Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Burning Question Of The Day: To Bare Or Not To Bare Soles...

{If you're wondering what this image has to do with anything,
read on..}

Well here we are -- at almost one week until the
BIG DAY...

We wait for and long for it all year it seems, but now that it is just
around the corner I almost wish I could go back at least one month -- just to have
THAT MUCH MORE time to savor the anticipation.

It has been a busy time with the store, but fun as always.

I love this time of year when I wonder who is getting the things people buy
as gifts -- knowing that the box we ship ultimately will be placed under someone's tree

and be
privvy to the warm, loving family times and gatherings up until the 25th, wondering what their expression will be like when they open it, and then thinking of how the person
will use or display their new gift.

Yes,  ALL those "deep ponderings" and more with each gift that is wrapped
and shipped from here.

And as we near Christmas, the shipping gears are finally going to
slow to a halt and rest a spell.

As my sweet friend, Maylene, said to me tonight:

"You need to take some time for yourself this season, Ruth.  You don't want
Christmas to come and go and just run off your back without any of it
settling in at all...."

Wise woman.  Great words!   :)

She also asked me if my tree was up yet.  Yes, it is but not as many as some years.
And as we were closing our conversation I concluded that perhaps instead of
putting anymore TREES up, maybe I'd concentrate on putting my FEET up.


You know, you can almost solve the problems of the world with a chat with a friend.   :)

So, in keeping with her sage advice, beginning at noon this coming
Saturday, the 18th, orders received in will likely not ship out
until after Christmas.

SO, if there is ANYTHING you still want to purchase, please try and do so
before noon on Saturday.
Much obliged.  ;)

Now.... A BURNING QUESTION FOR YOU....

I am a very avid Facebook user and one day last month a question was posed by
House Beautiful magazine, inviting the readers to weigh in on this:

"WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE 'NO-SHOES-IN-THE-HOUSE' RULE?"

Well... THAT question certainly incited quite a response!

I delivered my "two-cents' worth" on the subject a few times throughout the dialogue
and boy was it interesting to see the diverse opinions on what proved to be for some
a VERY hot-button issue!

And at this party-prevelent time of the year, when having guests in and out of our homes is
the norm, it was especially interesting to
read how many staunch shoes-must-come-off responses there were.

For what it's worth, these were my contributions to the discussion:

 "For the living-in-the-house, immediate family, fine, whatever they choose; but when they try to extend the house-rules to guests... no way, total faux pas and very presumptuous to assume that your guests are going to be okay with baring their "soles" to the world when visiting you. I say RELAX, people... it's not like we plan on marching through mud-flats before entering on your precious floors! ;) 




Hospitality first... over-the-top concern about your floors is not hospitable 
in my humble opinion."    ;)


A woman brought up a great point when she said she wears 
corrective shoes and it is just very difficult to get them off and on and rarely 
does someone have a bench at their front door to sit on, making her have to
resort to sitting on the floor to remove her shoes.
{Okay, I have to say, if someone is making her do that, then...
shame on them. My goodness...}




Then there was a gal from Canada who commented that up there it is the norm and 
no one would dare think of wearing shoes inside!  {Okay my Canadian friends,
is this accurate?}


So I wrote...



 "Okay... I have a serious question here... I live in Florida, so I guess I never considered the whole snow/slush thing, but... what about if you have a nice party? People are dressed up, etc... tell me you don't make them take their shoes off even then. Please. Tell me you wouldn't."


There were more than a few who voiced great concern over bacteria and germs
being brought in via footwear and even clothing.  One even commented that they
change out of their clothing and shoes immediately upon arrival back home, into
their "house clothes" in an effort to keep away contamination.


Now let me say here that I completely understand special situations in which there may be
a person in the home with life-threatening conditions that require the utmost care in
keeping contaminants and bacteria to a minimum.
Who on earth would argue that they of all people have every right to make
any special request they care to when a life is at stake.


But to ask visitors/guests to remove their shoes at the door (especially for some on just
their first or second visit) would honestly almost be a deal-breaker for me.




