Growing a beard was something that I thought was pretty cool. In part it was because I thought that anyone who grow a beard was an adult and could do adult things and in my mind that was something I wanted.
Little did I know that one day I would become a modern version of a werewolf. If you asked me when it happened I don’t think I could tell you. One day I was this clean shaven kid and the next day I was covered from head to toe in in thick black hair.
We all know how cruel children can be. Fortunately I have very sharp teeth to go along with the fur so the comments were kept to a minimum. For some reason people find howling and barking at the moon to be disconcerting. Maybe they are just jealous of my coat. With a beard like this you don’t really need a jacket. That is a plus.
Then again I do remember the time that James, Bill and Manny kept attacking me with strips of duct tape. It was very uncool of them. Later on I’d repay them by delivering pizzas, or should I say that beneath the cheese lay a fine coating of the secret ingredient.
Ok, if you are wondering that is not really me in the picture. I have plenty o’facial hair and a reasonable amount covers the rest of me. The beard is an intermittent adventure. By that I mean that I spent a good deal of the year clean shaven. The beard is something that I grow every now and then.
Sometimes I cut it off and wear it as a goatee and sometimes just a mustache. The mustache is an infrequent guest. I look ridiculous in it. The beard works, but the mustache is something else. Wife, kids, family, friends and strangers fear it.
The thing with my beard is that frankly I get bored and decide that I don’t want it anymore. Since it only takes a couple of weeks to grow it again I usually don’t think twice about cutting it off.
When I am follicly enhanced people treat me differently. In a pair of Levis, boots and bandanna I play the role of construction worker or biker. It is kind of nice to do this at the mall or other stores as people tend to give me the right of way. If I wear slacks and a white shirt I can be certain that people ask when I received smicha or at least a guarantee that I’ll be called on for the minyan.
These things happen less frequently when I am cleanshaven. Not that I really care all that much either way. Being cleanshaven has its ups and downs too. Certainly it is easier to eat. The beard is a magnet for crumbs, sauces of all types and miscellaneous particles from the universe.
Not just that but the beard is so strong that I can’t feel these things hanging there, not unless I am completely soaked, but that is a different story altogether.
My daughter likes to play with my beard. She enjoys grooming me. She brushes my hair and then fixes my beard so that I can be beautiful. I tell her to be careful how beautiful she makes me because then all the girls will chase me. She says that I shouldn’t run from them and that it is ok if they want to kiss me because girls like to kiss boys.
I told her it is ok for other girls to like doing that and that she can wait until she is 30. She told me that she doesn’t want to kiss any other men besides her abba and maybe grandpa, but she is not sure.
Then she told me that my beard tickles her face and asked if I would shave it. I told her that I’d think about it and then she told me that she knows that means no. Damn, the girl is 3.5 and she has me figured out. I better come up with a few new tricks real soon or I am going to be in big trouble.
And now if you’ll excuse me I have to go trim this beast a bit. I’d rather not look like bigfoot.