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Is it so bad to ask someone to take off their shoes in your home?

(563 Posts)
BlueVernis Wed 05-Dec-12 11:58:21

As huge row has broken out between my sister inlaw (SIL) and myself, after I asked her to take of her shoes when she came to my house!
She came over with a few other inlaws late one night as they were passing by. It was raining outside and we have carpet in our living room, which is quite new. Also, my kids like to play on the living room carpet.
My SIL came in and I asked her if she could take her shoes off. She told me that it was a hassle to take of her shoes. I just looked at her and said in a half joke-half serious way that I would have to get some kitchen roll and wipe her shoes then. Then I left her in the hallway and went to the kitchen to put the kettle on.
A few minutes later I heard her screaming at DH in the hallway, saying that I insulted her by not allowing her into my home and I have no right to ask her to take her shoes off as she is the older SIL. She rang my MIL and was going on and on that I had insulted her etc.
She then went outside, shouting and yelling (I'm sure the neighbours loved it!) and sat in the car and refused to come in.
I'm fuming with her behaviour as I don't think my request was wrong. I have been brought up to take off my shoes in other people's homes, and I even make my kids do the same, whether the house they go to are carpeted or laminated.
Was I being unreasonable?

RobotLover68 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:00:21

I think it's rude - sorry - but your SIL was being ridiculous and over-reacting

chrismissymoomoomee Wed 05-Dec-12 12:01:18

I would hate to be asked to take my shoes off in someones house. It seems a bit precious to me.

Your SIL sounds quite immature though.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 05-Dec-12 12:01:38

It's your home OP, if you want people to take their shoes off it's your call.

Spons Wed 05-Dec-12 12:02:21

Nope, you weren't being U at all. However, people on here think its the height of rudeness to ask people to take shoes off!

LulaPalooza Wed 05-Dec-12 12:02:27

I also think it's rude to make people take their shoes off unless they are covered in mud. If you're worried about germs, there are likely to be just as many inside the shoe as outside.

However, it sounds as though your SIL's reaction was over the top

Cezzy Wed 05-Dec-12 12:02:28

YANBU - we take ours off and the children do too, and my ILs really annoy me by walking all over without taking theirs off! We have a mix of hard floors and carpet and it really annoys me that I clean the floors then they walk all over with shoes that have been on dirty gravel and pavements where they have picked up who knows what! Especially as children often sit on the floor to play you are quite within your rights to ask, and family especially should respect your wishes. Stick to your principles! Next time you go to hers, wear really dirty wellies!

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Wed 05-Dec-12 12:03:33

WTF??? Why go so ballistic though? and say 'I'm the older SIL??!!' that's absolutely insane! Is there more to this OP? Do you get on with her generally? How come she doesn't already know your house rule?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 05-Dec-12 12:04:45

This topic comes up every so often on MN and opinion seems to be divided.

Personally, I don't think people should be expected to take their shoes off because if they are more comfortable with them on, then that is what's out important to me. It can be very cold if you don't have slippers, and people with diabetes are advised not to walk around without some kind of protection on their feet. Also, if people aren't wearing socks, I wouldn't want their bare feet on my floors any more than they probably want to walk around barefoot.

If you are going to insist people remove shoes, I think you should provide disposable slippers or pre warn them to bring their own.

MistressIggi Wed 05-Dec-12 12:05:11

[takes off coat and puts kettle on]

AnyaKnowIt Wed 05-Dec-12 12:05:32

Shoes off in this house, don't like it then fuck off

FeckOffCup Wed 05-Dec-12 12:05:36

YANBU, I ask friends and family to take their shoes off when they come in if it's been raining and their feet are wet and muddy. Your SIL sounds like a drama queen.

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Wed 05-Dec-12 12:05:46

Is it really that rude? I personally don't ask people to take their shoes off, but I like it when they do!
When I go to anyone's house, I take my shoes off and so do the kids, what if you had stood in dog shit and walked all over the white shag pile?

