The beard is dead. Long live the beard.

For the last ten years I have sported facial hair of some sort or other. Primarily it’s been a goatee, but I’ve rocked the full beard a bit in that time as well. The number ten is a powerful thing though. Steeped in arbitrariness, it calls on us to make “best of” lists and take stock of our pop culture, our lives or just ask that immortal question from the Talking Heads: “Well, how did I get here?”

It’s with this frame of mind that I realized I was curious what my chin might look like after ten years. More precisely I started thinking that it might be worth it to shave and see what I looked like without the ever-present facial hair. Besides, if I didn’t like it, it would simply be the equivalent of a bad haircut. Given a few weeks I’d be back to my normal visage. It’s been an eye opening experience. Allow me then to share some of the more important of my findings:

Things I have learned since I shaved off my beard…

– There’s such a thing as shaver’s remorse.

– My chin has not in fact gained the chiseled prominence I had hoped for when I started shaving. Ten years is apparently not enough time.

– The middle of August is much colder than I had thought it was going to be.

– I can look like I’m eighteen even though I’m over thirty.

– Staying clean shaven will result in the loss of countless bartender hours as they painstakingly try to reconcile the baby-faced youngun’ in front of them with my drivers license photo in which I sport a full beard. At least that’s what my one experience of being carded at a brew pub last week suggests.

– You are suddenly able to recall all of the beverages, foods, and general character building experiences that were supposed to put “hair on your chest.

– None of them make chin hair grow any faster.

– It’s not as bad as I originally thought it was. Still, I prefer the bearded look. As does most everyone else besides my mother.

Things others have learned since I shaved off my beard…

– I’m just as camera shy without the beard as I was with it. So, no. There won’t be any pictures.

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