My parents get on to my brother about this.
He regularly wears these ancient, mangled boots that, if I recall correctly, he got from a military surplus store. He also doesn't tie them up with the rainbow-colored shoestrings he laced them with. Surprisingly, he seems to avoid having to trip and stumble, as such a setup might require. He's worn these every day as far as I know for fourone year old, having worn them almost every day. They don't even look that worn to me.
My parents went to the point of buying him some new boots, these massive civilian ones, for Christmas this year, which he (to my knowledge) politely rejected. They yelled at each other, as they usually do. All I was able to pick out from inside my room was what characterizes my brother fairly well.
"Would you rather have me be polite than tell you what I think?"
The truth is that he wanted to keep his old ones. He does the same thing with most of his clothes, which my mother also complains about for their a-wee-bit-more-than-worn nature.
I personally don't care about the whole situation. If I were to be in my brother's shoes (pun intended) I would probably have refused to get new ones on the assertion that they were still quite functional. However, I wouldn't have refused the gift of new ones. This seems odd to me, that he'd refuse even if it was at my parent's expense to get new ones. I would ask him why, but for reasons that I myself am not even certain of, I won't. We haven't talked to each other in a less-than-functional way for about four years... around the time he got the boots. Around the time he grew long hair. Around the time that my parents became so disgusted by him.
Because of this whole affair with his appearance and his attitude towards it, there is an unspoken law that I may not buy black stormtrooper boots, I may not grow long hair, and I may not wear clothes that have visible wear in them. I may not mimic his behavior in any way, as is evidenced by a quote of my mother's that I can recall quite readily.
"Oh, hush! Quit acting like Steven! Stop it! Now! I don't want to hear any of that."
She used to cry whenever we went to church (which we never seem to go to anymore). She would later say it was because she saw all of these "happy" families with clean-shaven and well-dressed sons that seemingly were the epitome of success itself. I come to wonder if this whole affair -- with my brother, my parents, and I -- is a conflict between expectations and actual developments. They seem so disappointed in my brother. Maybe they want sons who will become rich and famous. Maybe they want sons that they will one day be proud of, for whatever reasons. Maybe they want sons that can at least keep them out of a retirement home. These motives are an enigma to me. Maybe I'll learn if I ever become a parent (which I plan not to do).
Maybe I'm just being ridiculously overanalytical
again. They just want him to buy new shoes