Sunny Hersh



Enter with soul, not shoes

My daughter attended a house party recently where guests were asked to remove shoes. Honestly, I wish I had asked people to do that when my kids were toddlers, as was the case at the party she attended.  Visualize your children or grandchildren crawling around on floors covered with pesticides, gum, dog doo, urine, dirt, and whatever “don’t ask, don’t tell” substance is around.  Ask your son or husband about men’s restrooms, and think about what’s on the bottom of men’s shoes.  This always becomes an issue at the holidays, as in the Sex and the City episode where Carrie takes off her $600 shoes and they get stolen.  Perhaps at dress-up party time you could suspend the rule and have extra towels for wiping, since dress shoes tend to get worn less frequently anyway.  There’s always the relative who doesn’t feel comfortable without shoes, “doesn’t want to be told what to do,” or the person who wears support shoes, and if these are frequent visitors, they might consider leaving a pair of indoor shoes at your house.  Or you could buy them a special pair.  A policy of modest enforcement with hosts setting the example is probably best.  A pile of loaner flip flops, clean socks, or paper slippers is another possibility.  After the holidays, all the slippers go on sale so why not stock up?  If only the family goes with indoor slippers, that will accomplish most of the task.  More than half the world follows the practice of no shoes in the house for both health and spiritual reasons.  It’s your choice to consider.
I’d also avoid putting your purse on kitchen counters, your desk, or any table where you eat.  Think about where your handbag has been, on the floor in hospitals, doctor’s offices, theatres, public restrooms, bars, and buses.  These are places where people have sneezed, coughed, spat, and dragged all manner of stuff!  Your purse is like the bottom of your shoes, a happy wanderer among the germs of this world.  Don’t put it where you put your plate.

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