It's a pretty easy rule to enforce when you live in a 400 square foot studio by yourself. Throw in a husband who agrees, but tends to get lax about the rules and it felt impossible. When we moved into our new house five years ago I started looking for a cute no shoes allowed sign to help my cause and quickly realized that I would have to be the shoe police if this was going to happen.
What about my flip flops? Can I wear those in the house?
Do you wear them outside?
Yes, but they aren't real shoes.
Do you wear them in public restrooms?
Then you can't wear them in the house.
I caught him putting on his shoes in the morning upstairs and then wearing them downstairs. Bare feet on floors and carpets sounds different then shoes. I was half asleep and half blind so I grabbed my glasses to take a peak. Busted. What part of no shoes in the house wasn't he getting?
And the conversation repeated.
I'm getting dressed in the morning upstairs and the shoes are upstairs. I'm just going straight out the door.
Do you wear those shoes outside in the streets and public restrooms?
Then you can't wear them in the house.
I even caught my dad upstairs with his shoes on when he stayed at our house a few months ago and I had to say it. Take them off please.
When we replaced our carpets with hardwoods downstairs MJ relapsed a little thinking it wouldn't matter so much but dirt is dirt and we walk through a lot of it on any given day. Sidewalks, black top parking lots, public restrooms and that grimy movie theater floor. I like the idea that the hardwoods are fully cleanable, but I still don't like the idea of dirty shoes tracking in outside grime. We compromised on house shoes since those are only worn occasionally outside and not in public places. I had to give him something.
Not wearing shoes in the house seems so simple yet it is ever so complicated to enforce and a real pain in the butt sometimes. Like, when you put your shoes on and then have to come back inside because you forgot something. Also, dealing with all the shoes that inevitably pile up. We have a nice bench with a shoe shelf underneath it by our front door but we don't use our front door very often. We park our cars in the garage and enter through the garage door which opens right into the kitchen which is not an ideal location for removing shoes while juggling a lunch bag, a purse, the mail and a water bottle. Especially tall boots that require at least one hand to remove. When leaving the house he wanted to put his shoes on by the front door and walk through the house to the garage and again I had to be the meanie and put my bare foot down. Yes, it's easier to sit on the cute little bench and put them on, but a rule is a rule and if we agreed on no shoes in the house we will not wear shoes in the house. It might sound like I'm being a bitch and in a way I am, but it's kind of an all or nothing thing. If you are going to wear shoes half the time don't bother at all because you have already defeated the purpose.
Then there are the guests. We don't entertain a lot, but when we do if it's an inside type of deal I have no problem with asking people to take their shoes off. If he won't ask his friends I will. If it's an outdoor/indoor type of thing with a large group of people it can get a bit more complicated and I'm willing to make exceptions if need be, but in general it's not that difficult to get people to respect your house rules if you ask. Most people either do it themselves in their own homes and/or they understand and are not offended.
I can't even imagine wearing shoes in my bedroom or bathrooms now and it's weird (and gross) to think that I once did. I even feel bad wearing shoes in other peoples homes. I want to take them off on principle, but not everyone has that rule and if they don't then taking mine off isn't going to help much.
It's true that you have to pick your battles, but I'm glad I stuck to my guns on this one because it's not an imaginary germ floating through the air. It's dirt, and I can see it when I look at the bottom of my shoes. I wanted to throw up my hands and forget it, but MJ eventually came around and I really appreciate that he did. I never did find a no shoes sign I really liked, but now he rarely forgets even when he's running in and out to the grill.
Do you allow shoes in your house? Why or why not?