I need to know when you’re going to ask me to take off my shoes.

I’ll admit it.  Unusual thoughts come to me when I look long and hard at my toes.  

Thought of the morning:

When a hostess sends an invitation for an event at her house, she needs to indicate not only whether the event is formal or casual, but also whether or not she’s going to prefer her guests to take off their shoes upon entering.

Hear me out.  I have two cats and two dogs.  Our house has hard wood floors.  This combination is both a blessing and a curse.  Blessing: I love them both.  Curse: They don’t always love me back.  Take, for instance, my cats.  Samson and Emma use the litter box, yes; but sometimes the litter gets stuck between their toes.  We all know that the litter won’t loosen until they’ve made their way to the other end of the house, right?  It’s just a sad trail of litter.  (Which was quite depressing until I got the Roomba.)  On the other hand, my dogs are constantly running back and forth between our house and the yard.  You can’t always see the floors getting dirty right away, but I wouldn’t recommend walking around in white socks.

For these two reasons, neither Brian nor I ever ask our guests to take off their shoes.  Heavens, no!  For the love of everything good and holy, please keep your shoes on at my house!  Otherwise we’ll both be embarrassed.

Well, one of the problems with being a square piece is that I mistakenly assume that everyone thinks along the same lines as I do.  Since I’ve never wanted guests to take off their shoes, nobody does, right?  Not right.  There happen to be people who exist in the world with nicer floors than mine; and they intend to keep them that way.  And, ya know, if my  floors were so nice, maybe I’d do the same.  I have no qualms accommodating you folks.  My complaint is not the cleanliness.  It’s when the cleanliness is sprung on me… unannounced.

I mean, what if I’m wearing black suede knee high boots, but secretly I’m wearing white athletic socks inside (cause we all know they’re cushier)?  Or what if I was walking on my own floors before coming to your house and, in a hurry, I forgot that the bottoms of my socks looked dirty?  Or what if one of my socks had a gigantic hole in the big toe, but I couldn’t stand to part with them ’cause I like that they say, “There’s nothing like a hot cup ‘o Joe” on top?  Or what if my toenails look antiqued from suffocating under red nail polish three months ago?  Or what if I’m wearing leggings and the only way to make my hips look in proportion is to wear boots?  Or what if I’m secretly wearing candy cane socks in July?  Hmmm?  HMMMMM?!

*pant*  *pant*

All I’m saying is… don’t spring this on me.  Consider the square pieces in your life.  Do us the courtesy (be it a formal or verbal invitation) and warn us if you’re going to want us to be shoeless.  I’d like a fair shot at coming across as normal as possible in such a socially uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing situation.





  1. December 2, 2011

    wow. I am amazed. Someone else feels just like I do! So know that when you come to our house, unless your boots/shoes are muddy or full of snow/slush….keep them on! please 🙂 I am finding that there is a cultural thing up here that isn’t everywhere, also…different cultures consider it an insult for you to keep your shoes on in their house.

  2. December 2, 2011

    i’ve got bad knees and HATE it when my hosts expect me to remove my shoes (and don’t even provide a place to sit dfown when i do it). when i was a child and went to my friends’ houses, we were expected to take off our shoes if we were going in the areas where there was carpeting–as a result, i swore that when i grew up i’d NEVER tell anyone that they had to take off their shoes in my home.

    thanks for addressing one of my pet peeves!

  3. December 2, 2011

    don’t know how the “tradition” for taking off shoes got started at our house when we have our small group meetings … I guess folks came in and saw us without shoes and thought they should take theirs off, too??? 🙂

    I noticed that their shoes are staying on more now though … must be the colder weather. 🙂

  4. December 6, 2011

    is it bad i could hear your voice in my head when i was reading? haha… funny funny lady.

  5. December 15, 2011

    I could totally hear (and see) you telling this story. I could hear the panting. Yesterday when my friend was over, she had black socks on, otherwise I was going to tell her to keep her shoes on because I didn’t want her to dirty her white socks on my floors. (And with Bubba living in the basement I had no fear of dog hair appearing on her black socks)

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