I was trimming my pathetic excuse for a goatee this morning and again, for about the 437th time, I started wondering why I keep that thing on my face. It’s thin, it’s spotty, it’s sad, it the kind of thing you’d see on the face of a 17-year-old boy who was trying to act all manly, and now it’s starting to turn gray (ahead of the hair on my head).
And yet there it sits. I’ve had it in its current incarnation since 2000, after growing and shaving off Version 1.0 in the late 1990s. Before that, I never even bothered to attempt any patterned facial hair. Like my father before me, I have only the smallest amount of facial hair and any attempt to grow it out would trigger a spate of “dead animal” or “caterpillar” jokes.
Guys with the opposite problem often tell me how lucky I am. They trot out their horror stories of cuts, scars, ingrown hairs, 5 o’clock shadows, twice-a-day-shaves, angry girlfriends and wives and so on. Me, I shave with an electric razor, and it only takes about 30 seconds, and I skip it many days. This pathetic excuse for a goatee grows so little that it needs a trim perhaps once a week.
But I still can’t bring myself to execute the sucker. For one thing, I like to think it helps to cover up my recent years of facial chubbiness (as if). For another, there’s something rakish about a goatee. As a non-rakish man, this represents a bit of a fantasy for me — but it’s a harmless one, so the goatee is staying. For now.
UPDATE: After writing this, I drifted on over to Patrick’s blog and found out he was facing facial hair woes of his own. And I am seriously creeped out. Someone — perhaps it is Pop Candy — is putting facial hair thoughts into the ether, where they are being blog-absorbed.