Some cultures are very strict about shoes in the household. The same way that every culture has their own set of quirks and traditions.
In countries like the US, it is normal to interact with people with all sorts of backgrounds and although we might not understand the different customs, we can certainly learn to respect them.
Redditor thr_away_aita_rm encountered this very issue with their roommate. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for getting back at my roommate?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“When my new roommate, Dave, moved in a few months ago we discussed a few ground rules for the apartment. One of which being no shoes inside.”
“Dave reluctantly agreed saying that he has always worn shoes inside and it would take some time to change the habit.”
“He tried it for the first few weeks but now completely gives up and keeps dragging his shoes all over the common area and even into his room (which I find it extremely gross but it’s his room so whatever).”
“I tried talking to him but he wouldn’t budge, saying that he should be comfortable at his own home.”
“This really upset me so I decided that if he doesn’t respect the initial agreement then neither should I.”
“Dave used to complain about my cooking, especially the stronger smelling food like kimchi and fish sauce. I’ve refrained from using them but last week, I got exactly just that, some kimchi and fish sauce.”
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t do it to annoy Dave but I do eat them regularly if not for him.”
“To no surprise, he is pissed and complains that the entire apartment, the fridge and even his food is stinking. So I told him that I should be comfortable eating the food I like.”
“Am I in the wrong here?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA because wearing shoes inside the house is disgusting. Tell him that if he wants to wear shoes inside the house, he needs to get a new pair of shoes, which he will only use inside so that they won’t be dirty. That shouldn’t be a problem for either of you.” ~ RemarkableDonkey21
“This is so wild because it definitely depends on the home. I know it’s a typical rule – but literally no one I grew up with had this rule. Not my grandparents, no friend’s parents – no one I know actually had this rule.”
“It’s basically rude to demand someone expose their socks/ feet to YOUR house.”
“But this instance is where they both actually live there – gotta agree on basic things or not live together.” ~ bakarac
“Also depends on the predominant culture where you live. In my country, it would be very rude to insist on not removing your shoes in someone else’s house.” ~ KittieRhymes
“Right, that’s what I’m saying – it’s not predominant in all cultures, i.e., the melting pot of US culture.”
“It can be a very awkward clash to live with someone who has either opinion very strongly frankly.”
“The house will get disgusting you never take your shoes off, but if someone bites my head off for not wearing slippers at all times – nah we aren’t compatible.” ~ bakarac
It takes time for roommates to get used to each other’s habits.
“I almost never wear shoes in the house. But I also don’t take them off until I get to my room (closest to the door).”
“When I lived alone I left them by the door, but there isn’t space here. I live with my mother right now due to my health issues (cancer recovery). She wears her shoes until it’s time for bed.”
“She’s constantly complaining about dirty floors & shes the only one that cleans them. (Context, my brother, his SO & their 2yo live here). I refuse to clean the floor multiple times a week as she does since I’m not wearing my shoes all over & mucking it up. Im gonna say NTA” ~ The1983Jedi
“I don’t take mine off as well until I get to my bedroom (or bathroom, whichever I get to first) whenever I get home, and only wear shoes in house is if I’m coming home or leaving the house to go somewhere like work or anywhere that requires me to walk outside or public places for a decent amount of time.”
“If I’m home, I’m either usually barefoot, or slippers on if I’m only going out of house to get to the bins/shed/car for a few mins.” ~ songoku9001
“Might be different from country to country. But here in Norway you would probably be kicked out of any house immediately if you walked in with your shoes on. Kids aren’t allowed to use outside shoes at school either, we always had to have another pair of shoes or crocs at school which we used inside. Then we changed to our outside shoes during recess.”
“I just assumed this would be the norm in most countries, but it seems like it’s not.” ~ RemarkableDonkey21
“Socks and slippers are very common, and almost no one goes barefoot. It would also be considered rude to go barefoot into someone else’s house, and when visiting others we usually just wear socks.”
“Since the winters are quite cold, it’s very common to use slippers in that part of the year. But during the summer, most people just wear socks.” ~ RemarkableDonkey21
“Wearing outside shoes at home feels so unhygienic though. You’re bringing in all kinds of dirt and bacteria from outside that can cause problems even if your bare feet don’t touch the floor.”
“I feel like I’d be constantly cleaning and sanitizing things if someone insisted on wearing their shoes in my home. I generally try to keep some spare disposable home slippers for people who feel uncomfortable removing their shoes but I also don’t tend to invite them over as much if they really don’t feel comfortable.”
“I personally wouldn’t insist on removing my shoes if I visit someone who keeps their shoes on but that’s because I feel weird about exposing my feet to whatever is in their house. I’d just treat it like being outdoors.”
“Insisting on wearing shoes in a household that doesn’t wear shoes is much worse than the reverse imo. In the first case you’re inconveniencing others by making it unclean for them but with the reverse you’re only making things bad for yourself by exposing yourself to whatever is on the floor.” ~ noirchan
This seems to be a cultural difference.