I'm a 35-year-old father of four kids with my wife, and our oldest child is 15 years old. She owns a pair of red Air Force 1's that she got in 6th grade for her birthday, and she bought them herself. Back then, we were facing financial difficulties, living in a shelter, and she had managed to save enough money to buy something nice for herself.
Fast forward to 10th grade, she still fits into those shoes, but they've gotten quite dirty over time. She cleans them when she can, but the dirt doesn't come off completely. As a result, my wife isn't too keen on letting her wear them.
This morning, our daughter tried to sneak out with the red Air Force 1's on, but my wife made her take them off and offered a different pair of sneakers. Our daughter, however, didn't want to wear the black huaraches she was offered; she insisted on wearing the red Air Force 1's. Her outfit for the day was red and black, and those shoes matched perfectly.
Naturally, our daughter was frustrated when my wife told her to change her shoes, and she ended up changing her entire outfit. My wife got upset and told her to adjust her attitude. Our daughter left for school in a different outfit.
I suggested to my wife that she should let our daughter wear the sneakers, emphasizing that it's not as if Child Protective Services will intervene just because her shoes are dirty. My wife, however, insists that our daughter shouldn't wear dirty sneakers and even wants to throw them away.
She mentioned that she might do it while our daughter is at school, but I think she should just let it go and choose her battles wisely. I personally don't mind the dirty sneakers; they're old, our daughter loves them, and they aren't harming anyone.
OP responded to some comments:
NTA (Not the A%#hole). Wife is being too controlling. She's 15 and old enough to understands what she wants to wear. Would be a huge mistake to throw them away.
My wife’s done it before too, daughter had a hand me down leather jacket. The leather was peeling and it was old. But she loved the jacket. Daughter went to school one day and came home to no jacket, she was really upset about it.
That was two years ago and she denies ever being upset about it, but I know it bothered her a lot. I don’t want the same thing happening this time.
NTA. I can’t imagine wearing shoes for that long tbh but throwing them away while she’s not home would be catastrophic.
That’s my daughter for you. She’ll make something last as long as humanly possible, until she has to be forced to get rid of it. Doesn’t matter what it is. But her sneakers are almost always the thing being kept.
"She bought them herself. We were poor and in the shelter." Please, for the love of God, and as a favor to someone that grew up dirt f%$#ing poor, do NOT let your wife through those shoes away. She doesn't understand what those shoes mean to your daughter, and probably never will. NTA to stand up for your daughter to your tone-deaf wife.
What do you think? Should OP let his wife throw their daughter's shoes away?