I know I am biased, but I think that Biker Man is pretty wise. He says that everyone is strange. He's strange. I'm strange. You're strange. We are all strange. Obviously, it is a matter of perspective of what strange is between us all. Each of us have our own quirks, quinky-dinks, and issues that we are persnickety about. One thing we have realized, what others think is strange about us, is the fact that we don't allow shoes to be worn in our house.
The "rule" didn't become a member of our household until we had been married for 3 years, and were buying our first home in the south. I didn't like "the rule" for a long time, and it has been the source of a few lovely marital discussions (Don't judge us....you have had many of those in your house too, about things that are MORE strange.). I hated asking people who were visiting to take off their shoes.....it made me feel uncomfortable and awkward. Most everyone that comes to visit, are very understanding and accommodating towards our strangeness. Many have been inspired to institute a similar practice in their own home. I have girlfriends tease, that they are going to get us a "Welcome to Japan!" sign for our door. There have been a few, over the years, that would raise an eyebrow at us.....or would have a deer caught in a headlight look. We knew that the eyebrow people thought we were strange. So, the rest of our hospitality during their visit was a song and dance routine trying to compensate for our strangeness and to convince them that we are really normal.....and can be fun. The deer caught in a headlight people were ones that I had a revelation about. They didn't necessarily think we were strange. They were worried that we would think they were strange. Those dear souls (no pun intended) had foot issues......like aroma (Scout's new favorite word from the book I am reading him right now, Homer Price).....or had had a bad pedicure, or had not received one at all. Some had growths and stuff, and were embarrassed, which made me embarrassed for them. We have had a few precious ladies whom have had temperature gauging problems.....guess it was that time of life and changes were a happ'n, and they needed socks, slippers or something. But, I have learned over the years, how to gracefully, and not so much at times, tip toe (again, no pun intended) around hopefully making everyone feel comfortable when visiting.
Now, I am not one of those germ-a-phobe moms. We strive to obtain a basic level of sanitation through hand washing, sanitizer and the like. What we miss, I trust it's being covered under the "it's building immunity" clause. Biker Man, on the other hand..... while he too, is not a germ-a-phobe, he is not your average guy.....much to my benefit! I am sure that I have taken him and his neat ways for granted many times in the past 18 years. Biker Man's name "Biker Man" doesn't give you a mental picture of a particularly clean gentleman. I am sure you are picturing a rough around the edges, smokin' hot guy, sporting a black leather rebel jacket, riding a motorcycle.....(although, he did arrive on my scene in 1994 sportin' that bad-boy style, he's still got it, and he still makes me swoon). His image is contrary to what one would think. He works very hard to take very good care of us, and is a good steward to all that we have together. Just the other night I was reflecting in thanksgiving, on what I would do without my Biker Man:
"Biker Man, what would I do without you?"
"Don't know." He carefully replied.
I said, "We would probably go to hell in a hand basket, the house would fall around us and the cars would be on the side of the road, with steam coming out from underneath the hoods. We would be fat and have more than nine cavities." He chuckled and enveloped me in a hug. I love my Biker Man.
My eureka moment that caused me to put all my chips in, at the poker table, in regards to "the rule" was when Biker Man started
to take Scout into the men's restrooms in public, just after he was
potty trained (Scout, I mean.....Biker Man arrived on my scene, back
in 1994, potty trained). Public restrooms are one thing that we both are phobic about. Most are pretty disgusting. The first time Biker Man returned from taking Scout into the men's room, he said, "Until he is older, you need to take him into the women's room. He is eye level to the man potty's and can't keep his hands off. Many men have bad aim and the floors around the man potty's are nasty. Scout just kept dancing around in it, like it was a rain puddle." OOOHHHHH GROSS!!!!! I had never thought about that! It meant that stuff was on Biker Man's shoes, Scout's shoes, and who knows what in the world I had walked in.....in the parking lot, the store and the women's restroom. That was it! No more shoes worn in our house. We are strange, but so are you. Like I said, Biker Man is wise.
Recently we had the privilege of being a guest in a dear Asian woman's home. She greeted us with much warmth and a big hug. Before we walked further into her home, she said, "Pweeze. Taka offa shoe." We quickly obliged, as we understood her request and reasoning. I understand that it is the culture in many of the Asian countries, that outdoor shoes are not worn in their homes.....for various reasons.....like bad spirits coming in or something.....we don't want any of that here either. But her simple request to us, reverberated in my heart.
Now, every time that someone comes over, I think of her, and want to say, in my best Asian accent, "Pweeze. Taka offa shoe!" Actually, after writing this, "pweeze, taka offa shoe" will be ringing repeatedly in my head today. Can someone come and visit me, so I can say it in my best Asian accent? Oh, don't forget your slippers.....and does anyone have a sign that says "Welcome to Japan?" I could use one.