As a society, we make a big deal out of washing our hands because of all the things they touch, besides our food and ourselves.
Yet once people know they’re expected to take their shoes off at the door of my place, they treat me with kid gloves or a roll of the eyes, as if I’m overreacting.
What’s sort of funny even is that my mom used to make us take our shoes off at the door, but she gave up on that at some point and now is one of those people whose feet I sometimes cringe at seeing as she walks around with her cute little shoes still on.
Several times, I’ve even tried to relax my uneasiness about it and told people to keep their shoes on when they’re only in for a minute. I get that it can be a hassle.
But in response to my efforts, I’ve often been told things like, “No, it’s OK. I know how you are about that…” as if I’m the crazy one for not wanting whatever gunk, grime and chemicals their shoes have encountered during their lifetime trekked all through my nice clean carpet.
So we should wash our hands because of where they’ve been all day, but keep our shoes on after they’ve been through streets, parking lots, chemical-laden lawns and malls?
I feel like I’m the rational one in this case and those people who think it’s fine to keep their shoes on inside should be the ones spoken to in that kid-friendly tone like they’re wild beasts who we don’t want to upset.
When I walk into other people’s homes, they’ll often remark that it’s OK to keep my shoes on because their floors need to be cleaned anyway, or the carpet already needs to be replaced. Ummm…OK?
While I always want my floors to stay as pretty as when they were first installed, I’m more disgusted at the thought of what we can’t see that’s seeping into them and being spread all over. I lie on my floors. I walk barefoot on them. I don’t want them to be contaminated. Home should be a sanctuary!
As further proof that I’m not crazy, I found this TreeHugger article to back me up.
It says that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that people bring lawn pesticides into their homes on their shoes and that those shoes are a major source of pesticide exposures, especially for young children who “spend a lot of time on the floor and who put dirty fingers, dust, and toys in their mouths.”
According to AChildGrows.com, the EPA’s “Door Mat Study” found that mats in “no shoes homes” had 60 percent less lead dust and chemicals in them than the mats in homes where shoes were allowed. There are also less allergens and bacteria tracked into the homes.
An EPA study also showed that wearing shoes indoors was a larger source of children’s pesticide exposures than eating non-organic fruits and vegetables. Huh.
So we’ve got general grossness, stains and chemicals for the argument against wearing shoes in the house. Here’s another: comfort. One woman blogged that hearing her husband’s shoes in the house made her think of work, not the relaxation of being at home.
In conclusion, how about no shoes in the house? Kick ’em off at the door and relax, and heck, why not wash your hands too.