One person readily admitted holding to the no-shoes rule because they have
nice new white carpeting and didn't want it soiled.


{I have soooo much I would say here... but I will be good...}


Well, I actually think I did reply to that person's comment -- 
something to the affect that unsuspecting guests to their home should not
be penalized for their guest-unfriendly choice of flooring, and perhaps
they might like to have their guests simply hover over their precious
pristine carpets while visiting, if such an ability existed.


My thought was that mandating a no-shoes policy for anyone other than
those living at the home was akin to elevating the home, it's contents,
and it's furnishings above the importance of genuine hospitality.


My daughter used to occasionally visit a friend's home that had the 
no-shoes-inside policy and it was also awkward for us.



And there was ALWAYS a huge pile of shoes outside the
front door of their otherwise gorgeous home.


At the end of a visit, one was left clamoring through a pile of 
shoes not belonging to you and it was rather, well.. 
icky.


I have a feeling this subject may be divided even down
regional lines.  I suspect that in the South we may be a bit less
prone to require shoes off upon entering
I don't have this as scientific data, but as a girl from the 
South, it would just never fly to stop someone at the door
and ask them to remove a major article of clothing.


Don't get me wrong -- if you could secretly video me during any given week,
you'd find that my shoes are off 90% of the time.
UNTIL...
I find out someone is coming over.
Then, the mad rush to grab shoes, fix hair, makeup, etc.
begins... but there will ALWAYS be shoes found and
worn.


And when the person leaves, OFF go the shoes again.   :)


But it has nothing to do with anything other than it just feels good.


Unless.... and here is where it gets personal to the situation.
If you are family, or super-long-time friends, and you've been here
a "billion" times before, chances are we'll relax our rules a bit
and perhaps visit sans shoes.


But for the most part, I'm taking the side of wishing to 
keep my shoes on, please.  For me it just seems awfully 
personal to ask me to remove my shoes at your door.
I guess that's more of me than I care to share ---
and it sure ruins the otherwise great, pulled-together look
of an awesome outfit!  Hee - hee!!   :)


So do tell, friends ---
what's YOUR spin on the issue?


Are you shoe-less in Seattle?
Barefoot in Bakersfield?
Well-heeled in Williamsburg?


I'm dying to know!


:)



  

28 comments:

Retreat said...

As a matter of fact, I AM shoe-less in Seattle! And for several years in the 80's, I WAS Barefoot (and pregnant)in Bakersfield! I would also venture to say that given the chance, I would definitely be
Well-heeled in Williamsburg!

I TOTALLY agree with you, Ruth. Hospitality comes first, not your decor. I expect to remove my shoes or pull little blue paper sockettes over them when I am viewing model homes or on a 'Home Tour' for a charity - but NOT at a friend's home. And I can't imagine asking my GUESTS to do so. (she faints).

I LOVE being barefoot or in my sock feet... and have been so even when entertaining. But it's entirely up to my guests to join me, or to keep their FABulous shoes ON.

{PS: Are those your legs and feet up in those photos? DAYUM, girl! ;0) } Deb @ Retreat

Smith said...

We like to take our shoes off when we get home to relax. If you have a no shoe policy you should provide seating area to change and provide clean slip-ons so they don't have bare feet its more polite than people bringing in dirt and other things on their shoes to rub onto your carpet or flooring. I was against taking my shoes off at a friends home in a distant land. Until I realized it meant you'd relax like it was home to you as well while respecting that family.

Kat said...

I could not imagine asking a guest to remove their shoes before entering my home. If they want to, that is another thing. I hate having to remove my shoes at someones home. If your house cannot tolerate my shoes, someone has made a huge design error and it should not be taken out on me! When I purchase an outfit, it usually includes footwear, if I take off the shoes, it looks silly to be standing around all dresses up and made up in stocking feet. Whats next, I just had the carpets cleaned in the car...do you mind?





http://kathleenjackson.blogspot.com/

Pansy Cottage Girl said...

