The Chronicles of Beard

11 05 2011

As I write this, I’m rubbing my upper lip. It might not seem significant to you but it’s been a while since I have been able to do this. My upper lip is bald for the first time in months. Maybe two? Maybe more? I’m not really sure. You see, I used to have a beard a few hours ago. I’m not sure when it started because I wasn’t really paying attention.

beard down here

I'm not sure how this happened

I didn’t set out to have a beard, nor did I try to grow one. Rarely does such a thing happen I think, I mean we actually go out of our way NOT to have a beard by shaving. Growing a beard it would seem, would be the exact opposite of trying. It would be the act of NOT doing something, as in shaving. To put this succinctly, shaving requires effort, not shaving does not.

Even once it was apparent to me that I did in fact have a beard, I never expected it to last very long. It got lots of attention, it was a topic of conversation, and I left it alone. A few weeks in, I still had no excuse for owning it nor did I have a plan for what I was going to do with it. It was near the end of the NHL season, but a little to early for a playoff beard.

The beard got a lot of attention and I in turn had to try and explain that I had not grown one intentionally, which seemed suspect to some people so I broke down and admitted I got bored at lunch a grew a beard. I was expecting some jeering and some playful jabs from friends but what I wasn’t expecting was how many people told me the beard looked good. Interestingly enough I received far more compliments with the beard than without. Again, because shaving requires effort. This is one of the few times I am rewarded for being lazy. I mean when was the last time someone told you, “Hey, good shave job.”?

As it turns out many some women are attracted to facial hair. I know, I was as surprised as they were. Some playfully commented on it, some just looked liked they were in junior high and something brushed against their nipple for the first time. They don’t exactly known what is happening to them but they like it and are slightly embarrassed at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not lauding the beard, I think it’s hideous, but fun. I would actually apologize to people for having it.

While I enjoyed having it for a finite amount of time, I always knew it was coming off. I have only grown, er… not shaved a beard once before. I have had a terrible assortment of facial hair (goatee, chops, burns, flavour saver, billy goat etc.) but I blame the nineties for that. The last time I had a beard, it was an experiment. I wondered what I would look like with one, so I grew it  didn’t shave for a month and after I saw the results, I satisfied my curiosity and shaved it off.

Eagles of Beard Metal

That is, not before I documented it,  and each progressive stage of removal as evidenced by the photo to the left. Those photos can been seen in a Facebook gallery here.

It was then always in the back of my mind that when I shaved off this beard, having grown fuller and dirtier nastier better, I would create new and equally fun and fuller and better photos.

I had been putting it off for a while but I awoke thinking ‘today is the day’, and began formulating a plan.

Or reformulating to be precise. I had recruited two of my awesome hairdresser friends Danielle and Amy to help me with the task, but in typical Neil form, I wanted to do it, and I wanted to do it NOW!

Plans change. Move on. Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

As the time came to start shaving I had a slight ‘been there and done that’ moment. I took a few moments and decided I was going to take my beard on a trip. I was going to take it places it never had the chance to see, and meet people it never had a chance to meet.

Flat Iron

What do you ladies call this? a Flat Iron?

So, in all of my shameless “if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at” self I set to work. I have uploaded the pics to Facebook for easy viewing and comments. I hope to have some outtakes and a behind the scenes post soon. Please go here to view and enjoy.

I know some of you are going to say, “You have too much time on your hands.” But really, I’ve been meaning to do this for a weeks and finally got the opportunity today. If it makes you feel better, lets call this a Saturday night, and I’m home alone. There, do you feel better?

Please be advised any such comments will be directed to this post.

The End. For now.




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