Friday, March 23, 2012

My Dear Beard...Ok..My Patch of Scruff

An epic song came out in 2010, sung by Ke$ha.  The tune is catchy and it has my kids hopping around our van while we drive down two lane country roads in Wisconsin.  But that doesn't make the song.  Sure, it has a bunch of Gaga-esque randomness (even a squid for a split nanosecond that would make the single worthy of a "thumbs up" from P.Z. Myers) with a playful message about how love can mess with your head, rendering you idiotic while drunk on the elevated dopamine effect - a truism for a culture obsessed by the "meaning" of love.  That's all well and good.

What makes the song is the last four words, "I love your beard."  I have no idea why that works for me, but I enjoy random creativity out of left field, which is very much the reason why I skip past the country stations on my local radio dial.

Maybe I love the phrase because I have scruff on my face that I really like.

When I was a young boy, I was a late bloomer.  My brothers, at the age of 13, sprouted mustaches and had to begin shaving.  A year and a half later, I passed the age of 13 and watched my perfectly smooth upper lip turn more pinkish as the days went by.  I hit 14.  Then 15.  At 15, I had one hair on my lip and I left it.  It was the seed that would begin my efflorescence.

Someone told me that if I shaved once, my hair would grow back faster, thicker, and stronger.  So I shaved - four times a day.  I went to college and met a gentleman with a face that needed shaving five minutes after he touched a razor to it.  He was a fellow of European descent and yet looked downright Arabic.  I noticed he sipped coffee (black, mind you) all day, every day.  I began to drink coffee.  Lots of it.  Not your watered down horse pee you find in a church mega-pot.  Thick black coffee that ran like molasses.  If I could rub my teeth together after a sip without a squeak, I knew the coffee was too weak.  And so my hair grew.

My grooming habits became, well, habitual.  I would shave my face.  Then, three days later, my scruff was absolutely perfect.  The length of the scratchy stuff was downright sexy.  Then, after six days, my neck would begin to itch and I would start scratching.  On the seventh day, I would scratch my neck red, get sick of it, shave, and start the process all over again.  To this day, I still run this schedule, occasionally working in a goatee or a week-and-a-half beard.

Then I got married. 

I met her on the third day of my shaving cycle.  She swooned.  Then I kissed her.  She laughed and said I tickled her nose and that I scratched her.  I stepped back and she swooned again.  I wanted to kiss her, so I shaved and went back for a kiss.  She said I looked too young.

One day, I might try kissing her again.


  1. 3 day scruff is pretty much perfect. Wish all those beard trimmer setting would be so much more understandable with settings like 3-day scruff, 5-day scruff.....

  2. I really enjoy reading about the chemistry between you and Kristine. In a non-weird sort of way, of course. :)

  3. My husband has a big, luxuriant beard the color of hot coals. The longer it gets, the softer it is, and the more it contributes to his Lumberjack!Mountainman hotness. It's one of my favorite things about him.

    I hate it when he shaves, though. Too scratchy, for weeks - weeks! He doesn't do that very often anymore.

  4. My son looks like he has 3 days growth after 1 day. His dad is the same way. I prefer clean shaven or full beard, unless you're Dr House the scruff just doesn't do it.

  5. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching Don Johnson rock stubble while catching bad guys in white suits on Miami Vice, but there’s something about a five o'clock shadow that I find kinda hot. Well, until it’s time to make out. Then I’m like “Get your scruffy, rough face away from me!” i've never kissed a man with either a full on mustache or a full on beard so maybe it's not so painful as the new growth feeling.

  6. Amusing. After my husband left the Air Force, he grew a beard to go with his mustache, and I found it so sexy I told him never, ever to shave it off. And he never has. It's now gray/silver/white. He trims it and he shaves the not-beard part of his face so there's no scratchiness or anything. Several years ago at work his department got a new manager with a beard, and suddenly everyone male was growing a beard. Hah!