The weather has been grey and wet for long enough that it’s already hard for me to remember how parched the end of summer felt. I had been looking forward to the cooler temperatures but not the lack of sunlight: it is so GLOOMY when it’s cloudy, and of course as soon as we roll the clocks back it’ll be vampire-dark at, like, 3:45 PM.

Everything outside is currently a mess of mud and decomposing fallen leaves and so of course that is what every pea-brained member of the household is continually tracking onto the carpet, and by pea-brained I am most definitely including both teenage boys as well as the adult male, all three of which should know better and YET.

“SHOES,” I find myself saying over and over and over again, like some sort of not-very-smart parrot who knows how to screech exactly one plural noun. “SHOES!”

I hate being the Shoe Police, not only for the boring nagging it requires but because of my personal pet peeve about no-shoe-households, which seem overly fussy and incompatible with actual life. However, I have also learned that repeatedly wiping up carpet stains is also incompatible with certain things, such as sanity.

“But why don’t you make the FLOOR RUINERS scrub the floor?” you may be saying, because you are a sweet summer child full of hope. O, I have chosen this path many times, for I too am occasionally dazzled by life’s many possibilities! — but wow, talk about making things worse. (“Did you clean with a … Sharpie?”)

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
10 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sally
Sally
2 months ago

Oof – I do know what you mean about the fussiness feeling engendered by this, and yet we are FIRMLY a shoes-off house 🤷🏻‍♀️. I’m not sure how anyone who truly thinks about can’t be! I’m also very much in the, ‘those who create the mess should clean it up’ camp in theory. In practice, one should pick one’s battles/play to strengths/decide which hill to die on etc etc…

Kim
Kim
2 months ago

I was SO effing excited when we bought this house a few years ago, one of the big reasons being the hardwood floors. Oh, Swiffer WetJet, you’ll be the answer to all of my dirt, leaves and dog hair removal prayers. Alas, I’ve learned no matter the floor cleaning tool technology they’ve come out with, it’s no match for the thoughtless creatures I live with (yes, husband included).

Jill
Jill
2 months ago

We are Americans living in Korea and even our apartment is set up to enforce the no-shoes-in-the-house rule. The door opens to a foyer with a door and a step into the main apartment and there is an entire wall of closets dedicated to shoe storage. AND YET my husband frequently waltzes in in his shoes and it drives me crazy. Two of my kids have started picking that habit up because if daddy can do it why can’t they and yet who cleans the floors, I ask you? None of them.
He insists that I never enforced this rule when we lived in Virginia and yet the cheap bench I bought at Target to keep shoes in in the entryway (that now does service as a bookshelf because of all the built in shoe storage here) suggests otherwise. We are supposed to move to the PNW next summer and this post is already making me twitchy about fighting that battle with 4 kids and a grown man who should know better!

Erica
Erica
2 months ago

Yes!!

Nine
Nine
2 months ago

I’m not sure exactly why, but I have a vision of you guarding your new Shed Sanctuary dressed up like The Waif from GoT and giving the inconsiderate males in your life a good hearty smack with the Naughty Stick if they dare traipse over the threshold into your sanctuary with their big muddy gross boy feet. SHOES!!!!!!!

Karen
Karen
2 months ago

So, it’s a lot of work to change, but, frankly, carpets are from hell. I would tear up any carpet left in the living room area of the house. Then a large entry mat, with some funny and cute picture or joke on it, which makes everyone stop for a few seconds and WIPE THEIR FEET! Which can be changed and thrown in the washing machine every few days. Maybe you need several.

I know what I am suggesting is a lot of work, but it might be easier than finding new people to live with, or changing the behaviors of the ones you have.

If anyone has any ideas for PUTTING THE JUICE AND MILK BACK IN THE FRIDGE, I am there for it.

Shawna
Shawna
2 months ago

I don’t know a single household where I live where people keep their shoes on when they enter a house. I’ve always suspected the general divide between the habit of keeping shoes on in the house or not is one of climate: if you have a real winter, people take footwear off at the door, and if you have mild weather year round people get in the habit of just keeping them on.

I have to admit I would LOSE IT if someone tracked dirt across the house and either didn’t clean it up when it was pointed out, or did a poor job. I already make my kids re-do their cleaning chores if I notice a half-ass job. They’re slowly learning to be more thorough the first time.

On the other hand, I do find myself washing more dishes than I should because I am too grossed out by the thought of dishes being washed inadequately and then dried and put away before I catch them. I just can’t take the discovery of *shudder* a sticky film on supposedly clean dishes in my cupboards. So that’s a battle I rarely pick.

Courtney
Courtney
2 months ago

It is so strange to think that people wear shoes inside their homes. In Canada, everyone takes their footwear off at the door, no matter what the season. I’m sure the custom is originally due to our long, mucky winters. But I can’t imagine wearing shoes that I walked around public spaces in (including public washrooms!!!!) then being worn in my bedroom, kitchen and bathrooms?! 🤮 Trust me, no-shoe households aren’t fussy – they’re sanitary!

Donna
Donna
2 months ago

Agree with Courtney that we are much more likely to remove shoes at the door. My brother and young family moved/were transferred to the U.S. many years ago. Twenty years later, family members gathered at my brother’s home the day before my nephew’s wedding. My nephew came in the back door, stepped over a pile of shoes and said to his fiance, “The Canadians are here.”

Elizabeth_K
Elizabeth_K
2 months ago

Just chiming in with the support of ‘no shoe’ households seem .. like a lot of work … but WHEW the mess. And the fights! I just … end up cleaning it myself. Which isn’t good! Not teaching lifelong skills, etc. But … the fights.