Friday, February 10, 2012

Shoes and Sinks

I am Canadian. I don’t wear shoes in the house. Mine or anyone else’s. (House that is - if the shoe fits... I just might wear it.) Maybe it’s just a rural thing, but lots of people I know would never consider walking into someone’s house or their own, wearing street shoes.  Even if you tell people ‘Leave your shoes on.’, you’ll be met with a ‘Are you SURE?’ as they step gingerly in.  You should see the entry of our houses during a party, or in our case – any given day. It's a big shoe closet.

So when the first instructions for an organizational website that I signed up for in 1999  insisted that ‘putting on your shoes’ was at very top of the list and an ABSOLUTELY MUST DO, I balked. 'But I don’t ‘DO shoes, I’m Canadian.’ I protested.  I simply did not, WOULD not wear shoes in the house.  I walk in, take off my shoes and put slippers on. Walking around in the house in shoes feels unnatural. It’s a ‘nest’ thing, a comfort thing.  Which I suppose was her whole point.  You’re not supposed to be comfortable, you’re supposed to be WORKING.  And she just didn’t indicate just any shoes – they couldn’t be ‘slip on’ ones – they had to be LACE UP, I-mean-BUSINESS-shoes.

I self righteously fought it for a bit, then begrudgingly decided to give it a try.  It was weird to begin with, but I did feel more ‘business like’, and I was able to run to the basement or carry something outside without having to stop and put my shoes on. Now, it’s the first thing I do if I’m on a cleaning mission – I simply cannot clean in slippers. She was right.

The other thing that I have remembered from way back then is that you are to always have a clean and shiny sink. ALWAYS. Which, if you do, means that you won’t have a pile of dishes in it, which is a great start to a decent kitchen.  Two simple things that stuck with me and  I have thought of a hundred times over the years. I haven't always accomplished the sink thing, but I've thought about it.

I didn’t keep up with the program because they were sending me five or six emails every day – a sort of cheerleader/keeping you on track thing I suppose. My issue was getting control of my time and more mail to read was counter productive so I unsubscribed.

The other day, when I laced my shoes up and shined my sink, I once again thought of FlyLady and wondered if it was still around. Indeed she is.  Still the same Shoes & Sink message, and lots of other nuggets of wisdom too. She not only has the website, but FlyLady TV and Radio, and books and forums, and of course, Facebook with a quarter million ‘Likes’ and almost 30 thousand followers on Twitter.  I betcha lots of them are Canadians, who have also learned it’s okay to wear shoes in the house.

I signed up for it again. I have a separate email account that I use for things like that - groups, newsletters, offers - a sort of 'junk drawer' that I go through at my convenience that isn't mixed in with my personal mail.  If I have kept and used two of her suggestions for the past decade, I am sure she's got some other tidbits that will help me on my mission.


Sheryl Parsons said...

Intriguing photo of the faucet! I was taught to take me shoes off in the house when I lived in Alaska. Prior to that, we just wiped our shoes on the front door mat and went about our merry way. I saw the wisdom of it though when we had piles of snow outside and lived on a dirt road. Sure does help keep the floors and carpets in better shape. We do that here in Utah as well, and when I go to other folks homes I'm always asking now. One way to get around the shoe in the house thing is to have a pair of indoor only shoes. Wouldn't work for what you are talking about though. Interesting though that the Flylady picked up on the fact that if you dress a certain way, you act a certain way. Love your thoughts Ev.

EvScott said...

I remember visiting a friend's house in NY - her mother had an absolute FIT that I took my shoes off. She said that it 'ground the dirt' into the carpet. I guess otherwise it just lays on top. lol I used to have Cnds who moved to the US, commission me to paint a sign that said 'Please remove your shoes' because it drove them nuts that people walked in their house without removing their shoes.'House shoes' are the answer - except I LOVE slippers! Lots of us have a'slipper basket' at the door ;-D