I like my beard From what I’ve managed in the past, it’s the best of the attempts. And there’s wisdom in facial hair. My father had a beard and so did Santa. When I was in high school in the 80’s, I wanted stubble so badly; like the guys in the magazines had. It was so ruggedly manicured; it said: “No, I didn’t have time to shave, but I always have time to look goood.” You know, like George Michael.
Because the Color Me Badd stubble was way out of my league, in the 90’s, I wanted the Grunge facial hair; that “whatever” facial hair. The untrimmed growth of disillusionment during the largest period of economic growth in our Nation’s history. Instead, I always looked like I had just lost a fight at a Toad the Wet Sprocket concert.
The older I got, the more I tried, but my beard never seemed to leave the awkward stage. Instead of exuding wisdom, the beard begged for sympathy; like I was receiving treatment for something serious. There were holes where nothing grew, and what did grow never acted like it belonged there. It was wispy and transient.
In my 30’s, I took to darkening my goatee with “Just for Men,” which made me feel artificial and cheap. It’s one thing to dye your beard because it’s greying, it’s another thing completely when you darken it so people know you have it.
I can live with what I have now. It will never be so bushy that I’ll look like I might have an encyclopedic knowledge of trains or the circus, but it will also never again be so sparse that I look like I’m working on an obnoxious manifesto. It’s a little revolutionary and a little home-spun; like a charismatic cult leader on a compound at Pepperidge Farm.