Saturday, January 06, 2018

Brighton Pavillion

Last weekend I visited Brighton Pavillion with my father, a royal palace built in 1820 for King George IV. It was incredibly impressive, both inside and out.

There was a sign asking visitors to remove stiletto heels before entering a particular room which had a very delicate carpet. Not that I saw any ladies removing stiletto heels; most tourists expect to do a lot of walking and opt for practical footwear. Of course if I had been in charge, I would have asked all the visitors to take their shoes off to keep the carpets in extra top condition.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Interesting Story from Iran

Somehow I missed this story from November.

Can you imagine Mike Pence getting criticism from Americans for not taking his shoes off at a temporary shelter for hurricane victims? It's pretty hard to imagine such a thing as that, but Iranians take removing shoes very seriously. So seriously that he had to apologize for his lack of courtesy. I find it interesting that comparisons were made to the westernizing Shah.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Fatherly: Seth Meyers Angrily Rants Against Shoes-Off Households

Fatherly: Seth Meyers Angrily Rants Against Shoes-Off Households

Last night, late night host Seth Meyers went on a passionate and hilarious rant against households who force guests to take off their shoes when they come over for holiday parties or other seasonal festivities. Unfortunately, Meyers’ “sixty-second obscenity-laced tirade about shoes-off households, and how, in his opinion, they are oppressive and patronizing” was deemed inappropriate by the network fat cats. Possibly because of the swearing, possibly because some people come from cultures where taking off your shoes is considered respectful. Either way, a narrator kindly filled the viewers in on why Meyers feels so much anger every time he arrives at someone’s house only to be told to get his shoes off or hit the road.

According to the narration, Meyers pulled no punches in his attack on shoe-free households, referring to them as “little tyrant kingdoms run by vacuum-horny crumb nazis.” He voiced his offense that these no-shoe types are assuming he is going to track dog poop into their home, but Meyers explained that if he is going to bring dog poop into someone else’s house, he’ll do it the way he was raised to: In a tiny box, wrapped in a beautiful bow. Meyers then used the slippery slope argument to perfection, speculating that shoes-off households might soon be asking him to take off his shirt or give them his wallet. Meyers finally noted that there is always a risk of losing your shoes by the end of the night ⏤ because accidentally wearing someone else’s shoes apparently happens to him a lot.

Wow, what a clueless wally.

Vice: All the Rooms You Will Be In at a House Party

Vice: All the Rooms You Will Be In at a House Party

by Jordan Foisey

The shoe room—which if you’re rich is the foyer or if you’re the rest of us is either the space directly inside or outside the the front door—is the first inkling of what kind of party this is going to be. Is there a more existential question for a party than Should we take our shoes off? It’s asking what are we doing here with this party. Are we building an egalitarian community, committed to the struggle of a safe environment where we all we trust one another and work together to make sure our socks don’t get wet? Or will we remain an army of transient individuals, marching around the party in our boots and sneakers, allegiances to nobody and nothing but our own freedoms and pleasures?

Of course, like any socialist projects, there will be inefficiencies. I have never seen a shoe room that wasn’t chaos, the only organizational principle best described as sedimentary, where finding your shoe means rummaging through a pile of shoes stacked chronologically like you’re combing through the fossil record of arrivals to the party. Be wary as well. I have heard, though perhaps this is a millennial urban legend, that if you leave a party wearing another person’s Blundstones you will wake up with their student loans.

Somebody else making the link between egalitarianism and removing shoes in homes. Plenty of right-wing people keep shoe-free homes (especially if they own really expensive homes), but removing shoes is probably more a left-wing than a right-wing thing.

NYC Talking: Take your shoes off in the house!

NYC Talking: Take your shoes off in the house!

by Angel Rodriguez

"Growing up, we never took off our shoes when entering the house. This was not something we did where I come from. However, as I became exposed more to Asian culture, as well as some other friends who practiced this, it has become a habit and way of life. None of us keep our shoes on in the house, it actually grosses me out nowadays.

It’s interesting because for most of my life, I kept my shoes on in the house, but now it’s disgusting to me. It makes sense though, think about all the nastiness we step on outside with our shoes on, and then we are to bring that into the home? YUCK! I wasn’t as aware of it in the past, but I sure am now."

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Soviet Barbie

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Natural Soap Mom: Why You Need a No Shoes In the House Policy if You Have Little Kids

Natural Soap Mom: Why You Need a No Shoes In the House Policy if You Have Little Kids

"When you go to the bathroom at the grocery store, you don’t let your 2-year-old play and splash in the toilet water. Right? That would be gross!
And you wouldn’t lay your baby on the bathroom floor? That would border on child abuse. That’s why you keep your baby in the stroller or the cart.

No shoes in the grass-. That’s fun! No shoes in the parking lot. I didn’t think so. Think about all those oil and antifreeze stains in the parking lot.

Yet the same germs found on that bathroom floor, get on your shoes. Tracked into your home and onto your carpet and floors."

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Kidspot: Do you take your shoes off at the front door?

