To Shave or Not To Shave

So I shaved my beard.  Gasp!

Alert the President! (I’m sure he cares about my preferences of facial hair). Call Oprah so we can talk through this decision I have made. Contact GMA, the CIA, the FBI… Tell everyone!! Oh, and tell Vladimir Putin he no longer has to take his shame and jealousy for not being able to grow a beard like mine out on the rest of the world. It is okay Vlad.

On a serious note, this was a hard decision to make. The beard is sacred to a man. It signifies bravery and over-all awesomeness. A man with a beard is a man indeed. Anything can come his way and he will rise to the occasion, beard flowing in the wind, eyes set toward the horizon, and be victorious.

But a beard can turn against a man as well. This was my case. My beard had become too long, too itchy, and just to much of a hassle to maintain. Contrary to popular belief, it is hard work to maintain a beard. There are endless hours standing in front of the mirror making sure every hair is perfectly in place, trimming and trimming and trimming, and do not even get me started on all the styles one can go with! (Full Beard, Chin Strap, Wolverine, Lumberjack, etc.)

It had become too much! I could not take it anymore! So in a fit of passion I grabbed my razor, lathered up my face, and…

I stopped. I stared in the mirror at this crazy monster I had become. Who was this man? How could I shave off my beard like it meant nothing to me? How could I? I am a lumberjack! Our beards are one of our defining characteristics! Besides the flannel of course, but I will never stop wearing that, so without the beard I would become seventy-five percent lumberjack.

I was left with a decision. Forgetting all the pressure from outside influences and just focusing on the face staring at me in the mirror… What to do?  In the words of Shakespeare, “To shave or not to shave?” Okay, he didn’t say that exactly, but I am sure that is what he meant.

I decided to take baby steps. I would shave until I was left with a goatee, but I looked like one of those pretentious artists who draw a million lines on a piece of paper and call it art, or like Chandler on Friends when he had a goatee, so that had to go. I was then left with just a mustache, which I personally think makes me look like some mysterious cowboy, but some people think I look like a thief. I left the mustache on for a little while, but going to the grocery store and being followed by the manager for suspicion of stealing milk makes it hard to justify leaving the blasted thing on.

I finished my milk, wiping the milk mustache away in the process, and proceeded to the bathroom. I gave one final goodbye to the remainder of my once magnificent beard, said a quick prayer, and got down to business. Six strokes of the razor and it was finished. Weeks of growing and maintaining all erased in just a few short hours.

The sadness settled in.

Shaving my beard is like losing a close friend and watching the pieces of your relationship go down the drain, literally. All the foods that got stuck in there. Gone.  All the times I rubbed it thoughtfully so I looked smart. Gone.  I even missed the itching. I wanted it back, but I would just have to wait. The decision had been made and I must live with the regrets.

So I shaved and now I have skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom. I no longer look like a lumberjack, more like a civilized businessman, which I guess isn’t so bad. It is nice to have a little change every now and then, like a breath of non-facial hair air, a feeling of a weight being lifted. It’s almost as good as freedom…

Until three days, when my beard is resurrected from the grave and springs forth upon my face, renewing me with life, and casting a shroud of mystery upon my chiseled face again. I will be at peace once more.

Welcome back old friend, welcome back.

Have you ever went through this type of agonizing decision?

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