. I HATE being asked to take my shoes off. Grody.

MAds said...

Yes! Houses that can be LIVED IN!!! Why is this such a strange concept to so many? I designed my house around my crazy diner parties, dog and lack of will to do the dishes regularly. My home is modern, but whenever people come over they are shocked at how inviting and warm it is. My house is the only place where I can kick back and relax...I dont want to be on edge about every little thing I do! You are officially added to my favs list!!!

Anonymous said...

My best friends gave me a set of those offensive reindeer plates for my birthday a couple of years ago. I just couldn't stomach them, so I immediately sent them to the local Goodwill. I have been carrying around this secret guilt until now. Thank you for freeing me.

mamacita said...

My sister-in-law keeps giving me those stupid reindeer plates! The first year she gave them, I of course had to say how much I liked them. Well, I guess I'm a better actress than I thought, because now she keeps giving them to me! Argh! I have no idea how to prevent this from happening. And stupid Pottery Barn is laughing all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, none of those things bother me. These are mostly dinner-party things, so to me, the things to focus on are

(1) Someone else is cooking tonight,

(2) the food is going to be better than I'd have otherwise,

(3) the people are likely to be companionable, or at least make good story material.

(And are Pottery Barn reindeer any worse than the grazillion other reindeer, sleighs, Santas, elves, wise men, Northern Stars, tin men, Lords a leaping, and other tchotckes we're going to see in every drug store and grocery store and shopping mall and apartment lobby and office bldg. in the universe?)

erin said...

sgm, going shoeless in a home shouldn't be "grody." and if it is either the people you know have dirty homes, or nasty feet!

Paloma said...

I love your lists so much! I completely agree with this one, though I had never seen those wine rings before.

pvedesign said...

Funny, my sister-in-law attended the black tie Princess Grace Event in NY City last week at Sotheby's and there were silver napkin rings on the table....Apparently they caused quite the stir, since napkin rings are truly meant for a napkin to be re-used and would have the monogram or person's name. That was not the case for this grand soiree. The comment was, "napkin rings are for the peasants"- Leave the napkin rings at home.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

That is a fabulous factoid! And I love the catty "...for peasants" comment. :)

erin said...

re-using napkins is as gross as re-using hankies. hankies are just gross all the time though, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Traveled from NY to South Carolina to a friend's and was so happy to see them! We're at a hotel and they invite us to their home for dinner after a day at the beach together. Really looking forward to it. Until we get to the house and another friend who made the trip with us meets us at the friend's front door to say< "He wants everyone to take their shoes off". Are you kidding me????? I refused. I mean, what kind of hospitality is that? And is his SC house nicer than mine in NY? Not! So my whole family walked in with their shoes on. I mean, come on already!!

Anonymous said...

Are there men out there who would object to taking off their shoes?

Anonymous said...

Thank God there's not a cloth-vs.-paper snobbery over toilet paper.

erin said...

that does it. none of you american shoe-wearer-inners are invited to my place!

Freshly Found said...

Thanks! You have put into words some of the nagging feelings I have had! I so agree about taking your shoes off - or rather - keeping them on! The wine glass id tags too and the serviete rings!

Anonymous said...

I'm not certain where that Canadian who commented earlier is from or why she's speaking for the rest of us, but I will never, ever take my shoes off for anyone--they're a part of my outfit and your joke about Canadians being weird wasn't funny.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

I thought Canadians were known for their sense of humor? Easy tiger! :)

I am glad you're not into the shoes-off thing. It gives me faith in your people again.

erin said...

don't worry decorno, she's clearly from toronto.

decorno.blogspot.com said...

Erin, that made me laugh out loud. :)

Anonymous said...

What a decor freak. You're hilarious. Can't wait for more.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's it, you're not getting invited to my place Decorno! I love to pad around my hardwood floors in bare feet and hate shoes.
#1) I live in a (fab) 1920s building without insulation between floors. So I try to be considerate of my neighbors.

#2) Each shoe tracks in tons of dirt, which then we end up tracking into our bed. (Now THAT'S gross!)

With shoes on hardwood, I find that it has to be all shoes or all bare feet. If you bring shoes in, then you can't be barefoot without getting filthy.

As it is, I vacum at least 2 times a week.

Usually if I ask nicely people comply. The ones who don't are the uptight types who refuse to dance or won't eat cheese.

