Today, we hosted brunch for Chris’s parents, his mother’s cousin, and his family. His mother’s cousin’s mother was also in town visiting from India, so we had a pretty full house of eight people. Everything went pretty well from the food to the conversation. The one bit that I noticed was not normal was that no one took off their shoes when they came in.
We’re a very Asian household in that we always remove our shoes when we go into our apartment. I strongly dislike outside dirt in the house, and everyone knows how dirty the streets we walk on all day long are. We step on everything from dirt to spit to dog pee and poo, and I don’t want any of that inside my house. But then, there’s always the conflict of having people take off their shoes when either a) they’re too elderly to bend down and take them off like Chris’s mom’s cousin’s mother, or, well, if they’re just older and you feel awkward telling them what to do. I felt a need to clean the floors after everyone left, but then we ended up going out because Chris was in a rush to get us out to enjoy the daylight hours on a Saturday.
Coincidentally, there’s a thread I read on Facebook where someone asks the question: “If you are a shoes-off household, do you tell people who enter your house to take off their shoes? Why or why not?” And the responses varied wildly from “always, yes,” to “never, it’s their shoes and their feet,” all the way to “to some people of some ages, yes, and over a certain age, never.”
I still don’t like shoes in the house and even take my shoes off at houses where people don’t take off their shoes.