Facial Stubblery

Perhaps it’s because I’ve made a job change recently. Maybe it’s because I craved some other change. Possibly, it’s because I’m an idiot, but I’ve done something that I swore I never would attempt. I’m growing facial hair. A small beard to be specific. Possibly, too small.

The men in my family have never been a terribly hairy lot. Mercifully, most seem to have held on to the growth on the top of their heads but as far as actual hairiness goes, we’re a pretty smooth skinned bunch. In my youth, my Dad did have a mustache when that was the law, apparently, but other than that, all the men I’m related to by blood have been smooth faced. When it comes to lack of facial whiskers in the family though, I am the zenith. I had a fair shot of bucking the trend with the genes supplied to me by my Mom. The French, the English and especially and specifically, the Sicilian gave me an even shot at a lifetime of shaving and you’d think the Sicilian would be the trump card when it came to doling out the facial hair, but Great Grandpa Giovanni’s people didn’t count on one thing. The perfect foil for their Mediterranean fuzziness.

North American Indian.

The American Indian is naturally a pretty scruffless individual, though there certainly are exceptions. A friend of mine who is obviously closer to our mutual deerskin clad family ancestry than I am, sports a full and perfectly reasonable goatee and ‘stash. This is more than I could ever aspire to. When I was a very young man and just entering the fun filled pit of despair that the call puberty, I did not get the choice whether to grow or shave any appearing face fuzzidge. My chin and lip stayed just as smooth as always and remained so for many years.


When I moved on to college life, I was the butt of much teasing and god natured ribbing about the lack of any shaving equipment in my ditty bag. In fact, it was far more reasonable to follow the practice of my native heritage and simply pluck out the few hairs that dared to show themselves. This way they tended to be gone for longer than if I shaved them and since they were so scarce, lathering up and dragging a razor over my face seemed like a titanic waste of time just to whack off the dozen or so whiskers. As the years went by, the teasing from my dorm mates changed from, “You still don’t shave?” to a more jealous, “You mean you still don’t HAVE to shave?” Apparently, the shine had worn off the morning ritual for them and now it was just one thing they had to do each morning that I got to skip. Most of the guys had noticeable facial hair and needed to attend to it daily, lest they look scruffy. One friend of mine, Kirk, was a facial ape man. More so, when I think of it, since apes really don’t sport much in the way of beards and mustaches. Kirk’s body must have put at least ten percent of its energy into producing hair. By noon, Kirk had a five o’clock shadow. By evening, he looked like a red headed hobo. Kirk had become resigned to this and took the only enjoyment out of it he could and changed his look about twice a week. Monday, he’s be clean, by Wednesday, it would be a handlebar mustache and sideburns. Friday, he would have gone for the full beard and on Sunday, he’d appear with a bright red Captain Ahab.


I can only imagine how much he spent in razor blades. Unlike Kirk, I graduated school with a smooth and unshaven face and remained that way for a long, long time. He graduated too… just hairier.

As time went by, more and more whiskers seemed to emerge. Unfortunately for me, they didn’t seem to have any sort of a plan as to where they would call home. One side of my chin started to fill in about the time I turned twenty-five. My upper lip needed razor attention too, although the middle bit under my nose remained smooth and hairless. Likewise, the sad little patches on my upper lip have never met the colony on my chin witch to this day only travels down one side of my neck. My chin, at least is covered completely. Well, almost. I had to give up plucking the hairs when the process became too painful and goofy. I had enough to warrant buying a razor now and have been using it daily ever since.

A few months ago, I sold my business and changed my life to one of child watching and house fixing and with this change has come a disruption in my routine. Where I used to get up, bathe, shower, dress and head out the door to work, I now have a much more haphazard morning than I’m used to. The day usually starts with Short Stack hopping into bed with us, followed by a frenzy of breakfast making, clothes getting and walking out little man to pre-school. By the time I’m home again, Lulu Belle is falling asleep on my back and needs to take a nap. I’ll get her down and then dive into some quiet project. The shower gets put off until later. What this has done is given me a closer look at my face with stubble, and you know what? I think I have enough to grow something contiguous!

