The toes have it

Mr. Butckovitz [“Flags, Feet and Freedom,” Letters Aug. 22] doesn’t want to look at me barefoot “while eating a dinner that [he] paid for.” Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), we live in a country where everyone has a right to freedom of expression, and that includes choice of attire, even if unconventional. But contrary to what some may think, we do not have a right to not be offended.

And as to someone not wanting to see bare feet in a restaurant, what’s the difference between seeing bare feet and seeing feet in flip-flops? Just as much of a foot is visible in flip-flops as with bare feet—or does that little thin half-inch strip of rubber between the toes really make all the difference in the world? I think it’s just the idea of bare feet that Mr. Butckovitz has a problem with, not the actual sight—otherwise, he’d be complaining about flip-flop and sandal wearers as well.

Mr. Butckovitz also includes in his letter an absolutely unlikely scenario in which a barefoot person could be injured in a restaurant, and the final result of all the mayhem he describes is that everyone there must be tested for AIDS. His wild speculation is, in a word, ridiculous.

He also states that I don’t quite understand “the real history of the ‘No shirt, No shoes, No service’ dress code,” further explaining that prior to the 1960s, people wore “proper clothing” in public. Actually, I completely understand the history of such arbitrary dress codes. He has a right to his opinion, and perhaps that’s the way he saw it. But I suspect I’m a little older and perhaps was able to observe history from a different perspective. While he spent the ‘60s as a “barefoot hippie” (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I was working as an accountant in a business while trying to support a family. Those signs that started proliferating back then had nothing to do with economics and had everything to do with politics.

— Kriss Sands
Mars Hill

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One thought on “The toes have it

  1. Tim Mills

    Ah! Some common sense finally.I could agree more Kriss. As for the people who gripe about barefoot, but have no problem with sandals, let me take the logic one step further: many people, children especially have a habit of kicking flip flops off when they sit down to eat. They often do it without even realizing it. Now, what the difference between being barefoot with a pair of flip flops near by and just plain being barefoot? In a word: Nothing

    People are making a big deal out of others going barefoot for no reason. The world would be so much more pleasant if people could mind their own business, and leave those of us who wish to go barefoot alone. We need to learn to accept other people.

    In many ways, the bigger issues isn’t shoes vs bare feet, but can we ever learn to accept people who are different from us?

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