Friday, January 9, 2015


Morning conversations with Myladylove can be lively, serpentine, and only occasionally winnable, as illustrated by today's example.

Her: Are you growing a beard?
Me: Nope.
Her:  Okay, what's that stubbly stuff on your cheeks?
Me:  Whiskers.
Her:  So you did decide to grow a beard?
Me:  No, I didn't.
Her:  Then why are little hairs fuzzing your face?
Me:  I decided to not shave.
Her:  Cause and effect! Same thing.
Me:  No, it's not.
Her:  What's the difference?
Me:  Deciding to not shave was a choice. Growing a beard wasn't.
Her:  You're word weaseling.
Me:  Simply setting the record straight.
Her:  Now you sound like a politician.
Me:  The world's second oldest profession.
Her:  I thought that was lawyers?
Me:  Often one and the same.
Her:  Let me get this straight…you showered in the morning?
Me:  Certainly.
Her:  Brushed your teeth, combed your hair?
Me:  Yup.
Her:  But balked at a shave?
Me:  That's correct.
Her:  So this other part of a beard isn't actually a beard you're growing?
Me:  What you mean by other part?
Her:  You have the mustache part already.
Me:  Mustaches and beards are entirely separate things.
Her:  They're both hair on your face!
Me:  So are eyebrows and sideburns.
Her:  You're quibbling with details.
Me:  Merely stating facts.
Her:  We're discussing facial hair. Sideburns are part of a haircut.
Me:  Some men extend their sideburns across the cheek into their mustache.
Her:  And when sideburns get onto the cheek or chin, they're beard!
Me:  Elvis's sideburns weren't part of a beard.
Her:  Elvis's sideburns didn't end up under his nose, either.
Me:  Yesterday was Elvis's birthday.
Her:  What's that got to do with your beard?
Me:  Anyway, beards and mustaches are different categories of facial hair.
Her:  They're the same to me.
Me:  Not to the Amish.
Her:  I'm not Amish, and neither are you!
Me:  That's true.
Her:  What's also true is that you can be truly exasperating!
Me:  I agree. I exasperate myself frequently.
Her:  You sure get picky over terminology.
Me:  I'm a writer. Words are precise tools.
Her:  And lots of writers grow beards.
Me:  I'm not growing a beard!
Her:  Hemingway, Tolstoy, Whitman…
Me:  Old guys.
Her:  You're a fairly old guy.
Me:  But not geriatric!
Her:  Not yet. Perhaps getting reasonably close.
Me:  You really think I'm becoming decrepit?
Her:  No-o-o, you're just a fiesty, curmudgeonly, geezer.
Me:  Whatever. Those writers were from a different era.
Her:  So not attempting the old-school literary look?
Me:  Absolutely not.
Her:  Or the the arctic explorer look, because of the snow and cold?
Me:  I'm not attempting any look!
Her:  How about a northwoods look to go with the flannels?
Me:  Fine. I'll shave today!
Her:  It's okay—you can grow your beard regardless of the reason.
Me:  I'm not growing a beard!
Her:  Now you're getting testy. Besides, I'm just messing with you.
Me:  Really? Why?
Her:  'Cause it energizes me before going to work.
Me:  Can't you just rely on caffeine like everyone else?
Her:  Nope. You're more fun.
Me:  Glad to be so usefully stimulating.
Her:  You sure writing isn't the world's second oldest profession?
Me:  Frankly, at times I feel a remarkable kinship to the first!



Penny said...

Love it.

Grizz………… said...


Thank you…though they may be my last ever words :-|

Gail said...

Priceless :-)

John said...


I have worn a beard ever since 1969 when i went away to college. I had announced my intentions before leaving home. My father suggested that I wait a while "to settle in". I began three days after I got to the dorm.

I loved the freedom from the dictates of culture snd the vagaries of the blade, not to mention not having one more chore to do in the morning. I had begun to shave out of necessity when I was twelve. The grown up mystique had run its course by the time High School was history. The act of facial scraping had lost its appeal.

