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Houses with 'No Shoe' Rules

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by RSS, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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    200 posts on removing shoes in houses. I love style forum,
     
  2. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    We haven't even gotten into rainy day or winter practices yet....stay tuned. :stirpot:
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  3. Sonny58

    Sonny58 Senior member

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    I'm all for clean houses and we try to keep our as best we can. But when you've got four dogs and five cats this whole thread seems mostly academic. Touchy stomachs, random fights and uncontrolled entrances keep our house 'down to earth'. :)
     
  4. ColdEyedPugilist

    ColdEyedPugilist Senior member

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    My house = My rules.

    My rules = No shoes.

    Only exception = OHS issue for workmen (e.g. movers, electricians etc)

    No; I don't have formal dinner parties, and don't intend to.

    Yes; my GAF Factor is extremely low.
     
  5. james_timothy

    james_timothy Senior member

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    All we have to do is to keep the thread alive till Monday, and I bet there is another 200 posts in it.

    SF at work!
     
  6. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    OMG Sonny, that's quite a zoo you have there.

    The trick is to get dogs with hair that drags the ground - you know shi tzus or whatever they are called. Just spray 'em down with Endust every morning and shake them out thoroughly at night. In the meantime they remove all crumbs and all the cat hair is drawn to them like magic! :fonz:
     
  7. Sonny58

    Sonny58 Senior member

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    I'll try to keep that in mind. My problem is I don't seem to be able to pick my pets... they pick me. All are found on the side of freeways and such. But maybe the next happenstance will bring me a dog that cleans up after the rest. :thumbs-up:
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. threeLegDog

    threeLegDog Well-Known Member

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    I don't think this issue can be summed up in just a simple either/or dichotomy or culture preference. I think there are many vectors at play here.

    1. Cultural/Locational – I’ve lived in TN/TX/LA/VA/NM and never ran into the practice. I also lived in HI. Flip-flops were the typical footwear and removal at the door was the de rigueur. Feet collected dust/dirt constantly outside. Sometimes, homes I visited had a foot-washing station with a water hose at the front door. I now live in the NW where the practice is mixed - usually enforced at Asian/mixed-Asian households.

    2. “My house, my rules/we’ve always done it this way, so I am continuing the tradition” – To me this one has a whiff of trying to put the visitor at a disadvantage of some sort. Akin to older practices of making visitors disarm when entering an abode so as to render them defenseless. Depending on the vibe I get, I may or may not return to these households. I.e. a party situation, but there is a backyard deck with party activity? Am I supposed to go back to the front door, retrieve my shoes, put them on for the deck, and then take them off again for house re-entry? Am I supposed to walk on the (possibly damp) outside decking in my socks? I’m sorry, but this is way too complicated.

    3. “We’ve just refinished the hardwood floors” – This I understand. Went thru it myself the last floor refinishing round. Got over it with kids and dogs.

    4. White carpet homes – I’ve not entered many, but all owners have been anal about shoe removal.

    5. Open houses – I’ve been asked to remove shoes when viewing open houses. Makes sense due to the increased traffic an open house generates.

    6. Dirt/germs – I’m trying to understand this one, but knowing how prevalent and pervasive germs are, I just can’t see the justification. Plus, if folks are tracking noticeable dirt into your home, maybe they are not the sort you want there in the first place.

    Maybe it is that I don’t have a lot of visitors, though. This is my doormat: [​IMG]
     
  9. mjphillips

    mjphillips Senior member

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    Allow me to add to the chorus saying that if you requested someone do this where it is not culturally expected (i.e. pretty much the entire United States) it would be rude and is tantamount to telling your guest upon arrival: "Sir, you - in your current condition - are not clean enough to enter the sacred space of my foyer." In the south, you would be considered weird as hell, and guests would likely assume you have some sort of foot fetish game in which you are trying to involve them.
     
  10. NoNothingGuy

    NoNothingGuy Senior member

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    +1

    This would not be accepted in the South. You would quickly be the topic of discussion around town if you invited guests and made them undress (yes, even just shoes). That said, it would not offend me personally. I am fine going barefoot. I have just never run into this situation... and I have lived in Charleston, Washington DC and New York City. I go to a good deal of social events.

    The thing that alarms me is that so many of you are claiming this is common practice in your homes, friend's homes, etc. How have I escaped this for so long?

    I am guessing that if you live in a less urban environment with lots of snow and ice, it is probbaly more common. In NYC, there is snow, but usually no one is trekking through the snow to get to a social event. You walk down to the curb, grab a cab and it drops you at the door. The South has little snow and ice to speak of...
     
  11. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    I'll add another personal and anecdotal observation that speaks to one aspect of perceived socio/economic status.

    First a little background - as it is pertinent. My parents grew up in the rural south during the great depression. Both from fine old families that had little more than their dignity and family history to sustain them during the 1930s. They moved to the greater Chicago area as teenagers and met and married. There they both became successful working professionals (my father ran a construction company and my mother became a CPA.)

    My mother would have been mortified to have anyone see her in her own home without shoes on. As she was once accused of being a 'southern hick' by one of the neighbors when she stopped over to borrow something and my mother was barefoot in the kitchen. We were always admonished that going without shoes was just not done - unless of course we wanted people to think we were 'hicks'. Not saying that this is anything more than a personal experience. But it speaks to the differences of practices as they relate to perceived social status and sophistication. I do believe this certain formality of manners was very much a carry over from her rather formal southern upbringing, which carried with it a strong sense of what was 'proper' and what was not.

