A girlfriend was telling me about a 50th birthday party she was at before the holidays – blah, blah, blah, Costco variety hors d’oeuvres, jug wine, blah, blah, blah AND SHE MADE US ALL TAKE OFF OUR SHOES!!! It was early December and COLD so the hostess graciously offered my friend a pair of sweat socks – PINK – to put on.  With her little black cocktail dress.  A good look to be sure. This was a big party, over 70 people and all adults. All walking around in the sock feet.

Nice.

I have had this conversation many times with people – to shoe or not to shoe.  Growing up of course we took our shoes off – we were children.  But the adults didn’t. But for “fancy” parties, we carried our dress-up shoes in bags specific to that purpose and changed at the door.  Granted I grew up in a civilized city where people were prepared for this but still, it was simply what one did.

Out here on the more casual west coast things seem to be different – it is not unusual to go to someone’s home and encounter a collection of shoes at the front door – an indication that one is expected to follow suit.  Now I am ok with this if it is a casual, family-type gathering, but generally speaking, my shoes make my outfit.  Not to mention the fact that I feel rather ridiculous walking around having adult conversations with my brightly coloured polka-dot socks right out there in the open.

Thankfully most of my friends are like-minded and the no-shoes-in-the-house rule does not apply.

I respect cultural differences and if I were to be invited to someone’s home where their culture or religion dictated that shoes not be worn, then fine.  But in my day-to-day existence this is generally not the case.

And it seems that we are not alone in these discussions:  from the Globe & Mailand on Gawker.

I found the Gawker article particularly amusing as the hostess went so far as to have invitations printed stating “no shoes”. Can you imagine?  I mean it’s her house and she can make the rules, but seriously?  You invite a group of (I assume) your peers and business associates of your husband and you tell them they can’t wear shoes in your home?

Please.

And then the hostess responds on Gawker.

So, would you be offended if someone asked you to take off your Jimmy Choos and walk around their black-tie affair in your barefeet?

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