About the wine cock ring, LOVE IT. Does it really work? Life's too short to spend it soaking my vintage linen table cloth in Biz all the time.

And no, I'm not Canadian!

Anonymous said...

Shoes off rule is my BIGGEST pet peeve!! Don't have people over if you're so concerned with dirt. Just don't. It's RUDE to have people take off their pretty outfit. It's almost as bad as people who think when they're invited to a dinner party that means their children are automatically invited too. Unless the invite states your child's name, then it's adults only and it shouldn't have to be stated. Right?

patricia gray said...

I'm a Canadian and I don't make anyone take their shoes off in my home. If they do I tell them it is at their own risk. It is one of my PET PEEVES!!!!!! So to my horror I went to a party on Saturday ( client's housewarming party) and was asked to take my shoes off. The bottom of my pants dragged on the floor all night, I felt sloppy and undressed,and when I left and had to put my own shoes back on I wanted to ask for a wet wipe to clean the bottom of my feet first. What about bringing along a track suit for such occasions and excuse yourself to the powder room and change, or maybe bring those little disposable booties to put on (the ones that the cable guy puts on when he comes to do a service call) or what about saying good bye immediately upon arrival. Honestly what is one to do? Be Rude or obey the Rules, such a dilema.

Anonymous said...

So you actually think it's okay to walk into a house with the soles of your shoes that have been in contact with spit, dog poo, and the other icky germy stuff people and animals leave out on the streets? Gross... Not happening in my house, whether it be a townhouse or a mansion.

decorno.blogspot.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
decorno.blogspot.com said...

Yes. I do. I think my post made that abundently clear, but I am hapy to reiterate that now for you.

{this is glamorous} said...

I'm a little late coming to this party, but I completely agree with you about the shoes. It's very rude to expect your guests to ruin their silk stockings by having them walk around all evening shoeless. Also, since all my clothes are tailored to my height in heels, it would just be a nightmare! You said it perfectly--a house is made for living, and I would think that if you're afraid of ruining your hardwood, you should'nt invite people over. Great post.

alis said...

making ppl take off their shoes to save the hardwood is silly, but i would never let anyone in my home with shoes, because it's gross! I can only look at the place as a campsite after someone has walked in it with the same shoes they wore at the spot on the street my dog pooped yesterday. but then again.. american streets are 50 times cleaner than Istanbul streets..

Anonymous said...

The no shoes rule should apply to only those that have babies that crawl around the floors and collect all the dirt on there hands and clothes.

Otherwise, I do agree it is annoying unless there is little ones around, then I can respect that.

Anna said...

I'm conflicted about the shoe wearing issue.

One one hand, it's snowy here for many months out of the year (I'm Canadian) so I wouldn't want to track my dirty wet shoes through the house.

On the other hand, at a party where people are dressed up it would be odd to make people wander around barefoot or in their socks :S

Mary T. said...

I have to add another: when someone tells me they are serving "tapas." No, you are not! You're serving appetizers or finger food. Please!

~M said...

I am peeing my pants with laughter over here. Where can I get one of those wine bottle cock rings?

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that the same queens who ask to eat my ass are afraid of germs tracked in off the street. I don't attend sock hops and that label in my shoe is for my eyes, not yours.

My 'things that are wrong' include guest hand towels. Nobody will use them. I usually scrunch up towels just so people don't wipe hands on their pants. The tea towel covering not-for-use towels kind of bothers me as well.

Another wrong thing is the dish you brought for my dinner party. You can't use my stove, refrigerator, or serving dishes. I put a lot of work into this and I'm not ready for your famous risotto. It looks like spanish rice. Leave it at home.

Door hangers bother me. They are people who gravitate towards my doorways and just hover there. I made sure there was plenty of seating throughout the house. Please don't block the doorway. If I throw lit matches at your pashmina we may all need a hasty exit. Oh and what's with the pashmina, Bill?

I respect and understand non-smoking households. I am comfy smoking outdoors. My house is usually non-smoking. I do however make sure there is a comfy smoking lounge for chimney guests. If you do not smoke, you are not allowed in the smoking area. We all know you'll walk around sniffing your sweater for the rest of the evening and giving an old lady cough.

Anonymous said...