Wow, thats interesting. I just want to know if those are your beautifully pedicured feet in the first image? Were you a shoe model in another life?

north pal said...

well.... Ruth, this is what i think. my home is an old farm house with hardwood floors and a braided wool rug between the dining room and living room. so, when friends or family come, they always start taking off their shoes and i say no no keep your shoes on. you will be warmer, besides where will you put a pile of shoes with a small kitchen entry? keep the shoes on. if you feel like removing them,that's o.k.cuz then you put feet an all up on the furniture and be cozy. i know of a person that has white carpet in her living room and no one is allowed in there. WHY? also, i believe you have been very generous in letting customers shop as late as the 17th. you deserve time with preparations and the anticipation of the coming event. Thank you,Ruth

KarenSue said...

I don't want to see anyone's cracked heals and dirty feet. I also live in Florida and don't wear socks so I don't want you to see my cracked heals. I can understand in the north during the winter but you usually have socks on.
Enjoy your holiday!

mari said...

i totally agree with you, ruth. guests should NEVER have to remove their shoes.

we have family and long time friends who like to remove their shoes and bring slippers or cozy socks to wear when they visit. when the kids were little we had them remove their shoes when they came in from playing (usually in the woods or mud) and as adults they still do. it is just cozier that way. i, personally love to be barefoot on my freshly cleaned wood floors, i just love how it feels!

blessings to you! have a beautiful Christmas!

The Flying Bee said...

Are you kidding? I would never ask a guest in my home to take their shoes off...and I am a total freak about germs, but still....never would I ask someone to do that. I totally agree with you on this one. :)

Merry Christmas Ruth!

xo,
Barefoot in the Bayou

A Vintage Mood said...

You made so many excellent points on this subject. It has always irked me whenever I am asked to remove my shoes, but I just thought I was a rebel. But you're right, it is inhospitable to imply that floors and furnishings take precedence over people.

So glad to hear you're taking time off from shipping to enjoy this beautiful season. Merry Christmas! ~Ann

Rita said...

I am still shocked and I will never forget after 17 years, when I went to my....and he asked me to take my shoes off. And my mamma was visiting from Italy and I tell you she is so proper, shock was all over her face. ARE YOU CRAZY? It's rude to ask. Are they trying to make you feel comfortable? NOT
I would love to go barefoot in my home in Cali but with the dogs in the house the floors are not that clean. SO please keep your shoes on when you come and visit me in Rainbow. Whatever your tradition is....Ciao Rita

JCS said...

We're a no shoes family, but for no other reason than we all love having barefeet (inside and outside). We've got lovely soft carpet and it really is nice to feel it underfoot too.

We have some friends that automatically take their shoes off, usually because that's what they do at their own home.

I would never expect visitors to take their shoes off. Besides, I would rather have dirt on the floor than smell some people's feet :)

Merry Christmas. Judith

Just Ask Beth said...

I think it is absolutely in poor taste to ask someone to remove their shoes.. enough said!

NicNacManiac said...

Well...I live in Canada and yes the weather is sometimes a pain. I've found that when people visit and it is especially terrible outside and they have worn boots...they do take them off, but, they have brought footwear to change into and sometimes they are beautiful shoes with high heels to compliment their outfit or at other times they are comfortable slippers to keep their tooties warm if the floor is going to be cold where the carpets may end and you are on bare floor!
I would NEVER ask a guest to remove their shoes, as a matter of fact, I insist they keep them on when they come in and it is entirely up to them and their comfort level.
Great topic!
Enjoy the Holiday Season...with or without your shoes...just make sure those tooties look purdy!!
xOxO Nerina

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Shoes are meant to be worn. Vacuum cleaners were invented to clean floors. I would never ask anyone to take off their shoes unless, of course...mud or snow was an issue.
And that's my 52 cents! :)

The Joy of Nesting said...

Good for You Miss R!!!!

The only thing we get to take with us is the memories we have made!! But ya first have to take the time to make the memories!!

I'm with ya all the way Miss R. Boy in this culture no I mean no one would ever be so presumptuous as to make people take their shoes off! In fact shoes are worn almost all the time, one never knows what critter might be looking at setting up homesteading rights!!:)

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

freckled laundry said...

