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Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Posted by bumblebeez (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 7, 07 at 13:36

At Thanksgiving this year, we had dh's family over, which we do every two years. After dinner, some of the women and I were sitting on the screened in porch which has pine tongue and groove flooring.
One of the cousins, here at the house for the first time(with her new husband) wore spiked heeled boots that she angled into the floor. At first I couldn't tell what was happening but as i covertly watched, noticed she was putting dents into the floor.
Well, we sat out there for another 30 minutes or so and this started to really get to me. And I didn't know what to do.
In the middle of the group ask her to stop? Graciously, of course. But then she and everyone would know she had put noticeable dents in the floor, in a conspicuous spot, and would feel bad.
I said nothing....but later wish I had said something!

She's young, early twenties and fashionable. She was young enough to feel mortified and also not know enough about houses.

Now there is a very visible spot with a bunch of dents.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

There is no point in confronting her now....the damage is done.
But I wouldn't let her near the porch again with shoes with a stiletto heel!...nor anyone else for that matter....and might provide a little rug for people with daggers on their feet!!
Linda C


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

No, I wouldn't do anything now, of course! But what should I have done in the middle of the situation?


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

How new is the floor? Pine is a soft wood. I would imagine that over time it's going to get some dents & scratches in it, and not just from stiletto heels. I don't think you can really blame your cousin unless you warned her in advance to be careful of the floor. I honestly don't think most people would think about their shoes damaging the floor -- that's sort of a hazard of having people over.


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more: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

In the middle of the situation, if there were a discreet opportunity to somehow whisper to her to please be careful how she placed her heels on the floor, without others overhearing, that would have probably been ok. Aside from that, I don't know what else you could do.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

We have people over often enough and the floor is 8 years old with no dents. However, the way she was sitting and moving her ankle back and forth was what was causing the dents. Not regular sitting or walking around.

I was just wondering if I was a patsy for not saying anything.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

In the middle of the situation I would have said...OOH! Please be careful! Your heels are leaving dents....here let me run and get you a little rug to put your feet on.
And then make a little light conversation about since youa re too old or unfashionable or have weak ankles or something to wear heels like that, you never gave it a thou gght when putting in the floor...but it really is very vulnerable to denting.
She will forget the incident in about a week, but you will now remember every time you look at the dents.
Yeah you were a patsy....you wouldn't have watched someone absent mindedly scratching at the finish on a table with long acrylic nails would you?
But it's done....best to let ir lie.
Linda C


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

FWIW, pine is a very poor choice for flooring. It's a soft wood. Easily dented.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

I have been looking into new flooring and like the look of reclaimed or new yellow pine, however every website I look at warns people that it dents/scratches easily and one of the worst warnings is for ladies spike heels. Now I personally love the look of old pine floors with the imperfections and patina that come from heavy use and age, but it sounds like you are not that type of person. Perhaps you should institute a "no shoes on the screen porch" rule if the dents (and potential for more) bother you that much ? I think you should do nothing. It is your floor, you are responsible to know what is acceptable to keep it in the condition you like, so just chalk this experience up as a learning one. I think it would be rude to single this person out (discreetly or not, it is obvious to others what is happening and would still make your guest uncomfortable) and make them stand on a rug by themselves. Next time you will know, that's all.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Maybe I'm too blunt, but I would have said something to her or, like someone else mentioned above, brought a rug to put under her feet while explaining the reason for doing so. How is she to know if someone doesn't tell her?


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Haha, I STILL don't know what I would do if I had to do it over. There is a huge part of me that says guests are more important than things...that I should get over it, it's just a floor, blah, blah blah, but then I also like to take care of what I have so I can have nice things.

The interior floor is hardwood and spikes don't make a dent there but she wasn't just standing, she was sitting with her legs crossed and moving one ankle back and worth wiggling her pointy heel into the floor. We were all sitting in a circle and this was the first time she had been to the house. I didn't notice the dents at first..I was 7-8 feet away but then I couldn't keep my eyes off her feet and soon we all got up and went inside.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

I wouldn't have confronted, for fear of coming off like a boor. Rather, I'd have instantly, in my anxiety, beckoned her to another room to show her some photographs, or a item of interest, with a story - more than likely, she would not have returned to the foot drilling and all would be well.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Can you rearrange the furniture so that it doesn't show as much? I have had things happen at my house that probably no one notices but me, but I find them annoying when I have to look at them all the time. I've been able to arrange furniture twice to cover irremovable stains on carpet. Could you put a pretty throw rug over the dents?


