The No-Shave November fundraiser made me realize I too participated in the quirky cultural phenomenon. I’m pretty sure through the entire month I didn’t shave.
My family’s Thanksgiving photo is evidence of this. I had a full beard that covered my face and my neck, made me look like a character out of Lord of the Rings. Not Gimli length. More like Aragon.
I still have the beard, but I keep it trim so I don’t look like a hobo.
This hasn’t been my first time growing a beard, but it’s without question the longest I’ve kept one. I used to have a goatee a few years back but later opted for a cleaner appearance.
So why grow one now?
I think a lot of people underestimate the power of the beard. For the winter, the benefits are obvious. Early last month I went to the Cascades in zero degree weather and my face was perfectly fine. Having a beard is like having a natural balaclava.
Two, they make you look older. It makes no sense for some of us who look our age, but I don’t. If other relatives are an indication, I’ll be getting carded at bars until I’m in my late 50s. I compared my family’s Christmas card from this year to the last year when my face was naked and it’s like I aged five years. At least when I’m older I can shave and look younger. Always play to the advantages, right?
Also, somehow having a beard makes you appear smarter and wiser than you are. Why, I don’t know, but when I stroke my chin while staring blankly into the distance people mistake me for being deep in thought when usually I’m just wondering how men back in the day were able to grow those curly mustaches. I have no interest in one, but you never know. I’m not advocating deception, but can I help it if people presume there’s actual contemplation going on behind that contemplative expression of mine?
TJ Martinell is a staff writer for the Kirkland Reporter.