Q: Is it rude to ask guests who come into your home to take off their shoes and leave them at the door? I want to keep my new hardwood floors from getting ruined.
A: Not if the occasion is informal and you explain your reason. Since guests might be surprised by the request, though, it would be a good idea to offer rubbersoled slippers to anyone who feels she or he might be uncomfortable or cold not wearing shoes. If you’ve invited guests to a dinner party or otherwise fairly formal occasion, however, I wouldn’t ask them to remove their shoes-unless it’s a cultural custom your family observes. If you’re really that concerned about your floor, I’d wait to invite people to your home when weather permits ouotdoor entertaining.