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Apart from a distracting move: "Did you see the view from over here????" -- not much you can do at the time .....

But keep a couple of outdoor rugs stashed nearby for parties to minimize future damages .....


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

I think you were very thoughtful not to say anything... but it's okay to protect your furnishings. What I do is act like it's my fault in a way... like..I would compliment her on her boots so maybe she would look down and notice.. and when she or someone else noticed I would say.."oops I forgot to put that small rug down here."


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Unfortunately bad manners are everywhere and if you care about floors and rugs and don't want them damaged then it is best to enforce a no shoes rule. You must look after your stuff because, believe me, no one else will. I would have said something to her right away - she was obviously being careless and wonton in her actions. I know this is cold comfort now but this is the result of being accommodating to people, especially to the shoes-on in the house crowd. The rudeness of some people never ceases to amaze. You have every right to speak up and protect your property. Who the heck wears spike heals in a house anyway - that was a poor choice on her part to begin with. Especially since she was family, I would have had no compunction about telling her to take the shoes off or march her high heel hooves right out of the house. Relationships can be mended easily, floor can't.

Some women think that heels make the outfit, I'm sorry but either you are attractive or you're not and a pair of high heels isn't going going to turn Rosanne Barr into Reese Witherspoon - just ain't gonna happen. Attractive women look good no matter what they are wearing. Unless they have some kind of fetish most guys will never notice your shoes. The shoes NEVER make the woman so this lady, out of consideration and class should have taken her shoes off and you, out of concern for the value of your home, should have spoken up. It's just sad to see this lesson learned this way. You might try to putty the holes and sand them - not sure if they are finished or not. Best of Luck!


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Oh! Dear....I am so sorry to see that some value things more than relationships.
The original poster appears to be a kind gentle and loving person who didn't want to hurt the feelings of her guest. I think there is a way she could have prevented damage to her floors and still been polite and avoided the specter of having a house full of guests padding around in their sox and a pile of shoes by the door.
Her question was should she have said something when she saw what was happening. Most posters suggested a tactful way of preventing further damage.
Linda C


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

"Oh! Dear....I am so sorry to see that some value things more than relationships."

My sister likes that line. Of course, she is someone that doesn't value or take care of things at all (especially others' things). Pretty much destroyed my grandparents mahogany bedroom set from the 1930s, which was in pristine shape. Valuing people over things is, IMO, usually a euphemism for people that don't take care of things (especially the things belonging to others). If you want to be that way that is your right, but you shouldn't expect others to act similarly.

Are people really so sensitive now that we can't tell them they are damaging something? Really, the visitor was damaging the floors, the OP has the right to speak up. Whether the visitor did it out of ignorance or some passive agressive pettiness, the OP did say, "the floor is 8 years old with no dents", so clearly the visitor was doing something wrong!

Yes, let's allow people to destroy things, but HEAVEN FORBID we speak up and ask them to stop.

If I were the OP I would have told her, "your boots are lovely, I wish I could walk in those! Unfortunately the floor is a little delicate, could you not angle your heel into it?" And then more on with a question for her about something (DH said you have a great job at X, how do you like it?). Or you could have asked her to come in the house and help you get drinks or do something else to get her off the porch.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

bumblebeez, if you didn't realize that a pine floor would dent and scratch easily eventually developing a patina I am sorry. I do not think you were a patsy, I think you were a gracious hostess. If you look at old pine flooring it really is beautiful. As for posters thinking valuing things over friendship I think there is a big difference in accidents, or abusing something. I doubt the person realized what was happening and continued to roll her heels to make more dents. None of us want to see things abused.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

I wonder how the cousin would feel if the OP took a ball point pen and started playing with it by pushing it into her dining room table? Oops - so sorry.... I believe we've been trained to be doormats in this country.

I remember when I was young, I was told by more than one adult that I should never complain if we were in a restaurant and someone was smoking nearby. The hell I won't... If I see someone smoking in public (I don't care where) and myself or my child is nearby, like waiting in line outside a restaurant, I tell them to put it out and stop poisoning my child's air. It should be a felony to smoke around children. It doesn't matter if it's your health, your property, your image or your dignity - people need to start standing up for themselves and others who can't do so for themselves. We as a society have become way too tolerant of pushy and indifferent people. If you see something wrong then speak up!

Being gracious has its place, being a doormat for the arbitrary and wonton will of others does not. If you don't bring someone up to speed on what they are doing wrong then who will? This cousin will go to a 100 other houses in her spikes and do the same thing because everyone is tripping all over themselves trying to be the gracious host and uphold this ponderous air of etiquette. Purposeful or not - the devil in Prada needs to realize what she is doing is wrong and you needn't feel guilty providing that education for her and neither should anyone else.

