Little girl feet trying large shoes with high heels

Ask Rene:
Will Our Friendship End Over FEET? 


Hi Rene:

There is a woman in my neighborhood with whom I’ve become friends. We both have a set of twins who are about the same age. My friend invites us over two or three times a month for playdates. The only thing that bothers me is that she makes us take off our shoes at the door. I thought this was something she did because of the kids, but no. We went to a barbecue in her backyard and everybody—adults and kids—had to take off their shoes if they needed to go inside to use the bathroom. The kids love to play together, so not going really isn’t an option. I know that shoe-removal isn’t an earth shaking issue, but I’m so annoyed. Do I just grin and bear it?


Shoeless in Seattle


Dear SiS:

Thanks for writing in. I can understand how some people’s behavior can be annoying but honestly, this feels like much ado about nothing. Here’s how I see it and what I would do if I were you.


Image of pretty woman holding toy house on her palm

The bottom line is it’s her house; it’s her prerogative and she could ask you to strip to your skivvies before you come in. Trying to dictate the rules of someone else’s home and life is a waste of time. Let it go.

Read more: Ask Rene: What Should I Say To My Neighbor?



I’m going to tell you something and you may think I’m odd for it. Maybe I am, but here goes. For as long as I can remember, I’ve hated stepping out of the shower onto a bathroom rug. I don’t know where that came from but the fact is every time I have to do that, I get the heebie jeebies. I imagine dirt, pet hair, human hair embedded in the rug and I freak out! Is it rational? Not really. Okay sort of. But mostly no. But it’s my own little slice of crazy. Who knows what this is borne of with your neighbor but it belongs to her, as does her house.

Read more: Ask Rene: How Do I Tell My Friend To Go Home?



You basically have two choices: you stay home or you can put on your walking shoes and head to her house. Staying at home (as you have accurately noted) is not an option and depriving your kids of their friends seems selfish.  So that leaves the latter. Suck it up. Realize she’s got her quirks (and apparently really clean carpet) and go over there and have a good time. Potty before you go so you can stay outside with your shoes on.

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Please don’t take offense when I say this but honestly I think you need more in your life, so get it. Find some place to volunteer or a way to help your kids become high schoolers who attend Harvard or work on a cure for cancer. But let this one go. It’s not worth your time.. or the dirt on the bottom of your shoe.

Good luck, mommy!

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