Dead Men's Boots


#1

Every family has it's eccentrics, mine included.

It is my cousin, who we will consider here. He has an affinity for expensive shoes and boots. I say boots because he lives in Texas, where a man is not well dressed without finely crafted western boots.

Those finely crafted boots are, of course, quite expensive, and my cousin is a very careful man with a dollar.

The upshot is that he prowls estate sales, conducted by recent widows, who are disposing of their late husband's personal effects.

So, my cousin struts proudly about in Texas, with his feet in dead men's boots.

It seems a little spooky to me, to equip one's wardobe almost exclusively with the boots and clothing of the recently deceased.

He is not a vampire or anything, and not homicidal. But dead men's boots are his first choice in footwear.

My ignorance compels me to ask if this habit of purchasing and wearing dead men's clothing and boots is inappropriate for a Catholic man of middling means and mature years.

He could afford new stuff, and he works in a suit and tie, professional environment.

Does the Catholic church forbid, or frown upon, this practice of dressing like a dead man?


#2

I don't understand what the problem is...? It's just like buying at a thrift store. Your brother doesn't want to spend a lot of money so he finds a deal. They're just a pair of shoes that have been worn before. It doesn't change the shoes just because the person who previously owned them is dead. Why would the Church have something to say about this?


#3

[quote="Magickman, post:1, topic:222438"]
Every family has it's eccentrics, mine included.

It is my cousin, who we will consider here. He has an affinity for expensive shoes and boots. I say boots because he lives in Texas, where a man is not well dressed without finely crafted western boots.

Those finely crafted boots are, of course, quite expensive, and my cousin is a very careful man with a dollar.

The upshot is that he prowls estate sales, conducted by recent widows, who are disposing of their late husband's personal effects.

So, my cousin struts proudly about in Texas, with his feet in dead men's boots.

It seems a little spooky to me, to equip one's wardobe almost exclusively with the boots and clothing of the recently deceased.

He is not a vampire or anything, and not homicidal. But dead men's boots are his first choice in footwear.

My ignorance compels me to ask if this habit of purchasing and wearing dead men's clothing and boots is inappropriate for a Catholic man of middling means and mature years.

He could afford new stuff, and he works in a suit and tie, professional environment.

Does the Catholic church forbid, or frown upon, this practice of dressing like a dead man?

[/quote]

I don't find this odd at all he is. He is merely shopping for bargains at estate sales- as do tens of thousands o other f Americans every day. I suspect that you have issues with your cousin that go beyond his shopping habits.


#4

Given that Catholics are supposed to be good stewards of the earth and re-using old items is an excellent way to "be green," I commend your cousin for find a way to furnish his wardrobe in such a sustainable way.


#5

[FONT=Arial]Seriously? Cross an affinity with thriftiness and we get eccentricity?

My guess is that there is a different reason for your feeling, but it is merely being verbalized over this issue. What is the REAL reason for your feeling that your cousin is eccentric and such is a big enough concern that you took the time to post it on CAF?[/FONT]


#6

Factor in that he is helping the widows by buying something at their sale. They may be seriously strapped for money after their husbands' deaths and need to sell what they can.


#7

As well, kind of on a much smaller scale than donating a dying person's organs, passing along a loved one's belongings may provide a kind of catharsis and a comfort knowing that the person who bought the item really loves it and gets wear out of it.

I love antique furniture for this reason - that the pieces graced someone's home, that family occasions happened in the rooms where they were, that the wear an old piece of wood has taken over the years gives it character and dignity. I like to imagine the families that used the furniture, who they were, what they did.

If he went in like the curtain-pickers in Dickens' A Christmas Carol, while the man's body was lying in repose, then yeah, that would be really creepy and crass. But anyone could buy the boots and re-sell them, and they'd still have belonged to someone who died, so why shouldn't your brother buy them?

Anyway, how often does he find boots that fit him??? :shrug:


#8

[quote="Magickman, post:1, topic:222438"]
My ignorance compels me to ask if this habit of purchasing and wearing dead men's clothing and boots is inappropriate for a Catholic man of middling means and mature years.

He could afford new stuff, and he works in a suit and tie, professional environment.

Does the Catholic church forbid, or frown upon, this practice of dressing like a dead man?

[/quote]

none of this has anything to do with Catholic teaching
wearing clothing previously owned and used by someone who has died is not a problem, people give the clothing of their deceased loved ones to thrift stores and charities all the time. This is Texas. Wearing boots does not make one eccentric here. I would only add that most expensive boots produced here (there are at least 3 in town that cater to international clientele) are custom made on a last conformed to the owner, and therefore would be a poor fit to anyone else, so are not that good a deal.


#9

I'm in agreement with Arlene that he is helping the widows. He is also saving money and cutting down on wiping species out. All that being said if he was walking around with a weird fascination for the dead then there might be an issue as then there would be a different intent. But you already said he was not.


#10

magick,
i wish i had this guy's time! instead, on a short budget, and a shorter time frame, i cook with potential dead men's pots and pans, and wear their earrings.

i buy LOTS of stuff at the giant, local thrift store. i'd LOVE to have time to do esate sales.


#11

What I find creepy is your reference to "dead men's boots." Is that your term or his?

My grandmother is deceased. I have kept all of her lovely hats from the 50's and 60's. According to this OP I am wearing a "dead woman's hats." AND that I am eccentric because of it. REALLY??

Unless he robbed the grave to get the boots, he is NOT wearing "dead men's boots."


#12

[quote="Magickman, post:1, topic:222438"]
Every family has it's eccentrics, mine included.

It is my cousin, who we will consider here. He has an affinity for expensive shoes and boots. I say boots because he lives in Texas, where a man is not well dressed without finely crafted western boots.