Kidspot: Do you take your shoes off at the front door?

by Amy Lyall

"For some taking your shoes off at the door may seem like a hassle, but it’s definitely an easy way to avoid germs getting into your home.

A recent study led by researchers at the University of Houston has shown that 26.4 per cent of shoes carry Clostridium difficile, which can give you diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

Another study from 2015 claims 40 per cent of shoes carry Listeria monocytogenes, which is disgusting to think about.

But it gets worse. If you work on a farm or you've had a little stroll through farmland there’s a pretty good chance your shoes are covered in E coli according to a 2014 study.

It’s horrible to think germs like that are all over your floor at home."

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Monday, November 06, 2017

Ways to Save the Planet Challenge

It probably won't do much to save the planet, but keeping your home shoe-free will create an healthier home environment for your family.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Apartment Therapy: 5 Things That Should Never Happen in Your Living Room

Apartment Therapy: 5 Things That Should Never Happen in Your Living Room

by Adrienne Breaux

Wearing shoes around any part of your house is actually a fast way to make it dirtier than it needs to be. But because the living room is often closer to the entry of your home, this room gets more shoe wearing if you tend to forget to take yours off. So work on creating a place in your entryway where you can slip shoes off easily. It'll keep your living room (and the rest of your home) cleaner!

You can rely on Apartment Therapy (owned by Martha Stewart) to post pro-shoes off articles

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Culture Trip: How a Trip to Norway Can Make You a More Caring Person

Culture Trip: How a Trip to Norway Can Make You a More Caring Person

"Norwegians are so adamant about their “no shoes inside” policy, they even enforce it at primary schools—so that children learn it from a young age. Taking off your shoes is first and foremost a practicality in Norway: the weather conditions mean that you’re probably coming from a rainy or snowy environment and your shoes are a wet mess, so it’s definitely healthier for your feet not to carry all that inside the house. Plus, most Norwegian houses have floor heating, so it’s really possible to walk barefoot all year long if you want. But taking your shoes off when coming home or visiting a friend’s home also signifies that it’s time to relax and feel cozy—and that you’re probably in the presence of people who won’t mind your silly socks."

Sunday, October 08, 2017

My Sister's Housewarming Party

Yesterday I attended the housewarming party of my sister and her partner in east London. They are renting; they can't afford to buy a property with astronomical London prices.

My sister and her partner were not wearing shoes inside, but they were not bothered whether people took their shoes off and said so when asked by the guests (unlike me- when I threw my housewarming I specifically requested shoes off on the invitation). The majority of the guests removed their shoes, but some did keep their shoes on.

It's interesting to think about the mentality of the person who comes in, sees lots of shoes by the door, but keeps their shoes on. Maybe it shows that the UK is not a very conformist society. Is the US even less conformist? Would people be even less likely to take the cue at an American party?

What it shows is that it is just not enough to leave your shoes by the door and assume that people will take the hint. If you do want shoes off, you are sometimes going to have to ask politely.

Sign in a Shop in Henley

I was on holiday with my father two weeks ago, in Henley-on-Thames, a very posh town in Oxfordshire where houses sell for millions of pounds.

In a shop in Henley, I saw this sign on sale with the message 'Leave your dirty boots here: Only your smile is welcome.' I suppose it's a bit much for posh people in Henley to ask visitors to always take their shoes off, but they can at least ask for boots muddied by coutry lanes to come off. I'm not sure how the 'only your smile is welcome' would go down.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mumsnet: Would you ask a healthcare professional to remove shoes if coming inside your house?

Mumsnet: Would you ask a healthcare professional to remove shoes if coming inside your house?

Another fierce debate on Mumsnet. Those on the 'No' side made some good arguments about the safety of lone workers, however, those arguing for 'Yes' made some good points too. I liked this comment:

"If a family are living with a disease like cancer they are likely to be very anxious and feel pretty powerless in the face of it.
Respecting their need to feel in control of the cleanliness of their environment would be a nice thing to do.
I guarantee most of them know that taking your shoes off won't prevent infections but if it helps them feel safer, why not do it?
Why not use anti bac if it helps?

People are not automatically stupid and demanding because they are in need of in-home care. We visit them at the worst times of their lives. Putting up with a few illogical requests is not difficult. It doesn't impinge on your professional status.
Its kind.

I don't understand why people get so offended. You walk away from that household at the end of your visit. They are still there dealing with caring 24 hours a day for their child or facing the death of a loved one.

Why not let them feel listened to?"

People do not choose to need healthcare workers. There need for respect in their home environment is as important as the healthcare workers' need for safety.

The 'No' side in this rightly point out that healthcare workers will visit many homes which are very dirty and whose residents may present a physical threat necessitating a quick exit. However, those living in clean homes who would never dream of assaulting a nurse or social worker may be deeply affronted by being treated in the same manner. Simply citing trust policy or health and safety does not remove the sense of invasion and disrespect some may feel when healthcare workers decline to remove their shoes. This is not at all an easy topic.