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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?

elizaregina Sun 09-Dec-12 20:58:05

"I wouldn't dream of asking a guest/friend to remove their shoes in my house. Carpets can be easily cleaned...mending a guest's feeling of embarrasment...not so easy. "


"I am seriously into my interior design...I have very pale carpets...I have pale grey linen sofas FFS..."

Therein lies a huge part of the divide. Lots of people go to homes with cream carpet - persian carpets - and all kinds of flooring, with or without crawling children and they wear shoes indoors - and the flooring and the crawling children - survive.

There are no complaints of constant illness or damage to the flooring.

So we all know that actually - wearing your shoes in doors - with a degree of comon sense - assuming you know when you have walked in dog shit ( an extraordinary amount of people on here seem to walk in it), and the like and take your shoes off on those occasions.....

Actually doenst make any differnece and the preference is acutally cultural or just personal preferance. Which is fine - but .....fussy....

I remembered working myself into a lather when DD started crawling and said we must keep shoes off - we remebered for a few days then as usual just forgot.

allthatglittersisnotgold Sun 09-Dec-12 22:41:11

I'm not familiar with the mumsnet shoes inside debate, but for what it's worth op, your house, your rules. So you haven't stepped in dog poo? Have you seen people spit on the pavement? Drop rubbish, bin bags on them? Dog and fox piss? Mud and dirt? That's nice. Shoes are for outdoors, socks and slippers for in. I'm so shocked. It's genuinely disgusting to wear shoes in your house, it's not a pub! Tbh all my guests are well mannered enough to offer to take shoes off. A thread has never surprised me more!

exoticfruits Sun 09-Dec-12 22:50:44

It comes up every few months- no one ever changes their mind.

squoosh Sun 09-Dec-12 23:07:04

No need for the passive aggressive dig about well mannered guests allthatglittersisnotgold. Don't you see that taking your shoes off upon entering someone's home is an alien concept to lots of people, it's not a matter of them being ill mannered. It just doesn't occur to them that lots of people do this.

If this thread has demonstrated anything it's that people are shocked that they'd be expected to take their shoes off or shocked not to be asked to take their shoes off.

giveitago Sun 09-Dec-12 23:22:09

I don't ask that guests take their shoes off - I don't care. I have hard flooring. In fact I often say to people please don't take your shoes off - it's OK - it's hard floor etc.

However having said that I take my shoes off at other people's places, hard flooring or carpet.

No issues at all.

mindosa Sun 09-Dec-12 23:27:15

I would never ask and I think its very very rude.

farandawaysheran Sun 09-Dec-12 23:39:42

It's a very alien concept to me!

I'd always take off my wellies or walking boots at the door and pad about in thick socks. But otherwise, I wouldn't dream of inflicting my stolen from the dcs, holey or mismatched spontaneous sock choices on anyone.

<tiny whisper and huge placard saying joke alert>

I also, somehow, can't shake the idea that it's an awfully common thing to do

<scarpers. In nasty stockinged feet>

APMF Mon 10-Dec-12 00:03:32

In the hallway, just next to the front door, is a rack of shoes. I never had to ask friends, relatives or visiting tradesmen. They always get the hint smile

That aside, I do not think it is unreasonable to ask a relative to do so.

From the I'm the older SIL remark I take it that you are not Western? I know enough about a number of Eastern cultures to know that a older SIL expect a certain amount of respect whereas that expectation doesn't exist in the West. If that is true then I suppose a case could be made for you being unreasonable smile

MyLittleAprilSunshine Mon 10-Dec-12 01:23:50

I don't mind taking my shoes off, but that's me.

I know my Mum wouldn't like it and neither would the person she is visiting either, considering she has really foul smelling feet. I'd much prefer dealing with the mud than the smell and that's saying something.

I don't ask when I go to someone elses house, but if they ask me to I don't complain at all. I don't ask people to take shoes off unless they are putting their feet up on my furniture, in which case it's a bit icky (mud on my fabric sofa, no thanks).

luanmahi Mon 10-Dec-12 01:53:21

Loads of people I know ask visitors to take off their shoes. It's not unusual and would never think someone was rude by asking m to do it. Their house, their rules. I don't but that's because I have a dog so people's socks will be covered in dog hair and dust off the street that he's walked in. However, I have white carpet up the stairs so do ask people to take their shoes off if they go to the bathroom.

Bunbaker Mon 10-Dec-12 06:29:07

I'm amazed at the number of people who wear holey socks. Don't you just junk them when they go into holes? I do.

