Yesterday I had a few friends at my new place. I decided to ask them to remove their shoes as they entered the house. It created all kinds of conversations and surprises.
I think it’s standard in many places in Asia but almost never in France and I have rarely seen it in San Francisco. The benefit is obvious — keep your house clean from all the crap your shoes carry with them.
Seth loved it as he could show off his toes nail polish. First surprise. That’s a conversation starter right there, why does Seth have turquoise nail polish on his toes?! We laughed that everyone barefoot or in socks made it more intimate and casual.
Then I had a few french friends who hated it. Some all walked in with their shoes ignoring that everyone else had removed them. I had to politely suggest they could remove them. “What? You ask your own friends to remove their shoes?”. It happened but not very naturally. It’s understandable you just never do that in Paris.
Then there was a cool woman friend who gave me some unexpected advice.
“You should write on the invitation to your house that it will be shoes-off so your guests can expect that”
Now that’s interesting. If you invite people in San Francisco you should already mention if it’s a dinner or a“seated dinner” on the invite. In other words will it be a “French or a Silicon Valley type dinner?”. It’s a good idea to mention the dress code, too. Next you have to write if you are required to remove your shoes. Evening invites will soon look like an NDA they asked you to sign when you get through Facebook HQ reception. A visit comes with two pages of suggestions and requirements :-)
I asked why should I have added that to the invitation? She said that in this case women could plan accordingly and dress differently knowing they will be flat. They could also get a fresh pedicure. This all makes sense!
I kept the best for the end:
“If I had known I could have come with my interior shoes in my bag”
I love it. It would have been high heel shoes kept clean because only used indoor. Cool idea. Keep your sexy look without the shoe dirt.
I will make sure to have a chair next to the shoe removal area next time, too.
No shoes inside your place when you have guests. Yes or no?
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