Happy to read that you're going to take some time for yourself and relax. Your sweet soul deserves at least that. As for the shoes, I live in New York and as a habbit/custom in the winter time, we remove our shoes as to avoid tracking in the snow. I actually keep a pair of slippers in my purse. HOWEVER, I would NEVER ask a guest to remove his or her shoes. I would rather get down on my hands and knees and scrub the floor afterward. Hospitality far out ways a pristine home. Good grief.

Merry Christmas,
Jami

Celestial Fundy said...

Is it really such a horrible, terrible and horrendous thing to take your shoes off? Anybody would think that you are talking about asking guests to bathe in icy water.

I am sure all you people who complain about removing shoes in homes love going barefoot on the beach.

I have an whole blog about removing shoes in homes: Shoes Off at the Door, Please Please visit for more on the subject.

FRENCH LAUNDRY said...

At home, I am usually shoe-less or in slippers as are the other members of my family. But I seriously cannot imagine asking someone over and expecting them to take their shoes off, particularly at a party or social event. I plan my outfit head to toe and that includes the perfect footwear. If your floors are that precious, you certainly should not be inviting others over to your home. If anyone wants to ditch their shoes at my home, they are more than welcome, but I would never require it as the price of admission (tacky IMHO).

That's my 2 cents worth and then some. Merry Christmas! Put those tootsies up and enjoy the week!

Judy

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Interesting topic, Ruth. I don't request anyone to take off their shoes when they come in my house. I sometimes use Peapod to deliver my groceries {our food store here, Stop and Shop's, delivery division}. Really? Are you going to ask a guy trying to carry twelve bags of food into your house on 2 hooks to take off his shoes?

On the other hand, my kids have friends over who are used to taking their shoes off at home, so they do it at my house. I like to have something on my feet, in the Summer it's usually flip flops, I go outside in them and I wear them in the house. In the Winter months I usually wear my slippers in the house, but that's just because I want to be cozy.

There's probably more germs on your desk at work or on the shopping cart you've just pushed around for an hour than on your shoes.

Girl Meets Paris said...

It's shoes off for the ones living IN my house... that's it! I would never ask a guest to remove shoes.

I have been known to stay in my socks when throwing a party, but I guess I throw pretty casual parties!

I have a friend with gorgeous very dark wood floors. She always mentions my shoes if I stop by. Once I was drying off my hands in her kitchen, and she jumped up to see if any tiny droplets fell to the floor. I won't even mention how nerve-wracking it is when I have my teenage daughter with me... I'm a wreck the whole time...guess what??? I have quit going over there... just too scary! Life is TOO Short!

Simply Stated ~ Rebecca said...

May I add another twist? When we had new carpeting installed in our home we knew the owners of the company who installed it. They specifically asked us if we were a "shoes on in home or shoes off in home". They then went on to tell us that carpeting is actually made or designed to withstand the wear and tear of dirt and grime from shoe traffic and the cleaning expected to handle this type of soiling. They also went on to mention that going barefoot actually creates more staining and odors as a result of body oils coming into contact with the fibers.
As for me...It depends on my mood ~ I go barefoot as long as I possibly can but as soon as the weather turns and becomes too cold it's shoes on most of the time...as long as I don't have excessive snow or mud from working out side...but definitely a keep your shoes on for guests kind of person!
I want my guest to be comfortable and feel welcome and have fun besides that ~ having a 150 year old home well, sometimes the floors just aren't that warm....and personally, I hate having the shoe piles at the door; not only is it unattractive, it's not safe.
Wishes to you for a Joyous holiday season Ruth. Sending hugs to you and your family too ~ Merry Christmas!!!! Rebecca

Simply Stated ~ Rebecca said...

