Friday, April 24, 2020

Should I Shave Or Should I Grow Now?

So, that little project is done.
Not the one where I painted the rocking chair. Although after some sanding and a couple coats of spray blue, it's looking just fine out on the porch again.
It's not the lawn mowing, either. There have been moments when I have looked out on the grass, especially in the back yard, where I have considered pulling the mower out of the garage and hitting it again, just to have something accomplished.
And on the work front, there are daily requests and questions that need answering for technical assistance. How do I log into this? Where is that report? Can first graders do the second grade version? That won't end anytime soon.
The one I am referencing is the space just below my nose and above my chin. About three weeks ago, I started letting my facial hair grow. I am not by any stretch of the imagination alone in this enterprise. Men across the globe have been follically experimenting with their cheeks, chins and upper lips over the past six weeks. Some of the results have been nothing short of transformative. Some of them not so much. A colleague of mine cancelled his beard when another teacher pronounced him "Yasser Arafat."
I was more fortunate. I chose to go for the goatee, mostly because it is the style that universally causes individuals to stroke their chin as they attempt to describe it. It also had the effect of combining with my skin-dome and glasses to give me a Walter White vibe. The guy from Breaking Bad. The guy who gave up his job as a chemistry teacher to get into the drug trade. It allowed me to let folks know, when they asked during Zoom meetings what I had been doing during quarantine, that I was building a meth lab in my basement.
But sooner or later, all good beards must come to an end. I had a beard and mustache when my son was born. That one was raised out of the relative calm before his birth. I wore that one for the first eight or nine months of his life, but I shaved it off as a direct result of seeing him flinch when I leaned down to kiss him goodbye. I don't need whiskers that bad.
And so came the end of this version. My wife was initially enthralled, claiming that she felt like she was "dating a new guy." Somewhere in there, however, I began to remind her of her uncle. That was enough for me. That and the fact that what came sprouting out of my face was not the old standby gerbil colored hair that I had cultivated in my youth. This was a lot of salt with a little bit of pepper. I hit the rewind button hard when I shaved it off. No more meth lab. No more stranger in my wife's boudoir. No more stray food hanging around after meals.
And no audition for ZZ Top.

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