Hair Apparent

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I am thinking, once again, of shaving off my beard…well, whatever portion of it currently constitutes a Van Dyke, if you will.

I go through this every few years. It’s my own follicular version of El Nino, or La Nina…or maybe la Bamba.

I have not even informed the Frau of this because I know what she will say. ‘Gee, you’ll look like you’re 16 again‘. She wishes. Of course, she was around when I was 16 so, perhaps, she’s in a better position to judge.

I made a conscious decision to keep some facial hair from my mid-twenties onward. It’s been there, more or less, ever since. I grew it because I thought it would make me look older and lend a certain respectability. I tried smoking a pipe for awhile for exactly the same reasons. There is nothing dumber than the sight of a 20-something smoking a pipe. The smoke drifts up into your moustache and the smell of whiskey-soaked, tar-laden tobacco never leaves you. I also grew some facial hair because the mop on top was so uncooperative that I thought any distraction below the nose might provide a merciful alternate focal point.

I don’t think I won on either count.

I aways hoped for a good beard but it never arrived. I wanted a Kenny Rogers beard…a Colonel Sanders beard..something sported elegantly by, oh say, Robert E. Lee. It was not to be. I got a curly beard, a gnarly beard…a beard that turned back on itself. It’s a pubic beard, really. You could more appropriately call it a dick Van Dyke.

The big decision will not be removing the beard. It will be the option of shaving the moustache. I’ve tried it a couple of times and the sight of my upper lip has been disturbing. It’s not a bad upper lip but it’s been in the witness protection program for so long I would have to gently introduce it to the rest of the face.

The time to perform this manoeuvre is just before you board a plane to leave the country….maybe  even in the aircraft washroom at thirty-five thousand feet. That way, the clean-shaven visage has a chance to settle in on the road. It’s like a Broadway play. You don’t want to open big if the third act is a disaster. Also, there’s much less chance of a clean-shaven you running into an acquaintance on a far-flung beach…someone who may point and laugh and pitch forward hysterically into the sand..although I roll that dice every time I put on a pair of shorts. If you open your new face on the road and it bombs there’s always the option of growing it back before you return..and no one’s the wiser.

So there’s a strategy here. Someday I will turn the corner of ambivalence toward personal grooming…not hygiene…just grooming. And , oh, the heavens will ring out! I just hope I don’t have too much hair in my ears to hear them.


One Response to “Hair Apparent”

  1. Why not go Full Monty and shave the dome? Get an earring? Pierce something. dammit.

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