So, last week, I stopped shaving my chin. The upper lip had to be done, lest I look like a fifteen year old with “My First Mustache™” but the rest is growing in pretty well. Here I am, in the middle of my life and only now do I have enough facial stubblery to have a shot at growing something that could pass for “normal looking.” To be fair, it’s actually pretty early on to call it “normal looking” but hope springs eternal. It’s one of the last rites of passage into the adult, male word. What I have found out is that it’s more time consuming to carefully shave around my little patch of whiskers that it was to quickly zip it off and also I can no longer shave in the shower since a mirror is now needed. I’ll have to see if having a small beard can beat out my inherent laziness. In the mean time, I’ll let it get longer and try to assess if it looks good or like I dribbled food down my chin.

Action Girl says she likes it, but no one else has said anything yet.

I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

8 Responses

  1. You posted several pictures with this post but not the one I was hoping for.

    That’s because it’s still in the prototype stage and hasn’t been released as a Beta yet. You’ll just have to wait! 😉

  2. At 44 I can say “With enough time and effort, I can produce a very good Shaggy (from Scooby Doo) whisker thing on my chin.
    Shaving? I just put some milk on my face and let the cat lick it off. (figuratively speaking)

    I think we’re in the same boat. I’m not sure if I can pull off more than a “Shaggy” either, but hey, I’m game. I’ll give it one more week and see if it looks anything better that ridiculous.


  3. I hate facial hair on men–that said, I admire your courage in the face of adversity 🙂

    I’m not too big on it myself, to be honest. For me, I think is more of a, “Hey, I wonder if I can do this?” kind of thing. If growing a beard is as far as my midlife crisis develops, then I think all involved parties will have an easy time of it. 😉


  4. So long as you don’t resort to any comb-over action, I say go for it!

    Dear Lord, no! Thankfully, I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that one. If I’m not loosing my hair yet, then I doubt that it’ll sneak off on me any time in the future.


  5. Bearded individuals always look suspicious. What are they hiding under their well-groomed pilosity? A timid chin? The unexpected return of a bout of juvenile acne?
    I’m a great fan of the five o’clock shadow. What can I say? I like it rough! When the beard starts feeling all soft, it’s just too weird.
    Shave it off!!! But I want you to know that whatever you choose to do, I’ll support your decision. Like totally. 🙂

    I seriously doubt that I will be able to hide ANYTHING under this beard. I think Ross nailed it when he called it the “Shaggy” look. The five o’clock shadow always confused me, to be honest. Shaved or unshaved, it doesn’t matter to me, but I feel like a guy should pick one. The Don Johnson is out. Don’t you know?!? Everyone wants to look like a character out of Scooby-Doo!


  6. Your lucky that you’ve never had to shave much. I had a beard (bright red!) from when I was about 19 until about 33. I’ve never liked shaving and if it wasn’t for my wife I wouldn’t shave at all. As it stands, I only shave twice a week.

    The funny part is that mine’s red too. Not screaming red, but red none the less. My Grandfather had a red beard too and Short Stack’s hair is red. Looks like it’s part and parcel of the family, one way or another!


  7. As a facial hair cheerleader and frequent experimenter, I say bravo! My dad grew a beard when i was six and still had it when he passed away 15 years later. That’s commitment. My brother and I, both now in our 30s, sport beards about 90% of the year. I occasionally play with my facial hair configuration but always come back to a good ol’ beard.

    With that said, any facial hair is better than no facial hair. I haven’t been clean shaven since high school. The trick is to just be diligent with your napkin, so you son’t hear Action Girl say your chin smells like BBQ ribs (okay, i admit it, we had ribs last night… i swear i tried!)

    Good luck with the face garden.

    I like the mental image of a facial hair cheerleader! My growth isn’t quite big enough to snag and large food items, but I can see it soaking up BBQ sauce. I’ll have to be diligent! Here’s hoping I remember about that.

  8. Change can be surprising either way. I remember when I first saw my father without a beard a few years ago – shocked. And disappointed. And when he later started growing it back, only this time not a goatee but an “all arounder”, shocked again. Or my mother when she saw me sporting a goatee – shocked (all of the sudden I looked more like my father).

    I really don’t like to shave that much and tend to keep it to a minimum. For years, I was relieved since CC liked it, but about a month ago, she declared that she now prefers me clean shaven. I still have hard time pleasing that 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: