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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?

exoticfruits Wed 19-Dec-12 19:08:35

If people have great muddy boots they will take them off-adults can use common sense.

FellatioNelson Wed 19-Dec-12 03:40:19

Obviously I am not condoning letting people in in huge great muddy, soaking boots, but honestly I don't think many people are stupid/rude enough to try to do this. Most people have good enough sense/manners to know when their shoes will need removing by default.

FellatioNelson Wed 19-Dec-12 03:39:06

If you are particularly concerned about winter weather conditions just lay and old, thick towel immediately inside the door, so guests can wipe their feet on that,a s well as the doormat outside and or/inside obviously, and change your doormats regularly. Stick the old towel on a boil wash afterwards.

FellatioNelson Wed 19-Dec-12 03:37:19

I must admit, as the mother of some large, hairy teenagers and host to many of their large, hairy and occasionally sweaty friends over the years, I would sometimes prefer the outdoor shoe as the more hygienic option, when compared to a sweaty, cheesy size 11 bare foot.

exoticfruits Tue 18-Dec-12 18:55:04

Love it! She is alive and well all over the country-but even she didn't offer the 'deadly' guest slippers!

MistressIggi Tue 18-Dec-12 12:06:55


ToffeeCaramel Tue 18-Dec-12 11:29:40

Sorry to drag this thread up again, but I'm at home today and have got "Keeping up Appearances" on TV on Gold. I've just seen the following exchange between the burglar alarm installer and Hyacinth. grin

"Hyacinth: (to the security installer)Do come in after you've removed your shoes.
(He looks at her questionably)
Hyacinth: Under no circumstances do I allow alien shoes on my herring bone woodblock or my grade one axminsister.
S.I: Of course. (Rolls his eyes as he turns around to take off his shoes)"

Bunbaker Tue 11-Dec-12 09:12:13

Pumpkin My sister had to put up with a herd of elephants upstairs in her previous flat. Her children were babies then and it was a nightmare.

exoticfruits Tue 11-Dec-12 07:28:36

I don't think she is OTT- I can't imagine why people want bare feet or socks on their carpets. (and as a guest I am polite and follow requests,but I utterly draw the line at 'guest slippers')

squoosh Tue 11-Dec-12 00:54:48

I think she's being way ott but I'm merely offering the other side of the anally retentive coin.

squoosh Tue 11-Dec-12 00:53:45

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

Well you'd be surprised.

One of my friends is a podiatrist who visibly twitches at the idea of people's bare feet or besocked feet anywhere near floor that she might step on. She has many scare stories.

PumpkinPositive Mon 10-Dec-12 21:07:35

I live in a tenement flat (no inherent soundproofing between floors) and my upstairs neighbours have stripped floorboards. Suffice to say it has been a loooong 4 years.

Anyway, council guidelines advise that if you live above ground floor and have stripped or laminate flooring, all shoes be removed indoors. Seems reasonable, given the misery all the fortissimo stomping is likely to cause anyone living below.

YANBU to ask house guests to remove shoes.

exoticfruits Mon 10-Dec-12 20:57:38

I have just been out this evening and 2 women had shoes on bare feet- I find it surprising that people want them to take them off.

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.

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.

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...

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)

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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 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.

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...

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.

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.

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