Pretty much every morning consists of me doing the same thing. Waking up from my alarm and pressing snooze. Then repeating that process until I finally snap awake and realize I have 15 minutes to get ready for work. I shower, get dressed, eat a lovely breakfast (thanks to my much more awake wife), and shoot out the door toward another day at work. Along the way, I do have to look at myself in the mirror so that I don’t look like a fifth grader tied my tie, and because of this I have started to notice something growing on my face.
It has taken a while, but I can finally see it from a distance. The leftovers of “No Shave November” and a somewhat reluctant green light from “The One That I Kiss” has left me with a scraggly beard.
The beard, or sir beard as I never refer to it, has changed not only my outer grubbish appearance, but also has changed who I am on a very small level. I look around at a crowded room of shaved people and feel sorry for them. They all have to deal with the anguish of cutting down and fighting back the hair that so desperately wants to be seen on their own face everyday. Also, I have noticed that when I am thinking or pondering something truly deep, as I always do, I find myself stroking the hairs that make up the shadow of a beard that surrounds my mouth and jaw line.
Growing a beard is a man’s natural instinct to keep warm during the cold months and a way to figuratively puff out one’s chest at any passer by. It allows a man to reconnect with his inner caveman. Whether it is a well groomed masterpiece or a few lonesome hairs on a chin, hair of the face allows the grower to feel a little different than the normal ole chap.
I truly do feel sorry for mine though. I have gone twenty three years and I have not yet learned the under appreciated talent of growing a stout beard. My beard looks as though a kindergartner got tired of drawing hairs on his doodle of a stick figure. I know that I have come a long way since my misguided side burn middle school years, but there is still a wide gap of what a beard should look like and what my face looks like.
I continue to pursue a better life for the fur on my face though. The longer I let it live, the more likely it will live a viable life. I give it hope every time I press snooze too many times, or walk past a mirror and catch a glimpse of a hair or two. Maybe someday it will approach greatness. That will be the day. When it can boast to other beards, and walk right up to strangers and yell in a deep and resounding voice “I am a beard.” It is then that I will be able look my beard in the face, shake its hand and say, “You really are growing on me.”