quote:The general rule in the USA is that guests remain shod while visiting.
Really? Whenever we've lived in the States, our circle of friends seemed to mainly consist of those who just removed their shoes at the door in a practiced manner, as though they were used to it. With our collection of wool and silk hand-woven carpets, we prefer to be a non-shoe household, but we do not insist on it. If someone asked, as a hostess, I left the decision up to them, saying they didn't have to, but could if they wanted to. That way, they could decide what they were comfortable doing. Those that asked were reassured that they were fine if they did not, but we let it go after that. If a guest insists on removing their shoes after we've told them they don't need to, arguing is just not hospitable.
However, if you live out in the Real World where apparently this doesn't happen, and you want someone to remove their nasty wet, muddy shoes before they track it all over your house, might I suggest you go about it the way the Turks do--have some house shoes available for your guest as a nice replacement. All in the name of hospitality. They don't have to be anything fancy; heck, some of ours are slippers we've picked up from various hotels. It is a pleasant thing to do, and hopefully your guests will appreciate the gesture and your concern for their comfort.
Posts: 3862 | Registered: Jul 2001
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Most of my friends live in no-shoe homes. Unless I see them wearing shoes when I arrive, I assume that they will want me to take mine off.
I do suggest to my friends that they leave their shoes on in my apartment. I know I'm not as meticulous of a housekeeper as others, largely because I work full time outside of the home and there just isn't enough time for everything.
Posts: 1100 | Registered: Aug 2009
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It really depends on what area of the country you live, but I also think it is changing with time. Growing up I never saw people take off shoes unless they were in their own homes. Now I see it done in about a quarter of the houses I go to, usually in homes where people are my age (44) or younger. We don't do shoes in our house.
And yes, I agree that you shouldn't be asking people to take off shoes unless they really are a big mess.
quote: But the United States of America, excepting perhaps coal country, is not one of those places.
The custom where I live is to take shoes off. And I do live in the United States of America. I do not consider it rude to ask or be asked to remove shoes In fact, I'd consider it rude if someone was offended that I ask - they never would be though as it is just the expectation that you remove your shoes. A nice touch would be to have some peds available for those that would like them but I am not that organized or thoughtful. As for the point that the host is required to make the guest comfortable, even it it makes you uncomfortable. Poppycock. The same argument used to be said about smoking - even if you didn't smoke, it was assumed you'd have ashtrays for those that did, regardless that the smoke would ruin your furniture, walls, lungs, etc.. All that dirt, mud and other sundry stuff on the bottom of shoes damage floors and as well as bringing in allergens. My home. My rules. (actually, if you visit my house, I'll tell you to leave your shoes on as I have a big dog that brings all that stuff in on the bottoms of his feet.)
It never occurred to me that people take off their shoes in other people's homes. Hubby and I take ours off as soon as we get home because it's just more comfortable! I've never taken mine off at other people's houses. I guess I'd better start noticing the modus operandi at other people's homes.
Posts: 2712 | Registered: Feb 2000
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There's one branch of my family that is American, (or USAmerican, as Jana says ), and they love to tease us when family comes down to visit them, "We can tell the Canadians are here because of the massive pile of shoes at the door!"
Even though my cousins wear shoes in their home and we know that we could too when we visit them, none of us can do it. It feels extremely awkward to have shoes on inside, and incredibly disrespectful to me.
I'm grateful that Cyndie made that distinction about different parts of the world, because if you walked into my house with shoes on, after getting over the surprise that someone would do that, I'd be asking you to remove them. (And if memory serves correctly, I think I did ask Boardmadd to take his shoes off when he spent an evening with us a few months back. And because he's a very classy guy, it was no big deal.)