Once upon a time—what seems like a million years ago—I was invited to have a play date with a new girl in school. I rode my bike down the street to her house, rang the doorbell, and patiently waited outside.
As the door swung open, I was met by a small square of paper towel on the floor and was told to stand on it until I had taken my shoes off. Astonished and confused, I obeyed—terrified that a tiny morsel of dirt from my shoes would somehow make it onto the pristine white flooring.
Unlike my friend, I grew up in a very casual household when it came to dirt. We all had a mutual understanding that life was messy and that this was the reason we owned a mop and a vacuum. Of course I would take my shoes off when entering someone else’s home, but until that day, I didn’t realize how serious others were about the rule.
There are certain circumstances where I can understand the strict no-shoe policy—a new baby in the home, renters that are afraid of not getting their deposit back, even sufferers of severe allergies. But isn’t it taken a little too far when you feel the need to take off your shoes to grab something less than ten steps away? If dirt is the concern, what about pants that touch the floor?
And what about guests? In some debates I came across, the no-shoe clan had come up with ideas on how to tell their guests to ditch their shoes at the door. Some say to post a sign, others say to provide slippers, and there are some who say to write it on the invite.
What do you think? Do you or don’t you allows shoes in your home, and why? Are you a strict no-shoes-in-the-house kind of person or someone that’s OK cleaning up the mess? Let us know in the comments below!