Beards are strange and wonderful things. Before Christmas I went a week or so without shaving, which turned into a pre-Christmas not-quite-a-beard, which, with a suitable disdain for shaving over the festive period, turned into a post-christmas actually-nearly-a-beard.
Fastforward a couple of weeks, and we’re fully into the actually it really *is* a beard now phase, with all the attendant difficulties that go with it. Food, for example. How the permanently-bearded manage with such things as soup baffle me. I had some last week and had to go and wash half of it out of my face.
It’s also strange when you meet people who have only ever known you as clean-shaven, or at the very least, marginally bestubbled. Reactions range from ‘oh, so you’re growing a beard eh?’, to ‘hey, that quite suits you’, to my personal favourite, them quite obviously and determinedly ignoring the fact that my face is now resolutely more hirsute than it was last time they saw me.
Now, some of those people are probably just being polite, but I just *know* that some of them were thinking ‘dear god, what have you done to your face?’, whilst being far too polite to actually say so.
It then becomes a game of manners, where I’ll deliberately not ask what they think, and they’ll very deliberately not tell me what they think. We’ll be chatting, and I’ll reach up and twirl a bit of moustache, a playful glint in my eye, whilst they even more deliberately ignore it.
It’s enormous fun.
However, you eventually get to this stage where the choice is to trim it or shave the damn thing off.
I asked the kids what they thought. Ed announced that he’d disown me if I shaved it off, but Lil said (begrudgingly) that I could, *if* I took some photos.
Never one to shy away from some narcissistic camerawork, I set to with a pair of beard trimmers.
First up, the goatee. Now I had one of these many many moons ago and considered myself quite dashing in it. I had it for about a year, back when I was working for a large law firm. Towards the end, one of the firm’s partners stopped me in the corridor and said ‘hey! You’ve grown a beard!’ I didn’t like to point out that whilst yes, I had grown a beard (don’t get much past these lawyer types), I’d actually had it for twelve months and what’s more, had talked to this chap on a weekly basis. Not long afterwards, I shaved it off. It took him a further six months to notice that!
I’m no longer so sure it’s a good look for me. It also does nothing to solve the food-in-beard problem. I took a photo and pressed ahead.
I call this one ‘The Capaldi‘, in honour of Mr Capaldi’s splendid facial furniture in the current BBC adaptation of The Musketeers. The level of general hilarity that ensued when I showed the family was something to behold, and left me in little doubt that I should set to with the trimmers once more.
The next stage of the situation was an interesting one. I’ve often considered taking part in Movember, and wondered what form of ‘tache I’d end up with. I think it’s clear. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you: The Selleck:
Alas, even that had to come off, and I sit here, bereft of beard and sore of chin. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of reaction I get when I see people again…
So, dear reader. What do you think? Bearded or un-bearded? Could I pull off a Capaldi, day to day? Or even the mighty Selleck?