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Monday, October 13, 2014

Of Beards and Blondes

My Father-in-Law (hereinafter known as FIL) was a tall, lean, man of few words.
Quiet, thoughtful and endlessly patient; when he spoke, you listened.
Usually what he had to say was of import.
But he had an aversion to blondes.
No one knew where this particular sensitivity came from. An unfortunate acquaintance.
A particular experience.
The true reason(s) passed when he did.
His wife, my Mother-in-Law (Ditto: MIL) was a small, dark-haired, bustling person of chatter and good humour.
Living for family and household.
The two of them, together, created a world of peace and calm.
Happy posterity and good food.
But there was one place where they differed.
Noticeably so.
Let me tell you about it . . .
FIL was a clean-shaven man. Never prone to going more than a day or two without face scrape-age. Even during harvest, a time in which many other rules and customs were sacrificed in favour of bringing in the all-important crop.
MIL preferred it that way. She liked to see the lines of one’s face.
But occasionally, FIL would tire of the ever-present razor and declare that he was going to grow a beard.
Anyone within hearing distance would suck in an astonished, slightly apprehensive breath and glance at MIL.
She would smile gently and announce, to no one in particular, “Hmmm . . . I think I’ll dye my hair blonde!”
FIL would silently lift his newspaper and go on with whatever had been interrupted.
MIL would go back to bustling.
And the conversation (so to speak) would die. Right there.
My In-Laws had an amazing rapport.
A friendship.
Companionship.
Truly loving relationship.
Even when they differed.
Interesting. Quietly heading off rebellion using one's partner's own aversions.
Only in the best of families . . .


14 comments:

  1. Is it just me or does he bear a resemblance to Wayne Gretzky?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He does! An older, wiser Wayne Gretsky! Wish he'd pulled in the same wage . . . :)

      Delete
  2. Excellent camaraderie! What a delightful memory!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so cute. I do the same type of thing to my husband.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Check ... and ... mate! Smart lady :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. They make a great couple. I often "mention" to my husband that I might cut my hair short - that usually stops him in whatever tracks I'm not liking!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a funny story! It's funny because I also tell my hubby the same thing sometimes. It seems he hasnhis own aversion to blondes but I happen to like beards so I use it for other things!

    ReplyDelete
  7. He: I think I'll grow my beard down to my chest.
    Me: I'll pick up the divorce papers on my way home.
    I think all (or most) couples have similar triggers and replies, and life carries on.

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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