Hospitality is extremely important to me, and I strive to be a gracious host to everyone. As a result, I try very hard to impose little to no restrictions on guests when they are over, but there is one rule I cannot sacrifice, and when violated activates my inner Faye Dunaway (as Joan Crawford): You need to take your damn shoes off when you’re in my home.
I will offer you my last glass of wine. I will give you the best seat on the couch. If you stay over, you will sleep on a very comfortable guest bed with good clean sheets, and I’ll make you breakfast in the morning. All I ask is that you take your damn shoes off when you’re in my home.
Yes, I cringe when you leave the seat up in the bathroom (the particles you’re flushing also travel up and out as far as 15 feet as you send them down, the seat is there to stop that) so I’ll hide my makeup brushes before you come over, and wash the hand towels after you leave, but I’ll say nothing. I’ll say nothing about water stains if you put your glass on the wooden coffee table, but simply offer you a coaster for your drink. I’ll even corral the pets into the bedroom before you come over because your comfort is more important than their ability to roam free if that’s your preference (and I’ll do it without you having to ask.) However, if you wear shoes past the obviously designated shoe zone in my home, I will ask you if you were raised in a barn. I can’t help myself, so deep is my hatred for shoes worn inside.
I do not understand people who wear shoes in the home, especially one that’s not their own. Why are you bringing the filthy outside onto your floors? Ninety-three percent of shoes, if worn for more than a month, contain fecal matter on the soles not to mention pollen and other allergens…which are now tracked onto your floors, because you’re wearing shoes in the house. No thank you.
There are really only two exceptions to this blanket policy of no shoes worn in the home. The first is obviously any emergency (firefighters are openly encouraged to wear shoes at all times, especially if they are in my home); the second is if I am throwing a party (one that came with invitations, not a casual get together of pizza and movies) because it’s unreasonable to expect multiple guests to take their shoes off (especially the firefighters I frequently have mixers for), particularly if the shoes were chosen to coordinate with the outfit. That’s about it. For all other occasions, you need to take your damn shoes off.
Taking your shoes off should be the default habit of anyone entering another person’s home. This is the hill I’m willing to die on when it comes to house rules. What’s yours?
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