Artist in Residence – Quarantine Diaries, Episode 4: And now we do home grooming.

So my husband wears a beard. He’s ALWAYS worn a beard, he’s had a beard for the nearly 20 years we’ve been married, he had a beard for a LONG time before that, that’s just how he rolls. I don’t think anyone – himself included – would recognise him without it.

He visits his favourite barber on a regular basis to keep said beard and two incredibly bushy eyebrows in check.

It is plague time. Said barber is locked down.

The beard – inconsiderately – kept growing.

So, finally, the spouse takes the bit between her teeth and the scissors in hand and we attempt a home beard trim in a time of quarantine. I mean, what do we have to lose? He isn’t going anywhere that he needs to look professionally groomed for (his doctor, if he needs to see anyone medical, can live with this…) and the beard is really out of control. So we go out onto the deck (easier clean up) and the procedure begins.

“Keep those scissors out of my eyes!”

“Keep your eyes closed! Dammit!”


“Sorry. These are nail scissors, not professional barber tools. Sit still.”


“Dammit. Now that one looks different to the other one. Gimme another moment…”

“Do I have any eyebrows left?”

“Plenty. I could shave them completely if you aren’t good, though.”

“That’s all right. What now?”

“Now sit still and let me see what I can do about that beard.”

“Don’t cut my throat.”

“Well, I wouldn’t MEAN it.”

“Thanks. That’s encouraging.”

“Sit STILL. Oh my GOD there’s hair everywhere.”

“Do I need to…”

“Sit STILL. We can unhair you later. There. Wait, that side’s longer now. Hang on. Now the other side looks weird.”

“Don’t go too deep. I have that horrible wattle…”

“We said something about the necessity not to cut throats. I won’t go near the damn wattle. What about this tuft by your mouth? The other side of your mouth doesn’t have…”



“What are you going to do about the sideburns?”

“I’ll shear them. They’ll grow back. It’s the beard I’m worried about.”

“I’ve been eating my moustache…”

“One thing at a time!”

“Ok. Sorry. Ow. You’re pulling hair.”

“Sorry. There. What does that feel like?”


“Gimme your shirt and I’ll shake it out… ah, now you’ve got it all over your pants… and the T shirt – just let me shake it out  – ”

“Daymn that’s a lot of hair. Do I have any beard left at all?”

“if the cats don’t recognise you we’re in trouble. But I don’t think you need to worry about it.”

Cats: “There’s a beard? never mind that. Who’s in charge of the can opener? We haven’t been fed for a week.”

“We should go back inside now.”

“Not yet, there’s enough hair on you to make another BEARD! Now stand there and let  me get it off of you… ”

“I’d better start supper.”

Cats: “Food…? you speak of food…?”

“Not you guys, You’ve HAD your food. Before you do anything else… go look in the mirror and maybe wash your face before all the stray hair starts itching…”

Himself, peering at his reflection in the mirror. “I suppose it’ll do…”

Me, putting away scissors: “Hey. I didn’t cut your throat. Count your blessings.”

Cats: “You look fine. Now, who’s gonna feed us?”

POSTSCRIPT – I really hope the barbershop opens up again soon. This is scary stuff.



Artist in Residence – Quarantine Diaries, Episode 4: And now we do home grooming. — 4 Comments

  1. Beards, man. You’re a brave wife.

    For reasons, my father, who had a beard for the better part of the last 50 years of his life, would occasionally offer the opportunity to trim his beard as a treat. As in “if you’re very good, I’ll let you trim my beard.”

    The fact that he said this to my older daughter, who was, at that point, four years old and perhaps not the steadiest of hands, suggests that he didn’t mean the offer. And frankly, as a means of encouraging good behavior, I would have thought “if you’re very good we’ll have an apple-tasting” (which involved going down to the front orchard with a pocket knife and critiquing the output of the miscellany of apple trees) or “If you’re very good I’ll let you come down to my studio and draw” (since he had more art supplies than Sam Flax) would have been more compelling.

    I’ll note that my daughter was never that good. I think this was a good thing for her, and for my father, both.

  2. Huh. Hubby does his own beard, but I do cut his hair these days. That said, I grew up watching my mother cut my dad’s hair.

    • your hubby probably has the use of both hands, or at least of the hand that USED to be the dominant hand before a stroke deprived its owner of its use – my guy can’t use his right hand which makes things a little iffy where fine control is needed. Hence me wielding shears…