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.