[/quote]

As a Texan, I can assure you that a man can be well dressed without ever putting his foot in a western boot. Many Texans do wear boots for dress occasions, but many do not. It is a personal preference, certainly not any sort of requirement or dress code.

[quote="Magickman, post:1, topic:222438"]
Those finely crafted boots are, of course, quite expensive, and my cousin is a very careful man with a dollar.

[/quote]

Western boots can vary greatly in price, but a nice pair are not extraordinarily expensive until you get to custom made boots or exotic skinned boots.

[quote="Magickman, post:1, topic:222438"]
The upshot is that he prowls estate sales, conducted by recent widows, who are disposing of their late husband's personal effects.

[/quote]

That's a great way to get high quality, second hand merchandise.

[quote="Magickman, post:1, topic:222438"]
So, my cousin struts proudly about in Texas, with his feet in dead men's boots.

It seems a little spooky to me, to equip one's wardobe almost exclusively with the boots and clothing of the recently deceased.

He is not a vampire or anything, and not homicidal. But dead men's boots are his first choice in footwear.

[/quote]

And, to quote George Strait, I've never seen a hearse with a luggage rack. The dead don't need these items.

[quote="Magickman, post:1, topic:222438"]
My ignorance compels me to ask if this habit of purchasing and wearing dead men's clothing and boots is inappropriate for a Catholic man of middling means and mature years.

[/quote]

No. On what possible moral grounds could one object to buying used items?

[quote="Magickman, post:1, topic:222438"]
He could afford new stuff, and he works in a suit and tie, professional environment.

[/quote]

And yet, buying used items is a very frugal use of his money. Good stewardship if you ask me.

[quote="Magickman, post:1, topic:222438"]
Does the Catholic church forbid, or frown upon, this practice of dressing like a dead man?

[/quote]

First, he isn't "dressing like a dead man". Secondly, of course the Church does not forbid the purchase of or wearing of clothing items from estate sales.

Again, on what possible moral grounds would this be problematic?


#13

[quote="1ke, post:12, topic:222438"]

First, he isn't "dressing like a dead man". Secondly, of course the Church does not forbid the purchase of or wearing of clothing items from estate sales.

Again, on what possible moral grounds would this be problematic?

[/quote]

That quote from the OP made me smile. I know for a fact that sometimes the deceased will be laid to rest with clothing on only from the waist up, and the back cut out of the jacket so it lays better in the coffin with no wrinkling. So dressing "like a dead man" would not be socially acceptable...

:D

You are "dead right" about the boot issue. ;) In fact, I see more boots come out during the rodeo every year, other than that, many Texans are just normal people who wear normal shoes.


#14

There are some things that seem strange to some folks that others wouldn't bat an eye about. It think this is one of those things. I personally love thrift stores and second-hand sales, and it doesn't matter to me whether the items I buy come from someone who is no longer alive.

I'm sure most people would simply say your cousin is wearing used boots, rather than a dead man's boots and not think twice about it.


#15

"Many Texans are just normal people who wear normal shoes."

According to my cousin, the real Texans lose status if not dressed, socially, in expensive western wear and boots. This is what he tells me.

My cousin is something of an an anomaly, because he insists on wearing only expensive clothing and footwear, but he will pay only rummage sale prices.

He expresses great satisfaction, when he finds a widow with men's clothing for sale.

The rest of my family thinks he is a little odd.


#16

If it wasn't perfectly OK to wear a dead man's clothing, they'd have to burn all the vestments every time a Pope died. Brides could not wear heirloom wedding gowns. Get your baby baptized in the family baptismal gown? Ugh. The first baby to wear that is dead now!

I think calling it is calling the boots "Dead Men's Boots" is what is a little macbre. It is not as if he wouldn't buy them if he found the owner was quite alive but couldn't wear them anymore. He buys them because they are fine boots, broken in, to be had at a great price, that's all.

I have not known all that many Texans, but the few I have known would all be disappointed if had not found them just the tinest bit odd, each in their own personal way. I'd expect that your relative probably gets a kick (or maybe a ****kick, considering his footwear) out of your reaction!

(Did I just write that? No, of course not. I didn't think I did, either. :rolleyes:)


#17

I think your relative sounds like an absolute hoot!

Furthermore, you should write a book about him, his oddities, his life, and name the book, "Dead Men's Boots".

He sounds like a likable character. ;)


#18

Between you and your cousin you make a hysterical pair. I LOVE old things. I go to the salvation army for little ornaments and kitchen tools that belonged to people who are probably long dead.
As far as boots…i think having a pre-broken in pair sounds really nice. Your cousin may be a bit set in his ways about culture, but who is without their quirks?


#19

I wear women's 8 1/2 W or 9 N, do you think he'd look for some for me?


#20

[quote="Magickman, post:15, topic:222438"]
"Many Texans are just normal people who wear normal shoes."

According to my cousin, the real Texans lose status if not dressed, socially, in expensive western wear and boots. This is what he tells me.

My cousin is something of an an anomaly, because he insists on wearing only expensive clothing and footwear, but he will pay only rummage sale prices.

He expresses great satisfaction, when he finds a widow with men's clothing for sale.

The rest of my family thinks he is a little odd.

[/quote]

HAving grown up on a farm/ranch environment in Texas, I think I can comment. Texans like their cowboy boots, but do not feel compelled to wear them. You will find quite a few modern day cowboyes wearhing all kinds of footwear on todays ranches, but mainly very practical work boots as opposed to western boots.

When going out, that is qreat, a true Texan wears simple boots, probably cowhide, lizard skins are perfectly acceptable, sometimes snake skins, but that is stretching it. Anything more exotic screams one thing "all hat, no cattle".


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