My Way

13533720616713“No way!”


“No way!”


It was the type of argument that will go on endlessly until either good sense or boredom intervenes. This time it was about the stubble growing on my face.

I was saying, “way” to growing a beard and my wife was saying, “no way” because she hates beards, especially on me.

Frankly, I am indifferent to facial hair. I wore a beard for years – until the night of my brother’s bachelor party in New Orleans. Then I woke up without one. When I asked about it, I was told not to ask – about anything. So that was that.

And while I have no particular fondness for beards, I absolutely detest shaving. Therefore, since she hates beards and I detest shaving, we have this endless ‘way’, ‘no way’ conflict – but like all of our disagreements, we have reached an uneasy compromise, though one that leans in the direction of who despises what more than the other.

And like all of our compromises, it is one that must be tested, so I forgo the razor until she objects, usually by pinching my chin to demonstrate what it feels like to kiss me.

But whenever one of us goes off without the other, I grow a beard. This time she is taking a quilting tour just before I go on a canoe trip with Stan.

The thing is, a full week falls between her return and my departure and therein lies the rub. I wanted to get a head start on growing something truly glorious before heading into the wilds of Canada.

“No way.”


“No way.”

I put my foot down.


This time I got my way and all it cost was the stink-eye.

A few days later, I received an email from Stan. It was his list of what to bring on the trip. Since we will be days beyond civilization, it is prudent to make a list of what we will need and compare lists.

I got him on the phone.

“You listed a razor and shaving cream under essentials.”


“You got to be kidding.”

“It’s not for the back country,” he explained, “it’s for the drive home. Daphne and I had one of those ‘way/no way’ arguments about growing a beard and she won.”

“No way.”


Author: Almost Iowa

50 thoughts on “My Way”

  1. I’ve had the mustache since high school, so that’s pretty much grandfathered in. But at this point, if I grew a beard (beyond the four day scrub that frequently appears since retirement), I’d probably end up looking like a great-grandfather.

  2. I loved the beard he grew those long years ago. But he shaved it at the end of our vacation. Now I love our sons’ beards instead – looking may they last.

    1. But up in Northern Canada, they look just fine for about a week or two. They usually come off about the time you take your first hot shower in three weeks. 🙂

        1. It’s a bad year for farming. We passed through Illinois and Iowa on a trip earlier this summer and passed miles of fields that had not been planted. Around here, about half the crops are in but with the ground, the corn puts down shallow roots and in susceptible to being blown down in a high wind. My brother-in-law lost the only good field he had that way.

          1. Oh man. That stinks. I was hoping someone was going to end up with some crops this year. The rivers on both sides really did a number on things. Sorry to hear about his field.

  3. Haha! Fun post, Greg. It is rare that I actually like facial hair. Very, very rare. As for the “stubble” trend, never at all.
    Although you’ve made me realize that telling a man not to have a beard is like a man telling me not to cut my hair. 🙂
    Have a fabulous time — and don’t lose that razor. 😀

    1. Although you’ve made me realize that telling a man not to have a beard is like a man telling me not to cut my hair.

      I will have to use that line – (for all the good it will do me).

  4. My husband has had a very close cropped beard since the day I met him. If he shaved it, I’d have to say, “No way!” But if he let it grow longer, I’d say, “NO WAY!” If a woman doesn’t care enough to chime in on her husband’s facial hair and give him the stink eye when he doesn’t comply to her wishes, the marriage is in trouble.

  5. I kept your post for Saturday morning with the humidity at 94% because I knew I’d need a chuckle before heading out to weed and pick raspberries. 🙂 But, I’m worried now. You and Stan beyond civilization? Stay safe, come back in one piece. 🙂

    1. Around here they call that heat and humidity, ‘good corn growing weather’. It is also great weather to be away from – in the far, far north.

      Us: How is the weather up there.
      Canadian: Great! The ice went out last week.

    1. Yeah…I’ll probably borrow Stan’s razor on the ride home.

      We anticipate hitting the lake trout hard. They get really big up there. You have to use heavy tackle.

  6. I’ve had a mustache forever, or so it seems. I grew a beard when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1965 but my students started calling me Ho Chi Minh. 🙂 It was a scraggly, see through beard. I finally grew another beard during my backpacking over the past couple of years. I like it. But Peggy giggles when I kiss her. –Curt

  7. LOL! 🙂 My husband has had a full goatee ever since I’ve known him, even before we dated or got married! I’ve literally never seen him without facial hair. I told him I was very curious just to see what he looks like without it, so he’s been saying he will give it a try, but he won’t tell me when. So I will just come home to find him clean-shaved one day! We’ll see what happens hahaha. I will probably run for the hills.

  8. I’ve never heard of the expression “stink-eye” until today! I wonder if it’s a geographical thing or have I been protected from such crass behaviour? I shall certainly be using the expression in the future (and performing the action as well).

  9. I don’t mind short beards (the hubby has one). But I don’t want him to look like a character out of Deliverance. Ugh. Have fun on your canoeing adventure!

  10. Never had the desire for a beard, but you raise an interesting tactic for additional opportunities to be banned from certain activities. I’ll have to think this one over. Fun post.

  11. you guys are so funny. My husband has had a beard the entire 40 years we’ve been together. He talked about shaving one day. No way!

  12. Our way/no way goes the other way. I asked for a new electric razor for my birthday about 15 years ago. She said ‘no way’ – she liked it when I had a beard, so I let it grow back. I think about shaving it now and then, but the closest I come is a close trim, and then I get the stink eye.

  13. My husband recently grew a beard. I like it. He looks distinguished and kindly– and just like all the other boys in his gang. 😉

  14. I was looking at the photo in your header, pondering all this, when it came to me. Another reason for that “NO WAY!” is that she’s afraid the pleasure of not shaving will creep into other areas of your life, and that will be the end of any mowing.

    1. I’ll never give up mowing. For me, it is a form of meditation. Back in the steel foundry, we used to call it “factory Buddhism”. It is when you focus so intently on a simple thing that the world drops away. Not necessarily a good thing when you are pouring steel, but there were other tasks that fitted the mind state perfectly. 🙂

      1. Exactly. I knew you would be familiar with it. It is one of the joys of working. Imagine those people who hate their job and find work boring, I couldn’t imagine anything more soul crushing.

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