Sorry Margaret, Guests Need to Take Off Their Shoes in My House

Sorry Margaret, Guests Need to Take Off Their Shoes in My House
Jin Hyun
December 4, 2019
A few weeks ago, an article titled, “I think it’s rude to ask guests to take off their shoes” began circulating the internet and Asian Twitter was NOT here for it. 
We call to the stand, Twitter:
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As most people already know, in Asian cultures, like many other cultures, homes are strictly no-shoes zones.
It is customary to remove your shoes upon entering one of these households to prevent tracking dirt and bacteria found outside into the living spaces, especially for homes with children or elderly family members who have weaker immune systems.
“When I arrived, most guests had their shoes off, but I kept mine on. Why? Because my outfit just wasn’t complete without my adorable half-boots below, that’s why,” she argued.
Aside from worrying about her outfit, she also argued that socks have as many germs as shoes.
“In general, the concern with shoes ‘tracking germs’ is very misplaced,” Margaret quoted Dr. Adalja.
“There may be aesthetic reasons to remove shoes if they’re soiled with mud or animal feces, but there are just as many bacteria on socks or bare feet.”
While Margaret has found the one physician who will back up her claims, there are hundreds of others who will argue the exact opposite.
A 2008 study from the University of Arizona found that approximately 421,000 different types of bacteria can be found on shoes. Of the shoes examined for the study, a whopping 96% were found to have fecal bacteria.
Additionally, 27% had traces of E. Coli along with seven different kinds of bacteria such as Klebsiella pneumoniae, a bacteria that causes urinary tract infections, and Serratia ficaria, a bacteria that causes respiratory infections.
The study concludes that bringing shoes into the home could lead to a 90-99% chance of contaminating home floors!
This is where the tea gets really hot because the same article where Margaret found the quote from Dr. Adalja actually concluded with remarks from a New York City board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Alison Mitzner, that she herself prefers to keep her homes free of shoes due to the high levels of bacteria.
Margaret states that the hostess of the Christmas party never explicitly asked her to take her shoes off but apparently gave her “serious side-eye” as did all of the other guests who had entered the home without their shoes on.
To ignore the hostess who has so graciously invited you into their home and then go on to disregard all social cues which glaringly point towards taking off your shoes, is certainly far more rude than a hostess throwing a party at their home with a no-shoes policy. For her part, Margaret did say in her article, “I will always respect someone’s cultural wishes—in most Asian cultures, it’s traditional to remove shoes at the door.”
The most ironic part in all of this, however, is that Margaret herself also prefers to take her shoes off in her own home.
She ended her article by suggesting, “Yes, this may mean the floor needs extra cleaning at the end of the night, but aren’t your guests worth it?”
Sorry Margaret, but we’re not inviting you over anytime soon sis.
Feature Image (left) via Screenshot, (right) via Getty
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