I am prone to plantar fasciitis and wear some orthotics to help prevent me from a flare up of it. One night walking bare-foot or stocking-footed on hardwood floors would have me in the podiatrists office begging for a steroid injection. I prefer to keep my shoes on.
A big problem in my home though, as my husband would prefer that I take them off. He is barefoot ALL the time and it disgusts him to walk around barefoot and feel the grossness that is on the floor due to what is tracked in by the shoe wearers in the family. I say - doesnt bug me, keep your shoes on!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Canadian, from Vancouver for the other Cdns who are wondering, and I've never met anybody who wears their shoes into other peoples' homes. I think that's gross and rude. Your shoes are filthy, my home is not.

bethq said...

Wow how old are you people? 3? Didn't your parents ever teach you manners? If you disrespect your "friend" so much that you can't abide by the rules of their house and take your shoes off, how good of a friend are you? So what other ways do you show them disrespect? Are you such a wonderful guest/person that they will gladly make an exception to let you put dents in their floors or walk on their carpets with your filthy shoes just because they are honored that you would attend their wonderful event?I think not. I work hard for what I have and work hard to maintain what I do have. I don't need selfish inconsiderate "friends" to ruin what I have. And they wouldn't. Just as I don't do The whole idea of having guests is to share good conversation, food, drink, laughter and have a memorable time. Do you really think that omg you can't take your shoes off because you have your pants tailored to your shoes. Get real. This gathering isn't about "you" Yes you are a part of it but a part that can be replaced. If your so insecure that you can't stand to be seen without your shoes or heaven forbid your image is tarnished because your pants are too long. What egos you must have. Maybe you just need to decline my invitation. I really probably wouldn't want you there anyway. You wouldn't be comfortable and neither would I. You would probably pick apart every I thing I own behind my back. I don't care who you are or how glamorous you think you are in your own head. It's very simple. You respect me and I respect you. That's what makes us good friends. It's not about taking your shoes off or leaving them on. Its a matter of manners and showing respect. Lack of good judgment on your part speaks volumes of your real character. And for gods sake get a pedicure if your embarrassed of your feet. You are all way to self centered for me.

Decorno said...

Glad to see your sense of humor survived the holidays.

Anonymous said...

My floors are plywood (made from pine, which is NOT a hard wood). I insist that shoes be removed. Even dress shoes leave permanent marks.

Also, the downstairs neighbors hate it when I have a party with tons of clacking shoes above.

Also, shoes track in all sorts of nasty filth (piss, dogshit, spit, etc). I don't want that stuff on my floors or on the paws of my two house cats who like to walk on my pillows.

You're incredibly self-centered and selfish to refuse to see the other side of the issue. You lost a reader (unsubscribed RSS right before posting this comment).

Anonymous said...

holy...somebody's feeling a little cranky. If I wanted to go to a museum, I would...and would enjoy the world class art. But when I go to a friend's home, I would hate to be so damn concerned about their precious floorboards that I couldn't enjoy the party. In heels, of course.

Anonymous said...

Funny how people can get to riled up about shoes - or not shoes.
Some of my friends actually ask if they should take them off when they come over, but I also think it depends on the kind of occasion. If it's something fancy and you are wearing your lovely high heels, keep them on. If it's a casual thing and you come wearing moon boots (and there are 20 inches of snow outside) please take them off. And you will probably be more comfortable with your shoes off anyway.

And unless you have an open wound on your feet a few germs there (especially if you are wearing socks!!) won't kill you. But I do find that GERMOPHOBIA is especially bad in the United States, here in Europe we are a bit more relaxed when it comes to germs.

kalliope said...

So funny reading all the responses, thanks for reposting this one. What I found most silly is the dichotomy in those that think their attention to "party outfits" should take priority over the host's "decor". Perhaps floors should not be taken so seriously... but most likely our shoes aren't helping our outfits as much as we would hope!!!

Anonymous said...

And for gods sake get a pedicure if your embarrassed of your feet. You are all way to self centered for me.

Not only do I hate taking my shoes off, I despise people who don't know the difference between you're and your, or to and too.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it. On the porch, please.

borellana said...

It's about respect and being a good houseguest. Just because you're more comfortable wearing your shoes all over the house doesn't mean you have to impose that on someone else in their house. Having said that, if you require guests to remove shoes (I do, and a lot of other non-European cultures do as well-we're all getting a bit ethnocentric here aren't we?)it's a good idea to have nice house slippers to offer them so they don't have to be embarrassed about the holes in their socks or their snaggly toenails.

