Upon entering someone’s home, it is common courtesy (that is, a courtesy we all share) to remove your shoes and leave them by the door. You are happy to do it. You would expect the same consideration. Sure you enjoy vacuuming: but not everyday.
Sometimes people will say, “Don’t worry about your shoes.” This really means: “I see you are walking further in to the house than I anticipated, and I am drawing your attention to your in-attentiveness.” They expect that you will apologize profusely, and insist on removing said footwear.
On rare occasion a guest will behave in a way you do not expect. They may ignore the pile of shoes by the door, wipe their feet casually on your decorative doormat, and make their way into your carpeted living room. You may be standing, mouth agape, wondering, “What just happened?”
New shoes just happened. Your guest clearly needs to have their wealth on display, and likely suffers from an Attention-seeking Disorder (or ASD, to the layperson).
It is unlikely this person is embarrassed about the state of their socks, which is a very legitimate and serious problem.
We all know that people can, and do make a parallel between the condition of your socks and your financial stability. Surely a pair or cashmere, argyle, trouser socks will make a better impression than sweat socks with a stretched-out cuff.
When eating at a Japanese restaurant you may be required to take off your shoes in order to sit down. In this situation, you may develop an emergency underwear complex (embarrassment from wearing undergarments in substandard condition, while being attended to by emergency personal).
This embarrassment can and does happen with socks. We’ve all been there: Mismatched socks? “They both looked black in the dark”. Holes in the toe? “Vents”. Wearing only one sock? “Am I really?”
Perhaps we all need to take a hint from Television: a valuable resource, which enlightens and entertains. In situation comedies (or “sit-coms”, for the layperson) the characters generally make a grand entrance, followed by audience applause and witty banter.
Maybe you hadn’t noticed: but the shoes always stay on.
If only life were really like that: I would make a grand entrance into my home (set to music), an appreciative audience would be there to greet me, and my husband and I would exchange engaging dialogue (instead of the usual grunt “hello”). I would certainly not hesitate at the door to remove my footwear: struggling with zippers, shoelaces, and Velcro.
There are certainly many other benefits to wearing shoes continuously: stubbed-toes, splinters and the annoying, “nail through your foot” are a thing of the past, and easily preventable with proper footwear.
Perhaps we can also take a hint from our friend the Equine (or “horse”, for the layperson). Equines have always insisted on wearing appropriate footwear, as it protects their delicate feet from wear and tear.
So save yourself embarrassment and injury: the next time someone says, “Don’t worry about your shoes”, call their bluff!