This column has me thinking about my own "shoe policy."
The author writes that asking guests to remove their shoes before entering your home is rude, even if you're offering slippers or socks in place of their footwear. Not wanting them to track in dirt and germs or scuff your tile isn't a good enough reason for a "no shoes, please" policy, and further sends the message to your friends and family that your possessions are more important to you than they are.
Much like Carrie Bradshaw, the author believes that shoes are meant to be worn and shown off, and that if you do wish guests to remove their shoes, compliance with your policy should be voluntary.
I hadn't given the idea of a "shoe policy" being a personal affront to friends and fashion until I read this column. Perhaps it's because I live in a climate where the weather is so erratic and often produces some very messy conditions, but when I'm visiting a friend or family member, I always ask about their shoe policy (if I don't already know it) as soon as I walk through the door. I do this only when the weather is nice. When it's not (and that's often here in upstate NY), I remove them without even asking.
I've never thought it rude when I am asked to remove my shoes in someone's home because this is generally something I ask people to do in my own. Call me materialistic or obsessed with cleanliness (which you wouldn't, if you knew me "in real life") but I don't want muddy sneakers on my living room ottoman in the spring, or snow-covered shoes traipsing around my kitchen in the winter. If the conditions outdoors are dry, my guests are welcome to keep their shoes on. But that's not often the case here, at least for 10 months out of the year.
Unlike my very fashion-forward sister, I don't own any shoes I would consider too nice to slip off at the door. It's often the case that the shoes I have on at any given time are chosen more for their proximity to the door than for the way they compliment what I'm wearing. But even so, I respect a person's desire to keep her home and furniture clean more than I do my right to look good while walking in it.
How do you feel about being asked to remove your shoes when visiting someone's home? Do you have a "shoe policy" of your own?