No Shoe-In Here
Question: A friend of mine hosted a New Year’s Eve dinner at her place this year and asked everyone to take their shoes off before coming in. It was snowing and slushy out but she lives on the fourth floor and I doubt there was much left on anyone’s shoes by the time they trudged up. It really irked me to be asked straight away at the door to take my shoes off, especially as they kind of went with my outfit. Am I the only person who finds this completely inhospitable?
Answer: Nope, you sure aren't. If I go over to someone’s place and they ask me to take my shoes off, I cringe a little. As a guest, it is courteous to offer to take your shoes off, but it’s just a polite tango that guests and hosts dance with one another--host’s aren’t actually supposed to take you up on it. On a night like New Year’s Eve, when everyone is dressed to the nines and shoes are a legitimate accessory, it’s an awkward requests, and I tend to think that people who care more about their floors and carpets than they do about their guests’ comfort shouldn’t be throwing big old dinner parties anyhow.
That said, friendship imposes many obligations, one of which is to suck it up and bear it when they do something you’re not crazy about. It is an annoying request, but everyone has their quirks--and perhaps your friend's is a genuine fear of hitchhiking street germs. In such a situation, you must simply de-shoe gracefully, give your host a hug and make sure no one walks off with your shoes at the end of the night.