It Was Not A Close Shave
I have had a beard for most of my adult life. I grew it the first time while I was still in college. We’re talking the late 1960s here. I grew it for a play I was in. I forget which one. All that’s important is that I was brilliant and the beard was scruffy looking.
Over the years, decades now, the beard has come and gone with fashion, day job rules and what show was being cast. Now that I’m pretty much a retired geezer the beard is there out of habit and as a way to cut down on the need to shave. If I didn’t have a beard I would have to shave at least twice a week. Otherwise I’d look like Yasser Arafat the late Palestinian terrorist leader. Not a good look for me. It wasn’t for him either, but he always looked like it was Day #3 on his face. I don’t know how he did it. But he’s dead. Moving on.
My current beard is just a sprouting of chin whiskers; a “goatee” is the official name I’ve read recently. I’ve never seen a goat with a beard like mine, but then again I haven’t been hanging out with that many goats lately.
Because I have just my chin with foliage I have to keep the rest of my face relatively clear-cut. Last night I had to work on that. It had been almost two weeks since my last shave and not only did I look like I’d been sleeping in the park or under a bridge since Labor Day, it was uncomfortable.
The minute I’m done shaving the whiskers start growing again. It is a never-ending battle. For the first few days it’s no big deal, but after that it starts to become irritating. Whiskers, when short, are stiff as nails and they stay that way for a couple of weeks. Then they soften up and become manageable.
I don’t want a full beard. I don’t look good with a full beard. All that hair makes my head look like a furry bowling ball. The chin whiskers, on the other hand, make me just handsome and debonair. (Don’t argue with me.) Without shaving the beard crawls down my neck until it gets uncomfortably close to the graying hairs on my chest. I do not want to look like a bearskin rug with glasses.
So I shave.
I didn’t bring my shaver with me on our five week Ireland trip. I did bring my “beard trimmer.” It does a decent job as a shaver. Not excellent, but adequate. I didn’t want to lug my shaver and the beard trimmer both. I wasn’t planning on going on any job interviews or dropping by for tea with the Taoiseach (The Head Dude) while in Ireland. Screw it. If a 90% good shave wasn’t good enough, then everyone would just have to deal with it.
Last evening I announced to Dawn that, “I’m going to go shave. You may not recognize me when I return.” Ten minutes later when I opened the door to the living room/TV room/Dining room when a good show is on the tube Dawn looked at me and said, “Who are you? Where is my husband?”
It was a good shave.