At an Impasse

The hero and heroine in my current work in progress have reached an impasse. Secrets have been revealed, deepest fears have been realized, and both are too stubborn to take the first step toward reconciliation.

Though the circumstances weren’t nearly so dire in nature, I had a similar situation with my husband a few months ago. His job frequently requires him to work during holidays, but this year he was able to get a full two weeks off for Christmas. Though we did travel to visit family during the second week, we spent most of the first week relaxing at home. Naturally, my husband decided it would be a good time to stop shaving and grow a beard. Don’t get me wrong, I like a little stubble as much as the next girl, but I’m not a fan of beards. The thought of food and nasal discharge getting stuck in it makes me nauseous.  So naturally, I had to throw down the gauntlet and respond with my own personal grooming boycott. I was not going to shave my legs until he shaved off the beard.

The challenge continued for the full two weeks of vacation. Lucky for me the fickle Texas weather cooperated and didn’t get warm enough for me want to wear anything that would reveal my legs. Lucky for him he could have cared less what anyone thought of his appearance. Imagine my chagrin when, the evening before he had to return to work, instead of shaving the thing off and admitting defeat, he trimmed the dang thing into a more professional shape and decided to keep it.

By this time I was done with the leg hair long enough to braid, so pulled out my razor and (somewhat) gracefully accepted my defeat. Yes, I totally overestimated his need to be well groomed and completely underestimated how much not shaving my legs would bother me.  My only consolation was that the kids and I managed to coerce him into shaving it off after a few days of pointing out how old he looked with all that grey in his beard. Hey, I never promised not to play dirty.

As for my hero and heroine, I still don’t know who’s going to give in first, but I hope someone does or this is going to be the longest, most boring romance novel EVER.

How about you? Have you ever reached an impasse with your significant other?


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20 Responses to At an Impasse

  1. Neecy Kelly says:

    All the time! But like everything else, Love conquers all! But I’m usually the one giving in! I was always told when you reach an impasse in a book to toss in a little action!
    Cute post!

    • Ally says:

      Thanks for coming by, Neecy. I’m sure my characters will work everything out. I’m just waiting for one of them to be willing to give in and make the first move.

  2. Interesting post Ally! I like to go beyond the stand-off to discover what “need” is driving the confrontation. A man wanting to grow a beard, besides not wanting to shave daily and take a break from that 365 day ritual, must think his appearance benefits from facial hair. Maybe he thinks it compensates for a receding hairline (or no hairline?) Perhaps he feels like claiming some “wisdom” with a full beard, or compete with other men in his “tribe” at the office? An interesting corollary, always watch when a woman cuts her hair short … I’ve watched a change in marital status usually follows not long after. I’m saying all this because if you can identify what need your character’s impasse is, you can resolve it and also enrichen the character’s depth and the couples understanding of each other and their relationship. Just my opinion!

  3. Enjoyed your post! Life and marriage is full of compromises for sure…you win some, lose others. Over the years I’ve done plenty of both. LOL

    Glad he shaved the beard, I’m not overly fond of all that facial hair either. When my husband used to hunt, he wouldn’t shave around that time…and it annoyed me. Ick is all I can say. lol

  4. Ella Quinn says:

    Loved you post. We are both so stubborn that I try to avoid impasses by just making the decision myself and telling him about it aftwards. It works most of the time. But beards? Abolutely no. I can’t stand them and he knows it. Until he retired, it wasn’t an issue, but now, every few years he asks if he can have a beard and I tell him no. But I like his mustashe.

    • Ally says:

      If you’ve trained him to ask first, you’re already ahead of the game. I try to make all the decisions myself and inform him afterwords (or not at all), but every once in a while he rebels. Oh well, it could be worse!

  5. I used to do a lot of backpacking, so I got over the having to shave my legs things a long time ago. Being blonde helps. 🙂

    Fun post, and good luck working out your characters’ impasse.

  6. Angelyn says:

    Leg hair long enough to braid–hilarious!

  7. Ceri Hebert says:

    My husband generally wears a goatee, which is fine with me but every year in the winter he grows a full beard. It does nothing for me, but he does it for warmth. LOL I guess ya gotta do what ya gotta do in New England. I just ride it out. I know he’ll shave it off soon enough.

    • Ally says:

      Warmth isn’t gonna fly in Texas (unless you’re talking about the artificially created subarctic temperatures they maintain indoors here during the summer).

  8. Funny post, Ally. My hubby and I are both stubborn, but neither of us digs in like that. I’m the odd one out here. I love beards and hubby looks great in one, but has only occassionaly grown one for a vacation. I don’t tell him to grow a beard and he doesn’t tell me to not to cut my hair. Seems fair. Good luck on character impasse.

  9. Mary Roya says:

    I actually like beards. At an Impasse, sounds like they may need a third party intervention. Kinda of like the kids teasing Dad looking older with facial hair. Someone has to be the better person and back down for the greater good. Just my 2 cents.

  10. Carole St-Laurent says:

    Good post, Ally. For your two heroes, maybe something happens that scares them into doing the first step? Nothing like a life-or-death situation to shuffle priorities. ;-))

    • Ally says:

      Great idea, Carole. I’m still waiting for one of them to indicate a willingness to take the first step, but I may just have to scare them into it.

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