A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Mint’s shaving grace

Posted by Pepper on January 27, 2014

In every relationship, there comes a point beyond which you should not push. Where exactly that point lies is a question I ask myself everyday. I’ve written about it in the past. What is the right time to let go?

I am married to a man who does not believe in shaving regularly. Let alone shaving every day, he doesn’t even think it fit to shave every other day. The end result is a shabby, unkempt stubble. It angers me to see him like that. Not only does the stubble look bad, it also makes him come across as messy and disorderly. Which ofcourse, is not far from the truth. But if I can, I want to maintain a facade that safeguards our ‘image’. I never denied being shallow.

In a professional environment, a permanently shabby stubble is blasphemous, in my opinion. Who would want to see an employee in that overgrown and seemingly unclean state? Won’t people judge your personality and attitude? Unfortunately, Mint works in a very casual set up where most people walk in with crumpled tees and loose jeans. It is not the environment in which one would notice a stubble. Ofcourse, he loves his workplace.

On average, he shaves once in 10 days (No Mint, I am not exaggerating). If I ask him to shave before we go out, he agrees to do it. He doesn’t oppose or decline my request. But the problem is, most of our outings are unplanned. And when they are, we end up rushing out of the house in a big haste with little or no time for such luxuries. So again, the result is an unshaven Mint.

When we bump into people, or meet friends who end up seeing him in that state, I feel crushed. Few people will understand my anguish. I cringe. He is my husband and I want the world to recognise his good looks. An unshaven Mint with unkept hair and glasses looks completely different from a sweet smelling, clean shaven Mint with contacts on. The glasses, I don’t grudge ofcourse, but the grubby beard? That’s not done. I hate it that people see him in that terrible state, because I don’t want to be seen with a man who cares so little about personal grooming. It makes me feel embarrassed and I battle the demons, all alone.

How hard can it be to shave once in 3 days? Don’t you love me enough to do it? Is that how little you care about things that matter to me? His behavior is hurtful. Ofcourse, we’ve had these conversations several times. He promises me he will shave regularly. And then goes on to break his promise along with my heart the very next day. At times, I confront him and turn it into a battle, other times, I understand the crank quotient in me is here to stay and move on.

“Why is it that only you are so uncaring and lazy? Have you ever seen any of our male friends show up for dinner with an overgrown and shabby stubble? Why can’t you be neat and tidy like the rest of the men in this world?” I’ve asked him this several times. To which he says I should not compare him to the rest of the men in this world. Does he expect me to do what other women around him do? Does he ever ask me to follow any ‘standards’ that are set for women? And if he actually did behave like other men in this world, I may not necessarily be happy. Sigh. The man has irrefutable logic.

I do agree with him. So I try to fight my own shallow morals, to combat my deep rooted resistance to a messy stubble. I try and attack my own hidden insecurities. It causes a lot of internal dissonance, but I try. A while ago, Richa tagged me to write about this for a contest. It hit a raw nerve, so I let the surge of emotions pass before I decided to write about it. I know the contest is long over, but my views are here to stay.

Till date, if we are going to a place that I give adequate importance to, I insist Mint shaves. I refuse to leave the house until he does. Those times, he doesn’t argue. We leave the house only after he has emerged without the trace of a beard, complete with the scent of aftershave. But other times, I try and let go. I still wish he were different. But he isn’t. I can either take it as a personal loss and believe his beard is testimony to his lack of regard for me, or I can see it the way it is and attribute it to his laziness. The choice is mine. And I choose the latter. Because the truth is that he is an awesome person, who has done more for me than I can do for him in this life. I only hope I remember that when I have my next fit.


38 Responses to “Mint’s shaving grace”

  1. Bingo said

    How about you shaving his beard? 😛

  2. Santulan said

    Ok, so Mint is my brother in umm..facial hair.. if that is a thing..

    Frankly speaking, beyond a point one cannot make a person do something they do not believe in. If he truly doesn’t care about the stubble/beard, then he won’t do anything about it.

    That being said, you’re someone who places emphasis on appearances, and he doesn’t.. I guess in such a situation there
    s no other option but what you already have.. for him to shave before you leave for a place you care so much about

    • Pepper said

      No, I don’t simply place emphasis on appearance. It goes way beyond that. It is more about tidiness and being neat. I equate it to other chores you have to take on in the morning. You don’t brush your teeth or have a bath because you place emphasis on appearance. You do those because they keep you neat, tidy and clean.