Anonymous said...

here's the thing...why can't people just vacuum/sweep/mop/whatever after everyone leaves the party(with their shoes on)?? MOST houses are clean-able.

and if you're walking around with "piss, dogshit, spit, etc" (to quote some angry commenter) on your shoes, maybe you need to pay a little more attention to where you walk. good grief.

Anonymous said...

We've been living in Hawaii for quite a while. Here one automatically kicks off one's foot coverings at the door. It is just being polite within the existing culture.

Perhaps our local concept of "kokua" is of use here: defined as "assistance, help. eg. We need your kokua. Please assist."

After scrolling through and enjoying all the comments, I do think guests should try to accomodate their host's requests, either way.

(But back in Chicago before we moved here, we were asked to leave one apt. for making too much noise on the hardwood floors for the building owners. But that was my brother's visiting dog and my wild vacuuming after dinner. This memory supports one's trying to be kind to the folks below, who may not have been invited to the host's event.)

Mahalo, Decorno, for continuing with Things That Are Wrong.

Anonymous said...

Things that are wrong! Wow you should change your blog name from Decorno to Decornazi. Too many rules for me.

katek said...

Ha, I love how wound up people always get about this issue. We are a shoes-off household, and I argue with my husband about parties because I agree that it sucks to put together a nice outfit and then be all off-kilter and shoeless all night. In fact, I've become pretty attuned to dressing before any house party so that I am ok sockfoot (or tight-foot, more likely) if they are a shoes-off place. But really, I'd rather just clean up after a party and let people wear their shoes if they want. My husband is strongly opposed to shoes in the house even for special occasions. I gave in at our last party because it was sleeting out, and the first few people kicked off their shoes on their own and started a trend, but I never ever force the issue if someone wants to keep shoes on. (Decorno, I'm sorry to answer seriously instead of cleverly!)

halcyon said...

LOVE these subjects. I have very near white carpet even in the dining room. I have a kirby vacuum cleaner that could suck the sin off a soul and a Hoover steam cleaner and a bottle of Resolve. My carpet is crush proof, stainmaster and I've never had a stain I couldn't get out. People start taking their shoes off as soon as the come into the room. I stop them right there. Unless you are from Hawaii (where we took OUR shoes off too) no one takes their shoes off in my house except for comfort (that'a allowed too). I would die before I'd ever insult one of my guests by asking them to take their shoes off in my home. That's one place I think Martha Stewart is dead wrong. It's Rude.

Blake said...

Ok, growing up shoes on were the common, and then I would hear my mom complaining about how nast her carpets were. Uh yeah, we walk in everything all day long (did you know that 70% of grocery carts have fecal matter on them and your touching them). Imagine what your feet are walking through and you take it to your homes---NASTAAAAAAY!!! Then you sit on your floor, children play in the floor (or crawl), I have a big household and we eat on the floor, some Religions (such a mine) pray on the floor with their faces on the ground. As a matter of fact it's strange to leave shoes on in most cultures. You are walking around in the same muck that EVERYONE else is walking in. It doesn't matter your stature or how much money you make, shoes don't discriminate. It's gross!!! I have a big fat chair by my door, if your too big to bend over, too old etc.....sit on the chair and kindly take them off. I don't want myself, family, or you wallering around in my home with caca, pee, spit, gum, or whatever else the thousounds of people walk thru that you then walk thru after them on my floors. Good Day!!!!! Remember, fecal matter on hands 70% and we are suppose to wash our hands. Souls of shoes we do not---GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSS!!!!

Anonymous said...

If any of you no-shoers can prove that someone has ever become sick or died because of what was tracked into a house on someone's shoes, I may consider changing my mind, but for now, keep your shoes on in my house, please!

As long as you wipe your feet at the door and aren't blatantly tracking dog shit and mud into the house, I don't want to see or smell your nasty feet...socks or no socks. I regularly vacuum and have the carpets cleaned at least once a year...seems to do the trick!

And for the people worried about their cats being on the same floor that someone's dirty shoes may have walked on because the poor kitties might then track nastiness onto your pillow....hello!!! I'm assuming your cats piss and shit in a litter box. You're telling me it's okay for their poopy paws to walk on your pillows, but a little street dirt is deplorable? Give me a break!

puck said...

Holy fucking shit on a stick! I just discovered this blog... and I have to laugh at these TTAW threads.