For years I kept it fairly long, about four finger widths from the bottom of my chin. Even though most beard hair is usually wiry, when it is that long the hair is softer. Many girls and women were fascinated and would ask, with hesitation, if they could touch it. Often the reaction was one of surprise as to how soft it felt. I surmise because their primary experience is due to their own practice of attacking extraneous hair on limbs and axillae.

I always used to stand before the bathroom mirror and trim it every four to six weeks. Now, with this disease I can not stand or maneuver myself to be in front of a mirror, so I have just let it go. Out of curiosity, I suppose. Just for the experience of seeing how long it can get.

For recent photo go here:

Scott said...

I've had a beard for so long that I can hardly remember what I looked like before I had one. About six years ago, I decided I'd try a radical new look and stopped at a barber shop (Kali usually cuts my hair at home) after a dental appointment. I had my (already sparse) head hair cut really, really short, and I had my full beard and mustache reduced to a goatee. The general consensus among my coworkers was that I looked like Vladimir Lenin (and it wasn't a compliment). Kali freaked out. Then, I started experimenting further with the facial hair, first removing the beard portion of the goatee, and then the mustache, too, so that I was clean-shaven. Kali (rightly) said that I looked exactly like my father (again, not a compliment) and she told me in no uncertain terms that she had not married my father and that I WOULD grow the facial hair back. So, I did. I've been coloring my hair and facial hair for a long time, so the re-growth came back in gray. Even my employees felt emboldened enough to tell me that the gray made me look old. Long and short, I'm back to my "original" looks. I certainly can sympathize with your exchange with YourLadyLove, Grizz. Been there; done that.

Grizz………… said...


Priceless for you…but I might yet pay! :-)

Grizz………… said...


Well, 1969 is about the time I grew my mustache—which I've kept since, sometimes fuller/longer/droopier. My sideburns also tend to go up and down, as my hair is worn longer or shorter. And on a number of occasions I've grown a beard—which in principal I like, and in theory ought to suit my facial build and features…but never quite meets my (fantasy?) expectations. I'm thinking manly, rugged, northwoodsy, Hemingway-esque, at worst professorial. Instead, I fear it makes me look shifty, mean, homeless, possibly like something which rightly ought to be living under a bridge. More or less. So when my beard gets somewhere between 1-2 inches, I cave and break out the razor.

I think beards are something like bow ties, in that only a few men can wear them with credit, while the majority suffer serious image issues.

Your beard looks right, appropriate. And BTW, I checked out that recent pix and like the new rampant growth with curlicues! :-D

Grizz………… said...


My first tendency is to tell you to be a man—keep the faith, hold the line, stand up for your inalienable man rights to wear your beard, hair, mustache any old way you want. Strike a blow for independence and The Brotherhood of Free Males. Don't let wife, friends, relatives, co-workers, and especially not employees tell you what you can and cannot do in the weighty issue of tonsorial style. It is your head, you can cover it in purple shag carpet if you wish!

Okay. Back to the real world. The world in which I expect you hope to live out your days in peace and harmony, free from threats and ridicule and the occasional public shaming. Not to mention being locked out of your own house. (Hair today, gone tomorrow!) If the the "before look" was working for you (by "you" I mean everyone else, who will immediately and emphatically inform you what does and does not work), my sincere advice as a savvy survivalist is it's best not to mess with success. (No, your desires do not matter here; personal integrity and the need to assert your masculinity are luxuries you cannot afford.) Remember those immortal words of the Possum Lodge Men's Prayer, from the Red Green Show: "I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess." That also applies to changing back. Change is bidirectional. And smart, sometimes.

And if, during that time when you're waiting for hair, open wounds, etc. to heal/grow-back, another bit of Red Green advice I find useful is this: "Quando omni flunkus moritati!" ("When all else fails, play dead!")