Monday, June 2, 2008

Beard-man Begins

Man, I hate being misunderstood. A friend of mine just accused me of being “obsessed” with beards. Please. I have a healthy appreciation for facial hair but that does not mean I am obsessed.

My healthy appreciation for beards started very early in life with my dad, who has always had a beard for as long as I can remember. My mom says she likes his beard because it helps to hide his double chin and look less fat. They have been married a long time.

Anyway, I guess I just grew up thinking that when you are a boy you don’t have a beard because you can’t grow one, but when you are a man you grow a beard.

Another reason why I like beards is because they have always been forbidden. When the celebrated day when I started growing facial hair did come, my beard never came to fruition because I’ve been restricted from growing a beard my whole life. First, in high school I worked at Jiffy Lube and they have employee grooming rules that state that no employee may have a beard. Then I was a full-time missionary, and obviously an awesome beard would clash with a suit and tie so I couldn’t grow a bead for another two years. Finally I enrolled at BYU-Idaho, a pretty conservative college with it’s own stringent grooming rules that ban facial hair. Why all the discrimination against beards, I’ll never know.

Aside from in between semester experimentation I’ve never had a beard and that is a tragedy. I am a full-fledged man without a full-fledged beard, so I might as well be a pre-pubescent twelve-year-old.

So when graduation approached I was never more excited for anything in my whole life. Not for graduation, but for growing a beard. I was fairly bursting with anticipation. My preparations included a countdown that started the month before graduation. I made a calendar where I peeled off a sticky note that had the number of days left until I could grow a beard. I told everyone I knew about my beard plans. I made a collage of people with beards. That is not “obsession,” that is called “enthusiasm”.

So I graduated and grew a beard only to turn around and get my old job back at Jiffy because I couldn’t find any other job. I did major in Social Work, after all. Maybe the beard and I are just not meant to be.

But let’s face it: beards are awesome. Mustaches are for molesters. The only way I would grow a mustache would be to protest something, like “I won’t cut this mustache until the war is over” and e-mail the president pictures of my creepy protest mustache. Goatees are for thirty-something guys who think they’re still cool and dudes who can’t grow a full beard. “Soul patches" are just gross. Dizzy Gillespie could pull one off but that’s because he had soul, see? So, if you are not Dizzy Gillespie or someone with an equivalent amount of soul, freaking shave that mess.

Beards are the only true form of facial hair. Anybody who’s anybody has one. Could Abraham Lincoln have led the country through a civil war and united the north and south without his trusty beard? No way. Could Karl Marx have come up with the Communist Manifesto if he were clean shaven? Not likely. Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, Jesus, Chuck Norris, ZZ Top; the list goes on and on. Wherever there is awesomeness, there is a man with a beard.

I hope someday I can grow my beard and finally become a man. Am I obsessed with beards? You be the judge.