Things You Think About While Recovering

I had the tooth out on Friday, and all went well in that there were no complications and it was over with quickly. The doctor and nurses were all in head-to-toe protective gear and Sir Monkeypants had to spend two hours waiting for me out in his car, but otherwise, it was a very pleasant experience. Well, except for the giant hole in my head, but otherwise, pleasant.

There is nothing like a giant hole in your head, by the way, to make you really feel every inch of the nearly-50-years-old that I am. Recovery has been slow. I mean, it’s only technically been three days, so perhaps I expected too much, but I’m still unable to talk or eat with comfort. I’m spending a lot of time lying on the couch feeling generally unwell and trying mentally to get used to this huge hole in my mouth, which is harder than I thought it was going to be.

Also, I am drinking a lot of Ensure, and if THAT isn’t enough to make you feel almost-50, what is? Sheesh.

While lying on the couch I have been watching a stream of content from all our services and one thing that has come up in a few different places is that Americans (I’m guessing?) do not remove their shoes in their homes. Seth Myers (source of all my American news these days) did a bit on a video this past week about how when someone invites you over and then asks you remove your shoes, you do it politely, and then make a mental note to never visit their house again.

Is this actually a thing? The Captain and I have become rather obsessed about it. Every show and movie, people never remove their shoes unless they are actually getting into bed. I used to think this was just for costuming purposes, but is it really how people do the shoe thing?

What about in Canada?

Needless to say, we are shoe removers and have been our whole lives. Perhaps it is more common in places where you spend at least half the year in wet, heavy boots that you obviously would remove when you come in. But even in summer, we take our sandals/flip flops/runners off at the door.

Do you? Is this a cultural thing, or even a universal thing? Are we the weirdos?

10 thoughts on “Things You Think About While Recovering

  1. Shoes on in the house is definitely an American thing. It’s something we did growing up because my mom was American, but it’s something that Canadians in general don’t do, in my experience. Just another cultural difference, like having a “lady gun” for your purse, or Dr. Pepper, or “eh” versus “huh.”

  2. I have different answers for myself vs company. My shoes are all slides, the easier to kick them off immediately. However, I would never ask that a visitor remove shoes.

  3. My son and I both immediately remove our shoes at home. The Husband? Rarely, if ever. We don’t ask people to remove their shoes when visiting but, I’d say about half of them do without being asked.

  4. bibliomama2

    I’ve heard of this as an American thing too. I will admit a slight hypocrisy here, since I do prefer that everyone take their shoes off at the door, but I have sandals that I do wear outside and I often put them on when I’m cooking to save my feet and back. I keep meaning to buy a dedicated pair of indoor sandals but haven’t gotten around to it yet. But I would never wear them anywhere carpeted – our main floor is all hardwood and tile – and we wash our floors regularly.

  5. nicoleboyhouse

    I’ve wondered about this for decades. We’ve always taken our shoes off. My husband has a pair of sandals that he wears in the house. I wear slippers because of my Reynaud’s, my feet are always cold.

  6. Elizabeth

    I worked at a government agency, and the researchers there strongly recommended removing shoes at the door for everyone, due to the presence of lead and other bad things in the soils outside. it was hard to convince my parents to take their shoes off when they visited, but I was able to tell them it was for the sake of the children crawling on the floor…

  7. Brits seem not to remove their shoes. My husband had to be asked all the time when he first came over – and I’m talking fully snow-encased boots in January. I can distinctly remember my mom stopping him at the door and telling him to take his boots off and he gave me a look like “she’s uptight.” A couple of weeks later, when we were having drinks with another couple before going out for the evening, he wore his boots into my living room and was sitting with a growing puddle around his feet as the snow melted. One member of the other couple – who was an ex-pat Brit – pointed out the puddle around his feet, asked if he was stupid (less polite words were used), and ever since he’s taken off his shoes. And, in our family, we all have indoor Birkenstocks, so when we come or go we switch over from indoor shoes to outdoor shoes.

  8. Interesting question: when the kids were young they would take their shoes off at friends’ houses and vice versa. I guess kids are always tracking in dirt and mud, etc. I remember this because
    my son Eddie wore inserts for awhile because he had knock-knees and needed the support.
    Whenever he went to a friend’s house, he asked permission to keep his shoes on. He was like 3 years old and it was honestly so cute when he would explain “otherwise my legs hurt when I am sleeping.”

    When people come to interview me for babysitting jobs, they usually ask when they enter if they should take their shoes off. I do not make them even though my family room is carpeted. I have not had adults ask me to take my shoes off in their homes, but since I live in Chicago everyone usually does in the winter regardless. As far as my family members who live in our house: shoes off when they enter.

    Hope your mouth heals nicely.

  9. Mark

    We’ve been living in California for more than 20 years now, and we still always take off our shoes. Force of habit, perhaps, but socks just seem so much more comfortable than shoes anyway. It’s pretty clear that lots of Americans don’t naturally do that; on the other hand, there is a very large Indian community in our city, and many of our kids’s friends’ parents (who, of course, ultimately form a big part of our social circle) came to American as adults. They pretty much universally take their shoes off and leave them outside the front door.

    So I think in the end it’s just a cultural thing; some folks do it, others don’t, and it depends a lot on where you grew up and what the norms were there and then.

  10. Smothermother

    I never realised this was a thing. We always take our shoes off. And I’d say pretty much everyone that comes over does it automatically as well. If someone doesn’t I don’t ask them to though. We don’t have any carpet, so I’m not really bothered by it. But I would say it is a rare occurrence for someone to keep on their shoes. Side note: in the winter I would definitely ask people to take off their boots, but it has never happened that someone didn’t when they came over.

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