      Even a well maintained beard can be clean and tidy. Though it may not appeal to my taste, I may not object to that. So it is really way more than appearance. You do realise that it is his wild, disheveled look that I have a problem with right? 🙂

  3. Santulan said

    Also, that seems like a wonderful place to work at..

  4. Great post A dash of Pepper, I do believe I would be the same as you! 😉

  5. Hmm! Hehe! I guess I am seeing a new You, Pepper! I shall reserve ma opinion but I’d say it’s tough shaving every three days, my friend:)

  6. Pepper- I am commenting after ages! I still continue to read your blog almost everyday though! I so relate to this and just had to drop a comment and redelurk!
    We have the exact same scenario here and I think my frustration with the husband’s beard/stubble is mainly because I grew up in a household where my dad shaves every single day , rain or shine. The husband on the other hand comes from a long line of proudly bearded men. Shaving is just not the norm for him. I have always had an issue with him not shaving since we started dating 10 years ago. So much so I remember him promising me he would shave every single day if I would only marry him. Alas, all those lofty wishes went out of the window once we tied the knot. Anyway, I hope I develop your zen view soon for peace around the house- he is the best thing that could have happened to me and does not shave because of sheer laziness , not because of his complete disregard for me.Phew! I actually typed it out , read it and sighed hoping it echoes in my mind during our next blow up on the subject!

    • Pepper said

      I grew up in a house with my dad shaving everyday too! Till date, I have never seen him with a lazy stubble. But you know what? Mint’s dad is the same. Always clean shaven. So I don’t think it is just the environment that plays a role. Most men are plain lazy! That’s all.

  7. Ahh! tell me about it. It’s the same case with my husband too. He is too lazy to shave.

  8. MR said

    ooh i used to pick on my husband too till my son grew upand become a teen. Now my husband looks so much better when compared ot my son. It’s all a matter of perspective 🙂

    • Pepper said

      It is, but unlike you, I don’t have teenaged boys to compare Mint against. I only have well groomed and tidy men around me. Making him stick out. So my perspective at present is very different 🙂

  9. R's Mom said

    Oh ma! seriously?? I think you should just leave him…I wouldnt ask RD to shave ever…he also does it only once a week I think 🙂 I think Mint looks nice with a beard too hehehehe 🙂 you are super cute Pepper 🙂

    • Pepper said

      LOL RM! I was so sure that if you comment, your comment will say exactly this! I think I can predict your responses now 😀

      Just let go? Unfortunately, I can’t do that easily. You and I are very, very different people. I don’t know how a bad, grubby, messy and overgrown look doesn’t bother you at a fine dining restaurant, especially when you are dining with a group of well groomed and spruced men and women. It may not anger me, but IT WILL make me feel bad. Especially when I know how great my husband looks when he takes some effort. If you wouldn’t ask RD to shave EVER, I fall at your feet. But I can never be like that. And honestly, I am not sure I want to be that easy going and uncaring about tidiness either. Because if I did have your attitude, Mint would look filthy with uncut nails, overgrown hair because of no hair cut and a horrible, grubby looking stubble at all times 😐

      PS – You’ve only seen Mint with a beard that had been trimmed and shaped. That was during the stupid Movember. I have a problem with a very overgrown and thick stubble, not a trimmed beard 🙂

      • R's Mom said

        Darn! I have become so predictable in my comments kya? Bah!

        Arey, its the person that matters and I know you know that. At the end of the day, when you close your eyes, do you remember my pimpled face and soda bottle kanadis or do you remember the fact that I give you molagapodi hehehe 🙂 bolo bolo 😉

        • Pepper said

          Hahaha, RM, you are funny! Yeh bhi koi poochne ki baat hain? 🙂

          Anyway, jokes apart. Ofcourse, it is the person that matters, but that is not even a part of this discussion, na? We’re not debating that.

          Firstly, I will tell you why what you said is not a comparable example at all. Your pimpled face and soda bottle kannadis like you call them are a part of your physical features. Physical features are not in your control (Btw, you look lovely even with those). But I am not talking about physical features! I am talking about habits related to tidiness! You can’t compare having pimples to somebody not shaving. One is a physical feature, the other is a habit. One is not in your control while the other is.

          Secondly, even if you did follow some habits that made you appear untidy and shabby, it would make little difference to me and I would still remember you only for your molaga podi. Because I don’t judge friends and other people around me. I would only appreciate it if my husband (who I hold some right over) adheres to my standard. My standards and aspirations are only for him. So again, how I perceive him and how I perceive you cannot be compared 🙂

  10. Can understand your embarrassment when you meet up with friends and relatives with his unshaven and unkept hair looks. Like you said in the middle of your blog, accept and move on.

