I recently went through a one-month beard-growing experiment. Every man has to try this every so often. I can’t tell you why; I just know that it seems to be an irresistible part of the masculine experience. So yes, from February 6th to March 8th, I did not shave my beard.
So when I got to the end of my self-imposed trial period, I decided to take the beard off in pieces. If it took me one month to grow the beard, I figured, I might as well take a whole week to shave it off. So on Monday, I went from the full beard to the “Chester Arthur” (which could also be called a “Lemmy,” I’ve learned). On Tuesday, I went to the “Vintage 1977” lamb-chop sideburns and full moustache. And on Thursday, I went with the “French waiter” look — sporting short tidy sideburns and a pencil-thin moustache. Today, I went back to my regular clean-shaven look.
What was most interesting of all, throughout the week, was the reactions of others around me. Ironically, without my really realizing it, this week turned out to be the week in which our church hosted a city-wide pastors’ breakfast (while I was sporting the “Chester Arthur”) — and also the week of our parent-teacher conferences at school (while I was doing the “Vintage 1977”). But throughout the week, my facial hair also proved to be valuable conversation banter and more than a few awkward glances indicating that the other person was thinking “Does he know how ridiculous that actually looks?!?” Other children at my kids’ school were less discreet about their observations — actually pointing and laughing on occasion! But I actually kind of enjoyed it.