May I add another twist? When we had new carpeting installed in our
home we knew the owners of the company who installed it. They
specifically asked us if we were a "shoes on in home or shoes off in
home". They then went on to tell us that carpeting is actually made or
designed to withstand the wear and tear of dirt and grime from shoe
traffic and the cleaning expected to handle this type of soiling. They
also went on to mention that going barefoot actually creates more
staining and odors as a result of body oils coming into contact with
the fibers.
As for me...It depends on my mood ~ I go barefoot as long as I possibly
can but as soon as the weather turns and becomes too cold it's shoes on
most of the time...as long as I don't have excessive snow or mud from
working out side...but definitely a keep your shoes on for guests kind
of person!
I want my guest to be comfortable and feel welcome and have fun besides
that ~ having a 150 year old home well, sometimes the floors just
aren't that warm....and personally, I hate having the shoe piles at the
door; not only is it unattractive, it's not safe.
Wishes to you for a Joyous holiday season Ruth. Sending hugs to you and
your family too ~ Merry Christmas!!!! Rebecca

Country Livin' said...

well this is an interesting subject indeed. I am totally a shoe on person and I cant stand it when people ask me to take my shoes off when they come down the stairs with a fab pair of shoes on that match their outfit and I am forced to walk around all evening in my socks. in my opinion the shoes are part of the outfit and one should never be asked to take their shoes off and if one is so worried about durtinging their carpet then get dark coloured carpets or hardwood floors..I am on well heeled girl in Canada!!

rochambeau said...

Hello Lovely Ruth,
Just dropping by to with you a Merry Christmas!to you and your family~! I'll especially be thinking of you this year!
Love,
Constance


About the shoes. I agree with your thoughts.

Jennifer Pearson Vanier said...

We do not often wear our outside shoes in the house, but we do live in the country, Canada at that, and the weather often does not encourage outside shoe wear inside. That being said, my dear hubby and son number three have issues with the time to remove their work shoes when stepping in briefly and then putting them on again so therefore we do not have the cleanest of floors. As well we have three dogs and they do not remove their shoes either. I never ask my guests to remove their shoes unless they want to. My friends know that I have extra slipper socks or they bring along their own "inside wear" to be most comfy here. We also have an extra "season" out here in the country, it is the mud season. No outside shoes inside then! Slippers all around.
Merry Christmas!

Rachel said...

~**~Shoeless in Seattle!! lol..loved your post!~*~I prefer people to remove their shoes..Im quite the germ phobe..ugh..its true.But I am not a shoe nazi or anthing..if people dont remove their shoes..its ok.I just make sure to clean up later if necessary!;) Hugs, Rachel~*~*

*French Farmhouse 425*

Evi said...

Hi Ruth,
I am catching up with all my blogger friends.
First I would like to wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year.
Gosh, I would love to have you over for a cup of tea....and of course have Laura here too.
I think we could probably talk to the next morning.....and yes, you can leave your shoes on.
Just been reading the "shoe issue".
My grandkids learned to take their shoes of at an early age. They still do. In Japan and also still many places in Europe people leave their shoes at the door.
Although I have never asked anybody to take their shoes of, I appreciate when people simply do.
We live in a cold climate with often heavy snow and muck and wooden floors. It is not the cleaning, it is the high cost of redoing a wood floor.
So, I find it a thoughtful gesture when guests do it on their own.
I don't think it makes me a bad hostess, as anybody that has been visiting us could tell you....and if you want to leave them on....that is fine too.
There are always different views on everything, this is just mine...
Warm wishes for a happy 2011,
Evi

Tamra said...

Many years ago I too had a no shoes policy to avoid any marks on my light carpet. I found that it was very inconvenient to many people, I hated to watch people dig through the basket of shoes (yeah, ick) and I also found that my carpets got dirtier from the natural oils on peoples feet (yep double ick).

Over the years I grew to love my hardwood. Easy and no worries except maybe some scratches. So last year when we put down the flooring in our barn/home, I made a big decision. Pine plank floors with a waxed finish in every room. I wouldn't have it any other way. I want not only my guest to feel at home but most importantly I want my husband to feel at home and telling him to take his boots off everytime he comes in is not in my opinion very homey. These floors take a beating but every mark looks amazing each time I rub a little wax into it.

The first thing people say when they walk in is "Wow, I love your floors".
Thank you, now make yourself at home.