Who owns your face?

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 31-55857

As a feminist (and basically a reasonable person) I believe in a woman's right to decide what to do with her body. Women should have sole dominion over who gets to touch it, what contraception gets applied to it, and whether or not gestation within it is a thing she can commit to. I believe I have tino rangatiratanga over my reproductive organs and woe betide anyone who tries to put their oar in (as it were). All oars are off-limits. Woe, I say!

And yet I only begrudgingly extend the same right of self-determination to the Silver Fox... with regards to his face, that is. Recently he has been going through a "beardy phase".

It started, I suspect, out of sheer laziness and continued...out of sheer laziness. He didn't feel like shaving and then kept not feeling like it for the better part of a week and before you know it he's David Bellamy without the interest in botany.

When we first started going out he made an effort to shave regularly but now that he's given up trying to make me think he's James Bond in a bacon t-shirt the frequency of shearing has decreased, and recently ceased entirely.

Naturally I reacted to this newly grown thatch of facial scratchiness in my usual manner. Ungraciously.

Kisses would be dispensed but only after an elaborate "lip choreography" had been performed including a warm up in the form of "lip yoga" in which I would contort my face in the hopes of somehow making a safe passage through the bristle to the relative safety of the gob area. Like Frodo attempting the perilous journey to Mordor. Verily, I did approach his face as if it were made of angry radioactive hedgehogs...brandishing ginsu knives. Because subtlety, like caviar, is a thing I have heard of but which doesn't make much of an appearance in my life, generally speaking.

I also started referring to him as Chewbacca encouraging him when he was at the wheel with such advice as "keep your distance, but try not to look like you're keeping your distance...drive casual". When he found my ability to bang my knee on the underside of the bathroom sink amusing I instructed him to "laugh it up, fuzzball".

And then one day last week I told him that I knew I was being silly and that I knew his face belonged to him, not me, and that he was allowed to grow any manner of silliness upon it if he liked.

He shaved the next day.

So I guess that saying is really true. If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it's yours, if it doesn't at least you'll always be exfoliated?

As Movember looms, casting its furry shadow across the upper lips of relationships all around the country, nay, the world, I have to wonder - how much "ownership" do people feel towards the face of their partner? Is there a "consultation period" if renovations or add ons are to be implemented? Do you own your face outright or is it more of a joint-lease sort of arrangement?