Whisker Piffle

Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” – Orson Welles

It was about spontaneity. One wakes up and asks, “Why am I still bothering with this?

“This” being my beard; I had decided I’d had enough of it. It had been a nice five-year run, arguably my longest sustained period in having facial hair. I simply woke up one morning, took a quick glance at myself in the mirror, and decided that it was time to wish that look a speedy bon voyage. Call it an internal siren of self-awareness.

Beards are ostensibly about lower maintenance. But in fact I found it to be the opposite: cleaning, shampooing, brushing, trimming, etc. After a while it got old. I not only was tired of having to do all that work, I was also bored of the overall look. It’s time to mix it up again.

Gorgeous is not happy with this decision. She liked the beard.

I knew that an open process meant that she’d weigh in on the side of keeping it, and I didn’t want to have that discussion. My only nod to liberal democracy was a verbal notification ahead of time of intent; and I then strong-armed by following it up as a fait accompli. Pluralism can be complicated. So are spousal pouts, which I’m sometimes terrible at reconciling. Add marriage to that list of complicated things too.

Sorry, but this is my beard; my face. My decision. Let’s not split hairs over it.

Admittedly, this is also not exactly earth shattering stuff to share with the world. The UK is barreling towards Brexit, impeachment proceedings here are about to switch over to a Senate trial, etc. So it wouldn’t be surprising that you, dear reader, might think “whisker piffle” such as this trivializes the collective conscience. To that, though, I respond with a hearty “Balderdash!”

Style is always a factor, whether we wish to acknowledge it or not. Could the convincing results of the recent British elections have happened without Boris Johnson’s scruffy dome? I think not. Brexit is messy and fraught with all kinds of potential perils. Still, the electorate took one look at this guy and grudgingly decided to cast their lot with him. It was his hair that decided the matter once and for all. Piffle indeed.

Source: Victoria Jones via The Scotsman

And, of course, then there’s our own own leader, with that addiction of his to Sudden Tan. Um, yeah…

Oh, never mind. Let’s just let it rest with Boris. Quite a mane on that boy, eh?

When I retired in 2014, my first move was to shave off all of my hair and go with a classic buzz cut. I was telegraphing to one and all that employment rules no longer applied to me. Take those monthly activity reports, expenditure summaries, sartorial expectations, etc., and shove ’em where the sun don’t shine. In fact, I was moving to the sun, baby.

Of course, I had no idea at the time that I was sportin’ a serious Harvey Weinstein mug. It’s rather frightening now in hindsight, and thankfully that particular look didn’t last for long.

What I’m telegraphing now with a beardless persona is open to interpretation. Voting precinct captain? Historical society volunteer? Paul’s grandfather? Honestly, if I can just avoid an incoming “Okay, Boomer” retort for the next few years, I’ll consider everything to be a successful safe passage.

As far as Gorgeous’ complaint goes, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I honestly have no idea what that phrase literally means, but it seems like the kind of thing a boomer might say. It was literally only last week that my fair maiden cut off quite a bit of her hair. I call this hair war even then.

So, it’s back to shaving cream and double-edged razors for this boy. When I grew the beard after retirement, it was a relief not having to shave every morning. Now it all feels lighter and freer again. Perhaps it’s all about changing that keeps the spirit fresh.

Until next time…

30 thoughts on “Whisker Piffle

  1. Great post! You look great either way, but Gorgeous is absolutely gorgeous. Studly changes up his facial hair decisions periodically. His beard is now so gray and his complexion so light that I seldom notice that he’s shaved it off. Kind of hurts his feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. He had a beard when our youngest was a toddler. One morning he shaved it off and the toddler began crying uncontrollably when she saw him. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. He had to tell me he’d shaved. He notices nearly everything I do. Haircuts, a change in eyewear, new clothes. Can’t pull anything over on Studly.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When I studied your bearded look I was trying to figure out who it reminded me of. Harvey Weinstein! He has forever trashed that sort of beard! Since your hair isn’t very dark, it’s not as noticeable at least in pictures. Gorgeous looks gorgeous either way. Love her long hair. Love her short hair. Her face fits both looks. My husband wore a mustache for decades. The day he retired he shaved it off and people had a hard time figuring out what looked different (sadly including me). He never went back to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Weinstein is NOT someone I wish to resemble. That’s funny about your husband and his mustache. When I saw someone the other day whom I see regularly, she looked at me and commented on my short haircut. I just laughed and didn’t say anything. We can let that mystery be for her. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great Olson Welles quote, Marty! It does sound like a lot of work to keep a beard looking good. My first thought is what does Gorgeous think? You answered this. Oh, dear. Possibly under the category of ask forgiveness, not permission although you did check with her (sort of).

    My husband had a beard fiasco when we lived in the Yukon and celebrated Rendezvous. Men caught without a beard and women not wearing a garter would be placed in jail. We have photos of my Mother-in-law placed in a travelling jail (gosh, darn, so sad……not!). My husband was fined for having an “aborted beard.” Months of prior preparation did not seem to help him.

    Btw, Gorgeous is now Exceptionally Gorgeous! Marty, you look pretty darn good, too.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! You flatter me, Judy. Please keep it up. 😎 I retired at 55 (same age as my dad) and just turned 60. I guess I have no choice but to keep doing as I have. Maybe a little less wine, though— it unfortunately now gives me headaches. So much for THAT theory they floated a few years back about how it keeps you young. Harrumph.


  4. Change is always food Marty, although RD is currently sporting a beard. He tends to grow one at winter time and shave it off in Spring. I like it, makes me feel snuggly. Don’t get me started on Brexit and Boris Johnson! All ai can say is ai despair! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the new look Marty! I’m so sick of the beard fad. A fad that’s lasting way too long. I’m with Olive Oil.

    Btw, everyone was a winner in the “hair war.” Gorgeous looks wonderful too.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can only grow it on my off days – can be as many a four days in a row or while on vacation.
        While I love (yeah it does feel like that sometimes) my job, something better will come along – like a major lottery win. 😏

        Liked by 1 person

  6. First of all, you look so much younger and very stylish without your beard! I’ve wanted to cut my hair short for quite some time but haven’t had the nerve. If I knew that I’d look half as good as Gorgeous does, I’d make an appointment today!

    I remember, way back when, I encouraged my husband to shave his mustache (I thought it looked dated). When he finally did, I was horrified – what had I done??!!! I had never seen him clean shaven (except in photos) and he looked so… weird. Of course, now I’m used to it and would be very much against it if he ever wanted to grow it back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Janis! It is amazing how much we get used to a certain look, isn’t it? When my dad grew a mustache once, all us kids badgered him to shave it off until he finally relented. I almost mentioned John Bolton and his crazy stache in this post, but decided ‘ol Boris and his hair was enough. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Along with the whiskers, you’ve shaved of at least two decades. Two thumbs up from me.

    But my opinion doesn’t count, really. And I’m not sure I’d react any differently than Gorgeous if my hubby suddenly appeared sans facial hair.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. LOL
    I’m surprised no one greeted you with, “Oh I like your new glasses”. You know how that goes…haircut/facial hair changes don’t register so one’s change in look is often attributed to a ‘new’ piece of clothing or whatever.
    BTW: I’m wondering which you relate most to in the vid…Popeye or Bluto? Both need a shave! HA!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, of course now I’ll have to Google images of Popeye. Thanks a lot for that, Eddie!

        We couldn’t help but notice as soon as I shaved, showered, and dressed afterwards that I seem to now resemble Conan O’Brien. He’s a good lad, though. Anything is better than Harvey Weinstein after all.


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