(oh... and admit that I actually wanted the PB reindeer plates until I saw the price. I wanted to use them for the kids table... not for the grown-ups, mind you.)

Anonymous said...

I come from Southern California where you may or may not be asked to take off your shoes and I used to comply either way - that was, until a woman I know was mortified when the barefoot members of her cocktail party all came up with fungal infections after her soiree. Her house is very clean, someone with infected feet padded all over her wood and tile floors, followed by everyone else.
Now I think if people are going to ask you to take off your shoes, they should warn you in advance - because I'm not going.
By the way, I work with a LOT of Canadians and NONE require anyone to remove their shoes.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saying something about the shoes off thing--it's gotten completely out of control.

Last year while I was visiting my parents in Sonoma County for Christmas I got bored and decided to look at some open houses. I was shocked to discover that the realtors posting signs at front doors asking people to remove their shoes.

So naturally, I ignored their request and just walked right in (with my shoes on) and gave them a look that dared them to ask me to take them off. I figure, if I'm thinking of making an eight hundred thousand dollar purchase, I should be able to leave my shoes on.

Megan said...

ok, ok, i HAVE to comment after reading all that! :)

Personally, I'm a bare feet girl, my hubby is a shoe guy. It's ok, we manage. I wash off my feet before I get in bed, and I don't crawl around on the floor. Periodically, I even spray the couch with that febreeze anti-microbial stuff because I put my feet up there so much. When I had cats, I sprayed my pillows every now and then too... nasty cute critters...I'm aware of the germs. I'm also aware that staying too germ free is not good for you either.

My brother-in-law and sister take their shoes off at home, but have never, ever requested that their guests do. In fact, the 3 or 4 times a year when they do have parties, they have their shoes on too so no one's uncomfortable. Floors can be cleaned. It's a balance. I figure they cut down the germs by at least 80% because most of the time its a shoe free home.

I have to say, though, this shoe thing is an opportunity in practicing tolerance. A persons home is their haven. If they have practices that make them more comfortable, then they have that right, as much as you have the right to not go in if taking off your shoes causes offence.

Is this world really coming to a place where people that don't like SHOES in their house are labeled as idiots and those that don't care Nasty freaks??? Does taking off your shoes cause you HARM? Does it affect your life? (other than screwing with your appearence and obviously causing the rare foot fungus?) Does people leaving their shoes on the FEW times you have them in your house really infect your carpet to such an extent that you feel unsafe?

Come on people... can't we all just get along?

Anonymous said...

Wow. You're off my dinner party list, Decorno. I'd be too afraid of offending you with my wine cock ring (or violating any of your other rules).

Orsalia said...

Decorno, you judgemental,intolerant BITCH!!! I think I love you...

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian, I too refuse to take my shoes off.
I didn't arrive to your fancy party after a day of Maple Sugaring in the Bush with snowy wet mucklucks on my feet...I went and spent too much money on clothes, shoes and taxi-cabs with the slight hope that there might be one single desirable straight guy at your dinner party.

Plus like most feet, mine are ugly. Why would you want anyone to take their shoes off?

Calluna said...

Taking your shoes off at Parties is very lower middle class thinking they are upper middle class.
Poor people don't give a shit about their carpets and floors - they have real problems.
Rich people (real money not new money) are too finely bred to ever entertain in socks or expect guests to go sockless.
Your hardwood, softwood and white carpet can all handle shoes.

Anonymous said...

I guess I am a combo. If I invite people over for a party that I know will require them to take time to get dressed up, etc., then by all means, keep your pretty heels on. I figure a little dirt is part of the cost of the party.

But if you're just coming over in your everyday grubbies to hang out, then I prefer shoes off. It's not going to ruin your outfit, and less stuff gets tracked into my place. I must say, though, I'm a little less conscious of this now that I no longer live in SF where it was not uncommon to watch someone hock a loogie on the BART floor, or to have to walk around human feces on a sidewalk.

Now I just worry about wet dirty boots/shoes because I live in a snowy area. For a dressier party I make sure to put ample shoe wiping mats in the entry, but if you're here casually, take those suckers off.

As for other people's rules, I really don't care one way or the other. I figure if I spend too much time at a party worrying about my pantlegs dragging verses enjoying the company, it's probably a shitty party (or I'm a shitty guest), in which case I should put my precious shoes back on and go home. I respect whatever rules make others feel best in their own homes.

