Monday, April 23, 2012

The Beard makes brief appearance, knows when it's not welcome, leaves

I've had a long and complicated history with beards. I am constantly shaving and then growing beards. Recently I tried to grow another one and my wife was very supportive. The Beard and my wife tried to work it out, they really did, especially my wife. They tried to make it work for my sake, but after a few weeks it became clear that it would only end in tears.

“It's like kissing a toothbrush,” she said kindly.

I had to admit that didn't sound pleasant.

“It's like your whole face is covered in toothbrush bristles and my face has tartar on it and you're trying to scrub it all off. Only I don't have tartar on my face and you're just slowly scraping away all my skin and tissue until one day I'm going to be just a fleshless skull staring back at you with hollow eye sockets, asking, 'Why?'”

OK, my wife didn't say all that, but I could tell the Beard wasn't her favorite. I researched the issue on the trusty internet and found that if you put “beard conditioner” on your beard it is supposed to make your beard softer and more kissable. I set out on a journey to find it and instead found that there is a huge disparity in the availability of grooming products for men and women. I would ask for beard conditioner and store employees would look at me like I asked for winged high-top zebra skin tap dancing shoes and say, “What's that?”

I went online, but beard conditioner costs a fortune and only comes in weird hippie scents. I tried putting regular hair conditioner on my beard and that was what we call a “limited success” aka “failure.”

So I was thinking seriously about shaving when I saw one of my co-workers and we had an awkward beard moment. This co-worker is on the road all the time so we hadn't seen each other in several weeks.

“Whoa,” she said, “Nice... facial growth.”

Which made it sound like I had a giant, hairy mole or a tumor on my face, but a nice one, thankfully.

So with that, plus my wife disliking the beard, I shaved. I ran into the same co-worker again and she said, “Hey, where'd your beard go?”

“Well, my beard and my wife weren't getting along,” I said. “One of them had to go, and I chose my wife.”

“You got rid of your wife?”

“No, I chose my wife to keep, I got rid of the beard.”

Oh. Probably a good choice.”

Anyone know any good brands of beard conditioner? Or have any beard tips? According to Science, people who leave comments report 37% greater life satisfaction than people who don't, so please leave a comment.


  1. So, I don't think there are any appropriate times to tell someone, "Hey, nice growth!"

  2. Whoa! Carine looks all day-of-the-deadish or like that one short from Nick Park. The one about the lady that bought a washing machine and sold her soul to the devil? Is that Nick Park?

  3. Ok- so I'm going to say it since I'm a married woman and I thought it... Please don't tell your wife that you shaved after a female coworker commented on your beard and not because she (your wife) told you she disliked it. That will not go over well.

  4. @Christy- Oh don't misunderstand, shaving was for my wife all the way, the awkward coworker story was just an awkward coworker story.

  5. You look like a fish with your lips sticking out like that.

  6. I like beards. I always have. I don't have any pointers on beard conditioner, though -- maybe you could try something natural, like olive oil?

  7. Haha my husband also tried regular conditioner in an attempt to get me to like his beard. It too did not work very well!

  8. Can you find a recipe for diy beard conditioner on the internet?

    Rule in our house: If my husband doesn't shave, I don't shave. Unless we're camping. :)

  9. @Quinn- Your face looks like a fish.
    @Lindsay- Thanks for the suggestion, I will look into it. However, I worry that olive oil will be too... oily.
    @Lozzz123- Yeah, I don't know what the diffeerence is between hair conditioner and beard conditioner, but apparently it's a pretty huge difference.
    @Jill- Good idea. I will look for one, and if you find a good recipe please send it my way.

  10. I don't know, I have always been a huge advocate for facial hair. My husband just shaved off his sideburns and his goatee because he's auditioning as a look-a-like for Ricky Ricardo. When he came in and showed me, I had to take a moment and think about how I was going to phrase my compliment. It came out rather strained.

    "It'll grow back," he said as he patted my back. I am counting down the days.

    I don't have any resources for beard conditioner, but there is something that might provide you with some insight into why your wife resists the beard:

    (Although I would argue you're real man even though you shaved for your wife -- perhaps more man those who wouldn't).

  11. I wish Ryan would grow a beard, but he hates facial hair, haha. We're opposite from you and Carine it seems. The picture you drew for this post made me crack up :D


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