Thursday, July 21, 2011


I've had a beard most of my adult life. It started with the optimistic dusting of hairs that I attempted right after high school. By 20 it was full. Since then, I've rarely shaved it, although it is normally trimmed close to my face and I shave my neck.

At 20, I liked the full face hair look--I thought it made me look more grown up, and more "cool." By then, Jerry Garcia had a beard (much thicker than mine--or most people's). John Lennon had a big bushy beard in 1969, but it's not a look that he is identified with.

Fidel Castro--now THAT'S someone we always associate with a beard. How about some of those 19th-century presidents? Big hairy clouds. The last 100 years--no.

Orthodox Jewish men are known for their beards--often quite unstylish. They fiddle with them while studying the Torah. I'm afraid that's what I would look like with a few years growth.

The latest beard news: Brian Wilson (no relation to the Beach Boys) of the San Francisco Giants. His hirsute face is the closest to Rutherford B. Hayes that we've seen in a while.

My problem now is that while the remaining hair on my head is "salt and pepper," the hair on my face is overwhelmingly salt these days. And at this point, looking older isn't that appealing, frankly.

The problem is, if I shave it off, it'll make me look younger, but my non-George Clooney chin will be exposed. I feel like I look naked without a beard. And, there's the maintenance issue. A three-day growth of gray isn't hip--it's homelessness.

Luckily I don't have to do anything right now, so I won't. But it crosses my mind--normally right after seeing myself in a mirror and registering the disconnect between what I observe and what I feel.


idbirds said...

Shave your head; keep the beard!

Anonymous said...

Just dye it, for fuck's sake.