When you go to someone else's house you are their guest, just like when you visit a foreign country, you are a guest and must follow their laws and customs. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When you are in my house, the shoes come off at the door. Likewise, I would expect to abide by the requests of others when I am visiting them. If you do not like my rule you can go home and sulk and write about it on Garden Web where it will no doubt engender an outpouring of sympathy for having had to respect the wishes of the homeowner whose house you were visiting. Heaven forbid I speak my mind in my house... Of course you want to make people feel comfortable and welcome but that does not preclude you from exercising your right to uphold your customs and standards in your own house. No need to tiptoe on eggshells around people. I just don't understand all the people on this forum that get all wound up with angst over how to deal with what they perceive to be an issue with something a guest is doing. If you saw them stealing your silverware would you ask them what they were doing and confront them or would you wait until they stole your prize flatware and then unload your frustrations on the Garden Web forums while that same person goes and steal the silverware from 3 other people's homes? I hope I have made my point. No one says you have to be mean but no one says you have to tolerate wonton indifference either.
Sleepyhollow


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

I never understand these kind of posts....If someone is in your home and part of the family arent you close enough or comfortable enough to say.."Oh crap your boots...and just say throw them over in the corner...whats the big deal why would they be devastated...i dont get it I also too have a way about me that people know Im not pissed and with something like this Im like dont worry about it no biggy...and yes I have a very well maintained home with expensive flooring.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

"I believe we've been trained to be doormats in this country."

I'll second that. And what is worse (IMO) is that so many people EXPECT others to be doormats that they can't handle being (even nicely) told what to do or not do. I am a "doormat free" person (it being a professional requirement, I'm a lawyer). I was in line at a food place yesterday. The lines are always erratic, so everyone forms ONE line and then goes up the register as it becomes free. It is very obvious this is the custom there. This one young woman marches right up to the front and tells the cashier her order (stepping in front of the person walking to the cashier). The vast majority of people just stood there sighing oh so passive aggressively. Only two people said anything to her - a young man of her same culture and me, who came to the defense of the man because she then verbally abused him for pointing out to her that there is a line and she cut off about 10 people (he said it nicely, and fairly quietly). Everyone is so darn ENTITLED nowadays that they cannot handle having any transgression pointed out to them.

I actually know a 4 and 6 year old that told a 90 year old that she (the 90 year old) could not tell them what to do (stop slamming the door) because they were in "their house". Can you imagine a 6 year old 30 years ago telling an elderly person, "you can't tell me what to do, this is MY house". And the father of the little brats thought they did the right thing because they "stuck up for themselves" - against a 90 year old!

I'm off my soapbox now.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

I would have looked down at the floor where she was sitting and said to her, "oh look you're sitting right where my friend was the other day and look what her heels did to my floor." Then that way, you aren't blaming her or embarrassing her, just showing her what "someone" else did. I'd like to think that she would have stopped digging her heels in at that point. She just didn't know. I think you were gracious about not saying anything.

I guess next time, put little rugs in front of the seating so this won't happen again.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Isn't there any choice between being a doormat and being rude?

Sleepyhollow writes, "If I see someone smoking in public (I don't care where) and myself or my child is nearby, like waiting in line outside a restaurant, I tell them to put it out and stop poisoning my child's air. ... We as a society have become way too tolerant of pushy and indifferent people."

To me, though, "tell[ing] them to put it out and stop poisoning my child's air" is pushy -- not to mention rude. What does it accomplish? Do you really think that that is going to get the smoker to put it out, much less "educate" him/her, better than just asking politely? "Excuse me; you probably didn't notice that there are children present. Would you mind putting that out? Thank you so much." Besides avoiding being rude, it is simply true that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Several posters suggested perfectly nice and effective ways of dealing with the high-heels issue. It troubles me that so many posters wouldn't be satisfied with that; no, they want an excuse to be rude, sometimes even abusive, to people -- even guests in their own home. I don't know why feeling that we are right about some principle makes us feel that we are justified in being rude about it.

By the way, I am a lawyer, too, and as any good lawyer knows, diplomacy, tact, and civility are not only more professional than rudeness and nastiness (which can even get you sanctioned) -- they are a LOT more effective.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

I don't believe I suggested being rude. I suggested not being a doormat.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

No, sue36, you sure didn't, and I wasn't talking about you -- in fact, I noticed you made specific reference to being nice about it. You were just a lot more subtle than I was!


