Everyone is in a tizzy because Barack Obama dared to wear flip-flops while on vacation. Really? Just so there's never confusion on this matter again, we're going to break down the rules for when it's appropriate to wear them.

I hate flip-flops. I think that are disgusting, uncouth, and unattractive and I personally would never wear a pair. That doesn't mean, though, that anyone who wears them should be automatically branded as inappropriate in some sort of knee-jerk reaction of "decency." That's what seems to be happening to Obama now. We all have to live with the fact that, like "rap music" and the designated hitter, they are here to stay.

Still, the flip-flop wearers of the world need to realize that it is not OK to wear their plastic sole covers 365 days a year and to just about any event. So that we know when and where to wear flip flops, let us go over the rules.

No Flip-Flops Between October and March

Yes, there are certain occasions when you can wear white between Labor Day and Easter, but there is no reason to be wearing flip-flops in the winter. You can enjoy them through September, and you can take them out when things start to thaw by the end of March, but don't wear your flip-flops Christmas shopping in New York. Not only will you be walking through snow, but the only thing uglier than your nasty unkempt feet is your nasty unkempt feet bright red from the cold. This also applies to places with temperate climates like L.A. (It's not that warm there in February). Naturally the months should be reversed for countries in the southern hemisphere. So, if it's January and you want to wear flip-flops, go to Rio.

Flip-Flops Are Always OK on Vacation

While Obama violated the time of year rule, he gets the one dispensation from the rule: He was on vacation. When you are not at work you don't have to answer to anyone—you don't have to shave, do your hair, wear makeup, or dress appropriately. It's vacation. Give everyone a break, especially if they're in Hawaii!

Never Wear Flip-Flops to Work

Never, as it not ever. I don't care if you're a lifeguard or a cocktail waitress in a tiki bar. I don't care if it is casual Friday or if you work at Havaianas. N.E.V.E.R. Case closed.

Do Not Wear Flip-Flops to a Bar

Or a nightclub or a concert or a parade or anywhere you are going to be standing in a crowd of people. First of all, it's unsightly. Secondly, it's dangerous. You are going to get your feet stomped on. That is what happens in crowds of people. And if you're drunk at a bar, glasses are dropped and beer bottles fall, and if that happens on your naked exposed foot, you're going straight to the emergency room, my friend. And, gentleman, if you're wearing flip-flops and using a urinals next to a string of other men at the club, where do you think that spray is going. All over your feet! That is nasty.

Do Not Wear Flip-Flops to a Formal Occasion

Weddings, funerals, retirement dinners, bar mitzvahs, and anything of a similar ilk are not the time to let your dogs breath. In fact, if it's any occasion where other people will be wearing jackets and fancy dresses (even if you're not, because if you think it's OK to wear flip-flops to such an event, you'll probably be inappropriately dressed in the first place) then you need to put on your big-boy shoes. This includes weddings on the beach, because if your friends and/or relatives are stupid enough to have a ceremony right on the sand, then you probably shouldn't go anyway.

There Is No Such Thing as a Dressy Flip-Flop

No matter what it is made out of, what sort of design flourishes it has, or how much it cost you, your flip-flop will never be classified as "dressy." There is only so much lipstick you can put on this pig. These rules apply to all flip-flops from the $5 you wear in the gym shower to the $5,000 ones you bought at Chanel.

If the Choice Is Between Flip-Flops and Crocs, Choose Flip-Flops

Flip-flops are horrible for so many reasons, but I'd rather look at your feet than the holey plastic abomination known as Crocs. I am far more outraged that George W. Bush wore Crocs than I am over Obama's mandal sandals. Crocs are basically everything that's wrong with America: they're bright, garish, intrusive, and smug in their comfort. Of course, George W. Bush would wear them. He's the living, Croc-wearing embodiment of the American tourist that natives all over the world hate for such stereotypical reasons. So, yeah, if there is a gun to your head and these are the only choices: flip-flops win.

Do Not Wear Flip-Flops to the White House

Remember that womens lacrosse team wore flip-flops to meet the President? That was wrong. Flip-flops are not appropriate for visiting any solemn place, including the White House. Show some respect to the office and cover those piggies. If you have to think about whether or not it's appropriate, it's not. You wouldn't wear flip-flops to meet the Queen of England, would you? And if you did, we bet lasers would shoot out of her eyes and cut your feet off and she would imprison them in the tower until they were nothing but plastic shod metatarsals. The only people allowed to wear flip-flops in the White House are the first family, and that's only because it's their house.

Flip-Flops Are Always OK at Home

It's your house, so you can do whatever the fuck you want. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, who is coming over, or what you do for a living. If you are at home, rock whatever you want! But, as soon as you open that door, you better have something appropriate for the occasion and time of year on your ten lower digits.

[Image via AP]