VonHerrBurton Wed 05-Dec-12 12:06:22

Personally, unless they were covered in mud, I wouldn't like being told to remove shoes entering someone's house. Just as I would never expect a visitor to my home to remove shoes, I find it all a bit twee. after all, if your kids 'like to play on the carpet' then it won't be that clean confused.

This has been done before and I know opinions are pretty much 50/50 but I just think back to a party we had a few weeks ago and the thought of asking all our guests to 'de-shoe' before being allowed in just makes me laugh.

So, imo, unless really muddy, yabu.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Wed 05-Dec-12 12:06:25

I don't think you were.

It doesn't bother me at all one way or the other.

I don't ask people to. We have a cream carpet, but it cleans up ok. If they want to take their shoes off, they can, if they don't want to, it doesn't matter.

I tend to joke that you wipe your feet on the way out in this house grin cos that makes people feel more comfortable, I have noticed grin (people are weird!)

When going to someone's house, I always ask "shoes on or off?" cos I know people feel different ways about it and it's such a little thing to get het up about. I'd rather just go with what makes other people feel comfortable. It's one of those things that just doesn't MATTER.

I think your sister in law's reaction was SO hysterical (not funny hysterical. Hysteria hysterical) that I would question if she's quite alright.

BendyBobsBrusselsSprouts Wed 05-Dec-12 12:06:32

Blimey over reaction there on her partshock

It didn't used to bother me at old house but since we moved and have nice wooden flooring and pale carpets yes I do prefer people to take their shoes off but I don't point blank ask them to (well I do dc and friends but not adults) I just don't argue if they do. I do feel uncomfortable about asking outright it's true.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 05-Dec-12 12:07:31

We always take our shoes off before we go into our house. I don't usually ask guests to but they generally do, as do I when we go elsewhere. Who wants mud and worse on the carpet? It's a home not a public place. SIL is being totally ridiculous. Perhaps she has holey socks on or no socks and revolting feet.

nemno Wed 05-Dec-12 12:09:35

This is a common thread topic. I am all for wanting guests to feel comfortable and when I am a guest to be accommodating of hosts customs. So no, I never ask people to take their shoes off but if I notice my host has this rule then all my family are fine with offering to take shoes off.

MistressIggi Wed 05-Dec-12 12:09:35

Cream carpet? Check.
Dog shit? Check.
And a very early fuck off from Anyaknowit!
AIBU bingo is fun wink

Sorry your SIL was so OTT, OP.

AngelOne Wed 05-Dec-12 12:10:02

I would never ask people to take their shoes off, but wouldn't mind removing mine if asked. It's not really a big deal is it.

Sokmonsta Wed 05-Dec-12 12:10:11

I personally think its rude to ask people to take their shoes off in my home. I do it for comfort but that's it. I also don't have a problem if people choose to.

However in someone else's home, it's up to them and I think your sil over reacted considerably. What did her brother say about the incident?

2blessed Wed 05-Dec-12 12:11:11

Shoes off in my home and thats it! Thats how I was brought up and its what I automatically do when I go to someone's home.
Your sil really went overboard!

iseenodust Wed 05-Dec-12 12:11:27

Wellies off, shoes can stay on. 'Your house your rules' and making people pad round in their socks is infantilising visitors even if they are (rather rude) family.

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 12:13:57


Why don't you have a doormat?

EasilyBored Wed 05-Dec-12 12:14:48

Shoes off in our house. I've never had to ask someone though, as they just see us take our shoes off and follow suit. I have a crawling baby though, so I prefer not to have 'outside' floor germs brought inside. Plus, if you sit down wearing shoes, the baby will head straight for them and try and chew off your laces/lick the soles/pull them off your feet.

If someone said 'no, I would rather not' then I wouldn't push it, but I would find it a bit rude. Total over reaction on your SIL's part. What a weirdo!

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