25.1.09

Before I headed out last night, my husband, mindful of my reluctance to pad around at a social occasion in my stocking feet, suggested that I take along my fluffy slippers to put on once I got there. It was a preposterous suggestion met with ridicule of course. Or so I thought.
Thank goodness, I did take along my platform ankle boots from Top Shop to change into with the weak hope that I would be allowed to wear them. Everyone - all nine guests - arrived in big, ugly snow boots and changed into more demure foot attire on arrival. Well not everyone. One girl had taken along a pair of leather moccasin slipper things while another quite bizarrely, to me at least, changed into a pair of turquoise blue wedge espadrilles - you know the cloth sandal things you wear at the beach? Anyway, after interrogating one of the women on this strange-to-me cultural carry-on, it was explained thus. If going to a party in a private home, it is perfectly acceptable to take along a pair of indoor shoes - or in my case back-breaking stilettos - but one wouldn't do this if just dropping by for lunch or coffee. Then you'd just be in your stocking feet. The woman clearly couldn't understand why I was asking such an stupid question until it dawned on her that in Ireland we wear the same shoes inside and out because we don't get snow. But we get a hell of a lot of rain which after all is the same thing when it is deposited on your carpet or wooden flooring.
What mucky pigs we must seem. Ask someone to take their shoes off at your front door in Ireland, and they'd look at you as if you had two heads, and then laugh because they are certain that you must be joking. 'You must be kidding,' they'd say as if you'd asked them to strip naked.


8 comments:

beaverboosh said...

You are right. I had an Irish girlfriend that insisted I take my clothes off at the door, but I had to leave my boots on! Kinky lot!

Caroline said...

Ooooook, now I understand why everybody looks at me funny when I point out to them that they haven't taken off their shoes yet......

Michele said...

Another pair of fantastic shoes! Really, Johanna, I don't know what I'm more jealous of---your to-die-for shoe collection or the fact that you have parties to go to. My feet and my social life are very sad. I wonder---would have more friends if I had better shoes? Maybe it's time for an experiment... ;-)

Joanne said...

Glad to hear that you wore the shoes.

Victoria said...

Its the same in the States and it was very difficult to get used to here. It felt really awkward to me at first and I had to start putting thought into what socks I was wearing. :-)
Now it feels weird to walk into a house and NOT take off my shoes.

Heathcote Safari said...

I'm sure your Irish friends wouldn't complain about taking their shoes off if you met them at the door with a perspective enhancing tot or two?!?

GutsyWriter said...

Just discovered your blog. Love your story. Are you a shoe addict? Just kidding. Which shoes did you end up wearing, the top or the bottom pair?

OSLO said...

BB- one word - goosepimples!
Caroline - glad to have been of help
Michele - have sad feet too and a very sad excuse for a social life. Think about it - I've been here almost 4.5 years, and it has taken me this long to figure out the 'shoes at parties' thing!
Jo - thanks
Victoria - I feel the same and my kids always take their shoes off in Ireland much to people's bemusement
HS - know what you mean
GutsyWriter - do have a minor shoe weakness brought on by living in a country where, for half the year, I can't wear them. I happily wore flip flops for 5 years before moving to the chilly north. I did of course where the high heeled ankle boots on sat night :)