Anonymous said...

Shoe removal is a cultural issue and in places such as Japan, there is a clear line between "inside" (intimate, clean, safe haven) and "outside (public, unclean, unpredictable). When one enters a home, you enter a private, intimate space where the requirements of hospitality, consideration and cultural habit make shoe removal mandatory. BUT there are always clean, neat slippers for one to wear and people keep their floors really spotless. Wearing outside shoes indoors is unthinkable and maybe it's a tiny bit like not covering one's head or shoulders in a Catholic church in Italy or showing the bottom of your shoes to someone when you've crossed your legs (considered rude in Mideast cultures); there are specific practices that have evolved over time because of particular beliefs. Acc. to the comments here, there seem to be different practices within North America (such as in Canada and Hawaii)-- so maybe we can think not so much in terms of what's "right" or "wrong" but look at the way people create practices to fit with their sense of what's proper and considered okay within different contexts. (whoa, that was waaay long!) Anyway, interesting to read everyone's comments on this...sensitive topic!

Anonymous said...

"I HATE being asked to take my shoes off. Grody." ARE YOU KIDDING? Do you have any idea where your shoes have been? Do you have any idea how much disease and filth is on the bottom of your disgusting outdoor shoes? No, you OBVIOUSLY do not. But I do.

They have been walking on sidewalks people have spit upon, and in streets full of asphalt and car oil. If you live in the north, you have also walked through slush filled with salt, dirt and detritus, rocks, sand, and grit. If you have been downtown, you have been walking on sidewalks that people have vomited upon, urinated upon, thrown food and cigarette butts upon, and possibly bled upon. For all I know, you put your cigarettes out on the bottom of your shoe. If you have been walking in the uptown areas in a grassy park, you have been walking in dog piss and poop. You have walked in the steps of other people, who had urine, blood, vomit, dog feces, rotted food, bubblegum, asphalt and car oil, tobacco, and god knows what else on the bottoms of their shoes. And I'm not even discussing the people who walk in sewers for a living, and then track that on the sidewalks or even INTO PEOPLE'S HOUSES. Or walk through anthills without thinking and then track the biting little buggers into my house.

Then, there's the allergens you track in walking through the flowers (none of that walking on sidewalks for you). And I'm allergic to all of it--cedar, oak, dog dander, you name it. Plus of course, most flowers and other gardens are fertilized with either horse shit or commercial chemical fertilizers, just the stuff I want in my house.

What the hell are you thinking? Why on earth would you think it's okay to track filth, disease, and even carcinogens into the home of your purported friends who ask you politely not to? Because if you actually do, you're much more grody than I can possibly imagine. Not to mentions, the rudest people on the planet. Seriously.

My carpets and floors have never been stood upon by outdoor shoes. I provide little elasticized booties. No one's going to get a fungus. My grandbabies crawl on those floors. I KNOW what's been on my floors, and I clean them regularly. When was the last time you cleaned the bottoms of your shooes? The answer to that is never, and you know it.

This is less to the point, because it's not really about things, it's about health. However, are you aware that when women first started wearing stillettos, in the fifties, large office buildings and hotels banned them wholesale? at 800# plus pounds per square inch, they were ruining the thin marble and granite floors in the halls of old buildings. Not to mention the hardwoods, which dent at far less pressure--it's wood, not steel. Women actually got in the habit in large cities (including NYC) of carrying a pair of non-stillettos for indoor use in office buildings.

Plus, many of the newer carpets (I'm thinking particularly of berber here) are easily snagged by high heels--a strong reason not to get berber, but some people have it, and they don't deserve you snagging it. Why should someone with white carpets have to clean them because you're too lazy or bitchy to take your shoes off in their home?

I'm sorry that you have so little care for my health, my grandchildren, my things, your own friends, and your own small children. Easy for you to do. If are okay with me tracking that crap into your house, I'll be happy to do so. But my own spouse does not wear his shoes in my house, and I love him far more than I love you. Take off your shoes, or don't come in.

Anonymous said...

I work at a funeral home. People at my work go to the coroners to pick up bodies. Who knows what's on those floors. And then I walk where they walked. I REFUSE to wear shoes in the house.
I walk downtown on sidewalks that reek of piss. People walk on hospital floors. I'm with all those who don't want to lounge in piss, blood and people/animal/bird shit, drag it into their beds and sleep in it. Bleh!