Erin's Journal

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Just a thought... Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were. [Author Unknown]

I wanted to express my gratitude for the outpouring of thoughts and, often, your own perspective about yesterday's very raw journal. I received most of them on Facebook, but also some came in my email. Thank you for taking the time to share; they say that confession is good for the soul, right? (Well, someone did.) And I do believe that living as transparent a life as one can, especially when you have even the tiniest platform that might be able to help just one person to identify and step out of the dark, is living your best life.
 
Of course, there's a fine line between the personal and the private. Radio guru and my own long-distance mentor Valerie Geller always preached about the importance of sharing the former and leaving out the latter. I learned so very much from her.
 
Just as I learn from you - and from paying attention! Case in point: we were going through some open houses here in Palm Springs, CA last weekend. No company, so why not, right? I tucked into my purse a pair of flimsy hotel slippers to wear in the houses, and off we went.
 
Eyebrows rose when I put them on in the first two houses (I had sandals on and wasn't going to walk around someone's house barefoot - for their sake and for mine) and then, in another we entered, a pretty blonde lady named Grayson - whose spelling I never caught - asked me if I was from the midwest US or from Canada. 
 
Well, tap my timbers and call me maple syrup! "Canada," I answered in surprise. "How did you know?"
 
Turns out Grayson is from Red Deer, Alberta and has dual US citizenship, as does her husband. She now works in real estate in Palm Springs, smart lady. She said that the only people she encounters who take off their shoes are from those two places.
 
And it got me to thinking. My mom, who died right here in nearby Palm Desert just seven years ago next week, would ask me, "What the heck is all of this about taking off your shoes? When did that start?"
 
I wondered what she meant. As far as I knew, we'd always taken them off (perhaps having to do with the slush and muck that would inevitably get tracked in during the shoulder months, not to mention the depths of winter). We expected that when people came to visit our house or condo (but not the cottage). It just seemed to be natural. Would you come in with your coat on?
 
I posed the question in a Twitter poll @erindavis that ran from about noon on Tuesday 'til the same time yesterday. About 300 people took part and here are the findings: 
 

shoes poll

 
I got some great comments, too. Like this one. 
 

shoes

 
And these two...
 

shoes

 
Okay Lisa - now I'll be noticing that, too. And finally, this from Max who just wants her piggies to be free range!
 

shoes

 
I found it fascinating that even though so many of our fellow countrymen-and-women come from arguably the coldest parts of the continent, Grayson knew we were Canadians from us taking off our shoes! 
 
Or perhaps we really are just that polite!
 
If you're looking for actual reasons why shoes should come off, this article could help.
 
Have a good day and thanks for contributing to the journal if you answered my little poll! 
 
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(@erindavis on‌ Twitter)

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