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

I hate the word confront. The word itself suggests a fight -

I agree that aggressive behavior is useless, rude, and makes the aggressor look like a fool.

Many of us, however, could benefit from assertiveness training - and learning how to get what we want out of life without being offensive ourselves.

Balance, in all things.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

How does one remain calm and polite while someone is smoking in the presence of their child or ruining their floors they labored so hard to earn money to buy?

The people who assert themselves through their actions tend not to respond to calm and polite requests because they feel entitled and if they were receptive to "nice" requests they probably would have been considerate and observant enough in the first place to have the better judgment not to do what they were doing.

We are talking dense and insensitive people here and they have conditioned themselves to ignore all but the most obvious and public protests against their misdeeds. It's kind of like telling Jeffery Skilling from Enron:

"Now Jeffery, we know you are a fine, upstanding gentleman who works hard for his company, you are so brilliant, not like all those other executives who stole from their company - we are so glad to have someone of your caliber and stature at the helm of Enron". Subtlety is lost on people like this. Same goes for hardened street criminals - are we supposed to be nice to them too? Sometimes these people are so shocked that someone actually calls them out on something that they actually listen for a moment.

An example of this is when I see people leaving a public restroom at work without first washing their hands and I ask them on their way out - Aren't you going to wash your hands before you touch anything else. My that gets their attention - what got mine was observing said person with their hand in the communal candy jar after his soap free bathroom sortie. 100 bucks says that guy never walks out of that bathroom again without washing his hands or checking to make sure no else is in there. Shame is an effective tool. Obviously you have to be a good judge of the situation but people respond to public perception and the last thing people want is for everyone else to think poorly of them.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Sleepyhollow, how dare you post on this forum without proofreading your posts? No one can take you seriously when you write "wonton" indifference," "being careless and wonton in her actions," and "the arbitrary and wonton will of others." The word you want is "wanton"; a "wonton" is a Chinese dumpling.

Ordinarily, I would not have commented, as of course I understood what you meant, and certainly I make plenty of errors myself-- we all do. But you have educated me that "Shame is an effective tool ... people respond to public perception and the last thing people want is for everyone else to think poorly of them." So I guess that this is how you want to be treated, too.

"100 bucks says that" you never write "wonton" when you mean "wanton" again.

***

See what I mean? Was it worth it? Was it kind? Was it necessary? How did it make you feel? Was being nasty the most effective way for me to communicate that, even if it were necessary to do at all?

Please understand, I didn't post this to insult or to pick on you, and I apologize. I just wanted to illustrate my point. I disagree that shame is an effective tool.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Woah...you had me going there for a minute gellchom!

Point well made, very well made.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Sorry, Gellchom. I thought you were referring to me because you mentioned you were a lawyer too, and then wrote, "as any good lawyer knows, diplomacy, tact, and civility are not only more professional than rudeness and nastiness..." I thought it was a little stab at me, but I guess it wasn't. My mistake. I was reading too much into it (occupational hazard).

Someone mentioned that shame is an effective tool. I only think that works for people over a certain age, and not all of them. The whole self confidence, "I am special", movement has created generations of people who think it is "all about them".

I highly recommend the book "Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door". It is excellent, especially if your nose gets out of joint (as mine does) over people cutting the line, talking on the cellphone in restaurants, and children who talk back to adults.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Wow great post Gellchom.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Amazing this thread still going. Lady chooses ineligible material for her flooring application and then expects an unknowing world to intuitively -- or magically? -- avoid damaging it via their perfectly normal behavior.

I suggest she not have guests at all -- ever. That way her too-soft flooring will stay dent-free always.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Well, you aren't invited over, asolo!


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

"ineligible material"

OP: "We have people over often enough and the floor is 8 years old with no dents."

Eight years with no dents hardly sounds "ineligible".


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

I don't know what service her floor has seen so can't comment. However I have worked with wood all my life. Compared to many other woods, pine is soft. It looks quite wonderful, but it dents easier than many other woods. It is a poor choice for floors for that reason.....ineligible for the purpose, IMHO. That's all.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Sue36, thanks for understanding.

I have been working hard on not letting my nose get out of joint at others' rudeness or stupidity. I learned a lesson once years ago from a checker at the supermarket. The person in front of me was being very rude and difficult to her. She just took it. After he left, I told her I was sorry he had acted that way. She said, "Oh, I'm sure he has his challenges."

