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When keeping up appearances embarrasses your visitors

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th August 2008 03:00 AM

YOUR doormat either welcomes your guests or tells everyone to get lost. Your choice should say it right – the right way and your way! You can choose who your visitors will be and by allowing them into the house, you are inviting them into your comfort.

By Kikonyogo Ngatya

YOUR doormat either welcomes your guests or tells everyone to get lost. Your choice should say it right – the right way and your way! You can choose who your visitors will be and by allowing them into the house, you are inviting them into your comfort.

It is an extension of the warm feeling towards them. So, when you tell them: “Make yourself a home here,” it should not be mere rhetoric – mean it!
It starts from the doormat. Something reading ‘you open the wine, I will cut the cheese’ boosts your visitors mood to even stay longer.’

But there is no better way to send off your guests than making it a policy to make them do something they would not wish to do. Or inconvenience them, like making it a rule to make them remove their shoes.

It is rude. To me, honouring an invitation into a friend’s home is more than a good will gesture. I would understand if it were a mosque or a shrine.

Such rudeness is equivalent to the old saying from Buganda, loosely translated to mean an in-law who frequents as a visitor is made to eat wild doves. While the official line is for in-laws to be served cocks, what happens when they visit and camp at your house for days?

In the old days, the doves would do the send off, but today, a thing like ordering them to put off their shoes do it.

Making somebody remove their shoes is a sign of disrespect. It is another way of saying, ‘your shoes are dirty.’ But that is why there is a doormat in the first place – to wipe off the mud.

By inviting me, you are allowing me the comfort to enjoy the cost of cleaning your carpet. I am not interested in knowing it, after all. Suppose my socks are torn or smelly? I would feel uncomfortable in your house.

You would say I am naive, but a very senior minister got embarrassed when he was caught off-guard, at the opening of a tele-medicine facility at Mulago Hospital sometime in 2001.

Guests were required by procedure to remove their shoes and put on laboratory wear. But his socks were torn. What an embarrassment. Would you take pride in embarrassing your guests?

I think what is important is to judge how your guest rates you. By welcoming them in with their shoes, it shows that you value them. Let your visitor be the first to suggest that they leave their shoes outside, but do not force them to.

When keeping up appearances embarrasses your visitors

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