  11. Reading all the posts 🙂

    I agree, I also dont like the hubby not shaving-especially when we need to go out and meet people. When I crib he says, how do you know its so boring to shave and I always tell him about the waxing, eyebrows we go through for which his standard answer again is-I never ask you to do it!! Call me shallow – oh yeah!

    • Pepper said

      I generally do not tell Mint about the waxing and eyebrows part because I know his response will be the same. And really, I think I wax and do my eyebrows only because I want to, not because he cares. So I refrain from that argument, the issue only gets deflected 🙂

  12. Hehehe..Sorry Pepper, I know there is nothing funny in the post to laugh. But all that I can say is you are so cute Pepper..I liked the cute honest post. :)..

  13. Raj said

    You do P&G by your side 🙂

    http://www.welovead.com/en/works/details/311Bimrw & http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8da786b8-37e7-11e3-8668-00144feab7de.html

  14. K said

    Don’t you think IIT life has something to do with this? 🙂

  15. Monty said

    Very interesting and honest post 🙂 .

    There are two aspects – professional and personal. I strongly believe that in a professional work environment, people should judge you by the work you do, not by your appearance. It is not at all blasphemous not to shave. Of course, you should be dressed neatly and clean, maintaining the basic standards. Some of the best companies in the world do not impose any conditions on the way you look in the workplace. I have worked for a company in Melbourne and it was so refreshing to see people very relaxed about their appearance – tattoos, mustaches, beards, ornaments. Nobody gives a damn as long as you are enjoying your work and get it done on time.

    Won’t people judge your personality and attitude?
    – If they do, that is their fault. Today they might judge your personality by your beard. Tomorrow they might judge your personality by your knee length skirt. Another day, by your tattoo. It is a slippery slope and should not be held as a parameter at all.

    (After writing all this, i realized that your post is about facial hair, not about appearances 😦 )

    The tricky thing is the personal part especially when you are living with a partner. Very difficult to manouver 🙂


    • Pepper said

      I think we might disagree about the professional aspect.:)

      So on one hand you say it is not at all blasphemous to not shave. On the other, you say you should dress neatly and cleanly. In my opinion, not shaving for 2 weeks, and sporting a messy stubble does not equal to neat and clean. Shaving regularly to atleast maintain your beard is the basic standard for me.

      Mint’s current work place is like the one you described, which is why his stubble is not a problem. But do you think he would be able to get away without being judged had he worked in another place where they place emphasis on looking tidy and presentable (by the current standards of this world)?

      It might be their fault if people judge you professionally by your personality and attitude, but tell me, who will pay for that judgment? The employee! So whose fault it is does not matter. Perhaps in an ideal world, people should ONLY judge you by the work you do, but we do not live in an ideal world. Which is why most work places have dress codes along with other codes of conduct. It is why most people are forced to stick to formal shirts and pants.

      • Monty said

        Nah..you are right in a way that one should be presentable (by the current standards of the world). You know, some people look great in a stubble while some don’t. So, ya that effort should be made in case you look weird with it. Agree with that.

        (By dressing neatly and cleanly, i meant good oral and body hygiene..but well ya..i will grudgingly put maintained beard in that category too 🙂 …)

        Its just that i have a problem with some authoritarian policies at the workplace regarding all these issues. That may have influenced an idealistic reply to your post 🙂 . Especially when i compare the relaxed workplace environment in companies like Google (rated the best workplace for many years) or even many companies in Bangalore like Mind tree. In fact many of my friends work in Pune, Bangalore where nobody judges you for wearing a washed up Levis at work. However people who have client meetings or interactions should not turn up in outlandish clothes. That is something only a Steve jobs can do and get away with.:-)

        On a lighter note – once i had not shaved for a couple of weeks and about to do it for a important client meeting. This meeting was for negotiating some contentious issues. My team lead told me to keep my beard as it was to appear more mature/tough. Not sure how much it helped 🙂

  16. Deepa said

    I think you should just call it his devdas look minus the drunken stupor and let it go. But seriously, dude, what’s it with these hubbies not shaving eh? Mine believes in shaving only when he has a super important work meeting certainly not for me or our social outings. Heh! though things might change now coz he recently joined a co. where you’re expected to come in all spiffy & shiny clean::() *insert my evil grin here* Tera din bhi ek din aayega Pepperji!

  17. Richa said

    So glad you wrote up your story on the topic. Thanks. And its so much like mine. Same case with M. Don’t worry you’re not alone in having to bear a bearded hubby.;-)

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