I learned a lot from that. She didn't just see what his actions meant to her; she saw the PERSON and gave him the benefit of the doubt -- perhaps he was having a really bad day or had some burden or problem. She was the bigger person for thinking of it that way instead of just getting indignant. (I suppose you could think of being a jerk as being "a challenge"!) And besides, what good would it have done her to get upset anyway? When I realized that all I was doing was giving myself over to aggravation, which certainly didn't improve MY day, that gave me another reason to let things go.

Sometimes there really IS a reason for what seems like terrible rudeness. I know I always appreciated it when people were patient with my dad blurting things out or cutting in line; he couldn't help it, he had Alzheimer's Disease. The other day, a friend was really rude to me at his house. I was stunned, but I was awfully glad I didn't say anything to him or badmouth him; the next day he apologized and explained that he had had a terrible day.

I'm hardly a doormat -- far from it; I'm still way too touchy. But now when someone cuts me off in traffic or whatever, I try not to let it get to me. I try to think that maybe they had a reason, or didn't realize they were being rude, or had just had a bad day. I don't always succeed, of course. But I have found that it makes me happier, and I recommend it over staying home and barring the door, much less retaliating with more rudeness.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Gellchom, I am so glad you straightened out that wonton thing.

That was distracting.

So are the dents in my walnut floors from spike heels a guest wore to a bridal shower in my home. But I didn't say anything to her at the time and if I had to do it over again, I still wouldn't. I hardly ever wear that type of heel any longer, but the few times I know there is a chance I will be walking on wood floors, I avoid wearing them. But people don't always know, or think about those things.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Gellchom, great posts and I agree 100%. There is no excuse for being rude.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

That was a great post! And very funny!


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

a floor finisher once told me that spike heels are the worst thing for wood floors, no 2 ways about it. The teeny small surface of the part of the heel that touches the floor, exerts a pressure equivalent to 7 times the weight of that person. Do the math.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

gellchom,

That's hillarious, better me getting scolded for writing wonton after eating them than for wiping my nerther regions and failing to wash. Not too much shame in the former but would hate to be accused of the latter. 100 bucks says I'll make another typing error in a post but I'll continue to wash with vigor.

I really can't imagine that any of you would defend someone for smoking around a child or feel bad for someone who got caught wiping their leather cheerio and passing up the sink on their way out of the restroom. Surely there is a time and a place for speaking up and sometimes rude is the only way to get the point across.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

sleepyhollow, thanks for being a good sport.

I don't think anyone is defending smoking around children or failing to wash after using the toilet. We are just saying that we disagree that rudeness is an effective or pleasant way to educate or to change behavior.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Okay, the hand washing thing reminded me of a story.

A few years ago, when my MIL owned a lodge, my SIL was the cook. I was laying down in my MIL's bedroom (in the private quarters) when my SIL came in to use the washroom, which you have to enter the bedroom to get to. I heard her flush the toilet but didn't hear water running in the sink. I told her "Hey! You forgot to wash your hand!". She turned around and went back in to wash them. Did it work? No way! I've seen her 3-4 times go to the washroom and not wash her hands and then go cook for customers. Yuk! I told DH about it and said that I would not eat there when she's the cook. I wasn't rude when I said it. I said it in a jokingly kind of fashion. But IMO, I think if I would have said "Oh gross! You go to the washroom, don't wash your hands, and then go cook for people?? You're a pig!", it still wouldn't make a difference with her.


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

gellchom, all of your posts were great! I recently attended a training session through my work called "Win - Win" (I should remember the rest but I don't, LOL). We learned about four different types of personalities and yours is definitely BLUE (Which is what we strive to be). Sleepyhollows is definitely RED (Which is undesirable, bullyish). There is also GREY (Which is depressed, doesn't care, doesn't matter) and GREEN (Doormat, enabler). In each instance your responses lead me to the BLUE mode where you get the facts and communidate effectively. Blue also tries to not sweat the small stuff. In my own life I try to pick my battles wisely. I laughed when I read Sleepyhollows attack on the smoker outside of a restaurant. Your response was much more reasonable. BTW, Reds die earlier and have less friends.

The group that puts on the training session is the Jack Parr Associates (not affiliated with the entertainer).


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

Sorry to drag up this antique post -- but it all came back when I saw this menu board recently!


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

One bowl of wanton soup and you'll be behaving like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally - "I'll have what she's having."


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RE: Spike heels dented screen porch floor- Confront?

My husband, who does woodworking as a hobby, says to put a damp towel over the dents, and then put a steam iron over the towel. You want to work slowly. Keep the towel damp, because you want to drive the dampness into the wood. If the wood is dented and not broken, the fibers may swell enough to minimize or remove the dent. Good luck!


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