I have a love/hate relationship with the things. Just to gross out the folks who despise such things, I’ve provided a visual image of my very-unruly beard.
It didn’t start this way. I’ve had the whisker thing going on since I was eighteen years old or so. I have several pictures of me in France. The girls in my school called me “Le Barbu”, which I’m okay with, I guess. In 1987 France, I was the only one who bothered to grow such facial hair. It just wasn’t a popular look. I explained that I was from Oregon, and every deer and elk season, my dad let his whiskers grow because he was getting up too early to hunt, to bother with shaving. It must have lost something in the translation: they thought I grew the beard because we were Mountain Men, and it was a Mountain Man’s tradition. I also had an eight year old French boy ask if there were elephants in Oregon, so I’m not completely surprised at the lack of understanding.
The real reason? I’m lazy. I’ve spent much of my adult life alternately shaving and not shaving. I like to mix it up. Also, I hate scraping steel across my face. Judi wants my beard to be trimmed. She told me earlier in the week that the facial hair is getting unruly.
Really? You ought a see Henry David Thoreau. The guy grew neck hair, and shaved everything else. I mean seriously, I look at him, a titan of natural philosophy (and admittedly, of neck hair), and think “Hey. My beard isn’t too unruly. In fact I look positively normal!”
Okay, not normal, but definitely less strange than I could look.
I spent my first couple years at Bethany with hair that I could proudly tuck into my bra strap. I kept it in a pony tail. My hair was getting quite long when I moved to Virgnia. I think it may have partially been the reason I couldn’t find work when we first arrived in 2007.
So, the beard comes off again this weekend. My hair is shaggy but not long. It’ll take a bit of trimming, which is painful. I do the deed at night, after I spread sheets newspaper all over the bathroom sink. Then I take the hedge clippers and go crazy.
I can’t do the more detailed work until the next morning, or I run the risk of painful face rash the next day. I suppose it would be more convenient if I simply went ahead and shaved every day, but where’s the fun in that? I’m just a hairy guy.
Just have to let the hippies speak now, and I’m done. Thanks for listening!