Monday, November 07, 2005

Goodbye to All That (Facial Hair)

Today I shaved.

You may not find that remarkable. Many, perhaps most, men shave. And Monday is a popular day for it, it being the first day of the work week, and considering that many men indulge in the luxury of not shaving on the weekend.

But when you haven't shaved in over a year, it takes on more significance.

It was a goatee I had, and I'd had it more than a year. I'd grown one before, once, but it fared poorly and lasted but a short time. But the itch was there. The itch to grow a goatee. And to do it right.

On one forgotten day, I needed to shave. Only I didn't feel like it. I've never liked it, shaving, and it's not something I ever had much of an example in. My father, you see, has had a full beard for as long as I can remember. (You can find it at the National Beard Registry. I am not making this up. He even bought a T-shirt.) When I came of a certain age, I was bought an electric shaver, and have used electrics ever since. To this day, shaving cream remains a mystery to me.

So I didn't shave. And as I said, the itch was there. But it passed.

Eventually I realized that the full beard just wasn't working for me. What to do?

Why not try the goatee again?

For someone who got into this facial hair business as a way to avoid shaving, I sure picked the wrong way to go about it.

Goatees are more work than shaving. They have to be trimmed. And shaped. And kept neat. And you have to shave three-quarters of your face anyway.

And yet for some reason, I persisted with the goatee for more than a year.

Why did I do it? To do something different. As an experiment. To see what it looked like. For the heck of it.

Fundamentally, though, I ended up taking on more work in an effort to be lazy.

Now that's my definition of insanity.

So today I shaved. It was the work of a few minutes to cut it off. And as I looked back at my face, I noticed something strange.

My face.

It's not what you think. I am, I think, fairly normal in my appearance. No, what I mean is that I hardly recognized myself. After a year bearded, I look strange without it. I feel strange, too. See, I was prone to fidget with my beard. Stroke my chin. Look thoughtful. (Or like an evil professor, according to someone who was not being helpful. You know who you are.) Now I go to my chin and there's nothing to play with. Very strange.

I'll get used to it, I'm sure. And although the urge is to grow it back, quickly, before anyone notices it's gone, I'm going to resist. Goateed is out. Clean is in.

Why, I might even buy some shaving cream.


Anonymous Bob "RhinoKeeper" Dedmon said...

Theo, in the dark and distant past...even before I met Mike I had a 'van Dyke' beard, the only time in my life I was allowed (mainly because of my employment) that I kept hair on my chin. I never really had a problem with it, keeping it trimmed was much easier than shaving and less painful as well. The current CinC House won't even let me have a 'stache, and as long as she keeps the smokes out of the house it stays off. IIRC when you came by you were hairy, I must say it looked a bit scraggley, especially compaired to what I grew way back when. One of these days I may send one of the two shots of me in beard to the board to include for all to laugh at. Do yourself a favor keep it off for a while. Cheers

12:24 PM  
Blogger Anon_e_mouse said...

There are more of us with them than without... the only one of the immediate family at the gathering last Sunday (except Philip, and since he's not quite six he has a legitimate excuse) not facially complete was Uncle Ed.

8:35 PM  

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