    But that was then and it is now a new millenium. In my own highrise home deep in downtown Atlanta I am personally happy to wear neither shoes nor socks, my partner is not comfortable without both on - we each do as we please. Our guests would be expected to do as they please as well. As we don't have people in our home more than once who don't know how to behave in public! If the occasion is a casual gathering of close friends shoes, socks, whatever is completely optional. Conversely I simply don't know anyone who would even consider not keeping their shoes on at a cocktail party or a dinner party or any gathering that was not extremely intimate and informal.

    I know some people find these 200 post discussions tedious and meaningless. And if we were simply talking about the rules of shoe wearing without considering it's implications in regard to a greater understanding of human behaviour in general I would certainly agree. However, I find anything that involves a deeper understanding of how we as people form societies to be endlessly interesting. I'm hoping for at least another 200 posts!
     
  12. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    I hear you Sonny - my last cat came from the trailhead at a national park - I cannot deny an abandoned animal - I just cannot do it. Three cats in my home, no dogs. Aside from the hairballs which result in random wet deposits of brown goo wherever, they are no problem. The hairballs can be cleaned, what they track in and out from the terrace is nothing more than paw prints on the hardwood floors, vacuuming/dusting takes care of the hair and dander and automatic litter box technology is amazing!

    And as Quinten Crisp once said 'After three years the dust doesn't get any deeper'. :crackup:

    Seriously, I have my house thoroughly cleaned but once a week and I just simply don't care to worry about any deeper level of cleanliness than that - a little dust - some cat hair here and there, a little dirt on the floors between weekly cleanings is simply not going to harm anyone.
     
  13. Sonny58

    Sonny58 Senior member

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    When I was a kid in San Antonio we had some neighbors across the street that we spent a lot of time with. They had no kids and seemed eager to help my parents with the five of us. Anyway, Aunt Tent as we called her kept her house spotless. She had beautiful furniture and white carpeting. All of her furniture was covered in some kind of plastic shrink wrap and the carpets had plastic runners. We had to stay on the runners at all times which was really hard because it put the candy bowl out of reach. Going to their house had a tremendous influence on me. I knew I never wanted my house to be like that. I wanted people to feel comfortable when they came to visit me and not feel like they were walking into a museum. To this day I feel like a home should be lived in and used. Rugs and floors are meant to be walked on, chairs and sofas for sitting, etc. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind when people ask me to remove my shoes when I get to their house but it is an indication things could get uncomfortable.
     
  14. Sonny58

    Sonny58 Senior member

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    We are the same... cleaning ladies come once a week and vacuum up all the hair, re-arrange the dust and change the linens.
     
  15. james_timothy

    james_timothy Senior member

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    This is clearly just a projection. It means nothing of the sort.

    Now on to the whack-a-mole program.


    Pretty much the entire United States? No. Yet another projection of the local onto the global.

    Parochialism: for example, this just said the Hawaii isn't part of the United States, because its customs are so foreign.

    "Saying it would be rude" is a local social norm. That doesn't mean that any given pretentious clean freak saying it isn't rude, but as a general rule it is merely a local tradition.


    Cool. There is hope of the parochialism going the way of the dodo: preserved in museums and academia, discussed nostalgically, and with various mad scientists trying to bring it back.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  16. NotDickDiver

    NotDickDiver Well-Known Member

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    American ignorance. Priceless.

    I would advice you to invest more money in traveling.

    Actually, stop caring about clothes and spend all your time traveling.

    Altghough it did not change George W´s life, I´m pretty sure it will do wonders for yours.
     
  17. Achilles_

    Achilles_ Senior member

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    You do realize this is style forum not travel forum right? I agree that just about anyone would be better for traveling to other countries and seeing other cultures. But I would say the same to you as it is very evident that you never learned tact or manners.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    Hm, I had not considered that point of view before. Also interesting to hear from the many N. Europeans who take their shoes off. Did not know that.

    Coming from an Asian family, wearing shoes inside the home was as you say just not done irrespective of flooring. Social gatherings with other Asians meant an inelegant pile of shoes at the entry. These guests would often sit on the floor cross legged or sideways with their feet under themselves. If you wore shoes while sitting this way, your soles would rub on yours or someone else's clothing. I've noticed that non-Asian Americans are more likely to stand at parties than Asians or Asian Americans. Very few will sit on the floor in this way. Asians would still take their shoes off regardless of seating arrangement but it's just something that occurred to me now. Sitting on the floor also means the floor needs to be as clean as furniture and we don't put our shoes on furniture right.

    Now my mom has OCD and takes it to an extreme in her home. She has her dog wear shoes outside. After a quick trip outside without dog shoes I've seen her wipe her dogs paws with a damp cloth. :alien:

    So this thread again, same time next year?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  19. james_timothy

    james_timothy Senior member

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    I'll bring the wine. It'll be a party.
     
  20. bringusingoodale

    bringusingoodale Senior member

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    Was fun thread; learned a lot, but I am unsubscribing from the thread.
     

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