Wednesday, April 16, 2008

To Shave or Not to Shave

Shortly after my son was born my sideburns and goatee slowly merged into a beard. I had a relatively new marriage, a new baby, and I guess somehow a beard got attached to my new responsibilities. My grandpa had a beard, my dad has a beard, and my uncle has one from time to time. It was a fairly natural progression.

About a year goes by when my wife starts to bug me about shaving my beard. I tell her that I look better with the beard, but she won't believe me. She threatened to cut her hair which I had to painstakingly convince her to grow in the first place. I argued that it was not an equitable trade. Beards on men and long hair on women have traditionally been linked to gender identity. To threaten to cut her hair, thereby removing one of her gender identifiers didn't make sense, as shaving my beard would be removing my one of my gender identifiers. This argument didn't go too far with her, and so the nagging continued.

So, now that we are expecting our second child, and having decided to honor her request, I shaved my beard. I planned it out perfectly, in order to surprise her when she least expected it. I waited until a morning where she had done all her prep work for my departure in advance, and would not be waking up with me.

The morning finally came, and I shaved the beard down to the sideburns, which I have had as long as I have been capable of growing facial hair. I go to work, get the usual comments from my friends, and explain to them that my wife wanted it shaved. I waited all day to tell my wife.

I got home and my son greeted me cheerfully. My wife looked at me with a funny look on her face. She just kept on staring. It was apparent that my surprise had not only worked, but that I was right in keeping my beard as long as I did. Sure enough she told me to grow it back, as I am not nearly as handsome as I once was. ;) Now I get to grow it back, just in time for a hot summer.


1 comment:

Kati said...

a little notice would have been nice....you just look different, but different isn't necessarily bad! I do like it better when you have a little 5 o'clock shadow!