Lifeisontheup Mon 10-Dec-12 07:23:55

I'm surprised people expect workmen to take their shoes off, obviously it depends what they're doing, a meter reader would be ok but a plumber for instance, steel toe caps would be part of PPE.
I'm not allowed to take my boots off as they're there for protection and putting plastic overshoes on would be slippery and dangerous. Have to say I've never been asked to take them off but if I was I would have to refuse.

exoticfruits Mon 10-Dec-12 07:27:10

We are having our boiler serviced today- trying to imagine it being done in socks!

mrskeithrichards Mon 10-Dec-12 10:07:59

I wish people would get to fuck with the subtle hint shoe racks and being silently pissed off when people don't get the hint.

Just say.

elizaregina Mon 10-Dec-12 10:27:42

I guess for me what irks me - is something akin to what word smith said way back about her elderly mother being asked to take her shoes off.

In our " shoe off" family memebers house - my DF went in with shoes FIRMLY ON, he is in his 70's, chronic arthritus in his back, bad hip, cant bend down for his own needs - has to use hand held aids etc, I have to help him put his shoes on when here - he struggles by himself....

There is no way I would expect anyone to ask him to take his shoes off.

However i think the fact he kept them on - as he wasnt pushed ruined a whole eveing as our host was twitchy,.....he was soiling her hallowed carpets! I woudlnt be surpised if they were actually replaced after that or at the very least proffesionally cleaned.

There IS something wrong with that isnt there? Where is the humanity?

I dont think they would dare ask my Df to take his shoes off as he is a bull of a man - however i wouldnt be surpised that someone equally as disbled but a little more meek would be forced to comply.

elizaregina Mon 10-Dec-12 10:30:18

also i think its the way some people ask- one friend does - it not becasue of her carpets but to her because of hygenie but she does it - in such a nice way and we do it automatically now anyway.

there is another who is hovering at the door - barking the request at you - before you even get in the house - as you are quite obvisouly removing the shoes...

APMF Mon 10-Dec-12 10:56:35

Mrskeith - Why do you feel a need to use 'fuck' in a thread about shoes? You are obviously one classy lady. What is that? You want me to fuck off? Will do.

mrskeithrichards Mon 10-Dec-12 11:55:09

I say fuck a lot.

That alright with you?

Did I tell you to fuck orf? Nope.

I think people should have the balls to stand by their no shoes rules and actually tell people instead of getting quietly mad when others don't pick up on the subliminal messages.

APMF Mon 10-Dec-12 12:10:59

Hey, don't mix me up with the OP.

My carpets are cheap stuff from 12 years ago so I'm not exactly anal about this shoes off business. And i obviously don't expect the removal man to kick off his shoes and then put them on when on his way out with my cupboard on his back.

Anyway, as I said up thread, the "I'm the older SIL" comment suggest a non western household where the wife of the older brother is supposed to be treated with respect by the younger wife. I suspect that this is the issue as opposed to shoes.

LaQueen Mon 10-Dec-12 13:34:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

specialsubject Mon 10-Dec-12 13:40:35

just done a vast amount of hoovering because the shoes off rule was relaxed over the weekend. Don't mind, part of having guests, and certainly wouldn't insist especially for those who have medical needs to keep shoes on - but it does remind me why I prefer it, and why I take my shoes off when I visit someone else's house.

It's winter FFS. There is no way to avoid getting shoes muddy or dirty.

higgle Mon 10-Dec-12 13:44:09

I don't like seeing my visitors ice outfits distorted by being worn without footwear and I'm not too keen on seeing bunions and holey socks either. I much prefer guests to keep their shoes on (yes, I do have cream carpets)

farandawaysheran Mon 10-Dec-12 13:45:32

Bunbaker touché!

I should purge.

I could do that over Christmas, since clearly all my mates will be round each others' gaffs, feet toasty in borrowed slippers, little plates catching crumbs, being thoughtful and admiring the pale shag.

Or I could darn them...

squoosh Mon 10-Dec-12 14:45:03

It's winter FFS. There is no way to avoid getting shoes muddy or dirty

If the weather is dry is doesn't make a difference whether it's winter or not. And I hope all these 'I take my shoes off in other people's houses' people only do that in houses where it's requested. I'm sure lots of people would be just as grossed out at the idea of people wandering around in their bare/stockinged feet.

Bunbaker Mon 10-Dec-12 19:51:04

" I'm sure lots of people would be just as grossed out at the idea of people wandering around in their bare/stockinged feet."

I'm not sure. Bare feet can get really mucky, but socks? I wouldn't have thought so.

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