Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My beard relentlessly marches on, consuming entire tiny patches of my face one scraggly hair at a time. It is a remorseless growing machine that will not stop until it has magically transformed me from Man Who Cannot Grow A Beard into Man Who Should Not Grow A Beard.

Opinions are split as to whether or not it makes me look better or worse.

When I ordered a drink at the Oakland airport on my way to Seattle, the bartender carded me. I'm nearly double the legal drinking age, so it's been a number of years since I've been carded. I was astonished and wondered whether my inability to grow a beard that actually covers the lower half of my face made me look less mature. Then again, the bartender was bearded, so perhaps he was just welcoming me into the club.

Days later, at a winery in San Juan, I used my credit card that says "See ID" on the back in place of my signature. The cashier complied and asked for my driver's license. She did a quick double-take upon viewing it.

"You look a lot younger in that picture," she announced.

"You obviously don't work for tips," I thought to myself.

Ok, the score was tied at 1 and 1.

Meanwhile, Hank grudgingly admitted that it looks kind of good. It FEELS scratchy, but doesn't look bad she said. 2 to 1, baby!

Today, however, I went into the office and a quiet coworker that I see about once every six months stared at me and said, "You're shaving that off."

2 to 2.

I haven't really investigated whether the ladies find it attractive, so when on my flight back from Seattle I found myself next to two young and attractive ladies, the opportunity seemed to present itself.

A college kid on the far side of me struck up a conversation with the ladies, and found out that they had been in town for an Ultimate Frisbee tournament. College Boy also sprouted some facial growth, but his looked like the "I'm having too much fun to bother shaving" beard as opposed to my "I'm proving a point here" beard.

I placed my eyebrows into their most debonair position and flashed my least (but still partially) creepy smile. I then leaned forward, interrupting the frisbee conversation between College Boy and the ladies.

"I just spent the weekend playing frisbee golf with a bunch of drunk old guys," I interjected suavely, "And I don't mean to brag, but I came in second to last, sooooo, if you need any tips or anything, I'm here in..."

I glanced up at the seat row number.


I nodded sexily and leaned back in my seat.

One of the ladies thanked me with her best Grandpa Smells Funny smile while the other one took pity on me and agreed that frisbee golf really is best played drunk.

I'm thinking that the beard loses 2-3, but at least I cock blocked College Boy.


chess h said...

Hey, Mike, it's looking pretty good!

Why do I keep getting this image of you playing a guitar next to a jukebox and singing, "gotta have faith, faith, faith"? :)

The only real solution for getting the beard accepted is to wear it for some time. The first time I grew one I had it for about a year, and the usual reponse when I got it shaved was "about time." Now, though, after wearing one for 3+ years, the response is usually "I thought you would never shave that damn thing off." So, no real difference, but at least by the end of that third year, people had given up on talking about it.

David said...

Be careful. If you let that beard grow out of control, you might be discomforting more than just the young girls at the airport.

Is your daughter giving her nod of approval?

Mike said...


I don't think I resemble George Michael too much, although who doesn't love anonymous gay bathroom sex?

David, my daughter is the one who actually WANTS me to have this beard. She even likes the scratchiness of it!

Anonymous said...

Mike, don't know about your beard, but you are better looking that the avatar picture. I thought you were Ray Romano!

Mike said...

Anon, yeah, but that's my good side.

tinyhands said...

I think you should have an accent too. I'm thinking something middle eastern, where you end each sentence with "my friend."

- No, I don't want to change insurance carriers but thank you for calling, my friend.
- Yes, I would like some more water, my friend.
- These rugs are much superior and I make for you a very good bargain, my friend.

Mike said...

Tiny, as an ex-Jew, my attempts as middle Eastern humor come with unwanted baggage. I am, however, one of the few people in my social circle that can pull off a Holocaust joke.