I have long been a ‘beard-in-theory’ man. That is to say, I have long been of the opinion that beards are awesome. Until such time as that beard is growing on my face.
When a beard appears upon my face, it does unwanted things. It itches. It gets bedraggled and sweaty underneath my fencing mask. And it becomes unruly — I am honestly bad at maintaining a beard to a reasonable, professional aesthetic standard.
In late January, I had a short, busy work week. It was followed by a four day weekend. By the time my holiday was over, it had been ten days without shaving, and I had the making of a beard.
I like your beard, Daddy.
Apparently I was going to make another attempt at living bearded.
It is now two weeks later. The itching has subsided, and I have yet to make a grooming mistake that made me say ‘fuck it’. I have not fenced in these two weeks. And I am now in Atlanta, where I have never not been asked for identification when buying beer. Until today.
In my younger days, when I grew a beard, it would have some ginger hairs in it. Today, these have gone full albino. I appear to appear older with a beard than I do without.
That’s another strike against you, beard. I don’t trust you.
I was walking back to the hotel after lunch today, pondering my identification-free meal, and figured that there are a number of lessons that I’ve learned today:
- My beard makes me look old. (Not older, though I’m sure that too. Just old.
- The more I travel, the worse the jetlag gets. Or maybe this, too, is a function of age. The only certainty is exhaustion.
- Chocolate melted in my jacket pocket sometime recently.
- It’s really freaky to look down at your hand, see it covered in some sort of sticky brown substance, and have no idea how it got there.
- I’m jealous of my daughter’s LEGO.
Strangely, I’m having a pretty good day.