Monday, March 8, 2010
Hide the women and children (and PBR)
I'm growing a beard.
Allow me to rephrase.
I'm maintaining my facial hair.
What this entails to remains to be seen. It's been eleven days since my last go-round with my straight razor. Inspired by CMM's luscious* moustache, I decided to see what these little follicles can do. Much like Brad Pitt's probing question in Fight Club, I asked myself; 'How much can you know about yourself if you've never grown a beard?'. Growing a beard is a rite of passage. What if I could grow an incredible soul patch that would make Apollo Anton Ohno shave his off in shame? I owe it to humanity to try.
In my experience, there are two classes of men when it comes to facial hair. There are the men who could lose their razor for the better part of a month an no one would be the wiser**. They will remain nameless, but they know who they are. Then there are men whom ought to carry a Mach 3 in their pocket. You don't know which camp you fall into until you take the plunge. With that being said, I'm still not sure.
Here's the thing about facial hair. There's no rhyme or reason to it. So little in fact, that I've been trying to recount any childhood scalding incidents to explain the strip under my jaw that is inexplicably bare. It's filling in, but it was dicey for a while there and made we want to scrap the whole project. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.
Right now it's just itchy. I don't know if this goes away, but if it doesn't, I have a newfound respect for Zach Galifianakis. I try not to think about it. Also, it has a strange auburn hue to it, which is a relief, since I can't think of any variation on blond facial hair that didn't scream rapist or amphetamine addict. There are some benefits, which I honestly did not foresee.
Firstly, a moustache (or the makings of one) adds a level of gravity to anything you say. Maybe it's because everyone with a moustache looks like someone's dad, but I get the distinct impression that I am being taken seriously. Too seriously in most cases, since I'm usually about to fling a rubber band at them. A moustache is also the jackpot for non-verbal expression, allowing you to express despondence, fury, and confusion with subtle adjustments of your orbicularis oris.
I feel closer to the hipster community than ever before, but also closer to homeless, so we'll see how it shakes out. I'm not going to look like Pei Mei, Ron Swanson (above), or Al Swearengen***, but now I know could if I set my mind to it. That's the American Dream right there.
*This is the first and last time I will use this word to describe a non-food.
**Save for 3 inexplicably long hairs that only their girlfriend's notice.