Friday, December 26, 2008

the look

It emerges slowly.One day it is nothing, then, a hint of something. In relatively short order it is there enough for people to begin asking questions .Soon, the comments and inquisitive glances start. I am at early stage in its evolution. I am, for the moment, growing a beard.

Like many of my contemporaries, this is not my first foray into this territory. I have.over the last 40 years, redefined my look on numerous occasions. I have grown everything from a Lincolnesque beard to a Selleck-like mustache..

While my wife has been my constant ally, I know that I face the disapproval of my mother, my sister and my children. In earlier incarnations of my beard or mustache, I was subjected to varying degrees of criticism from many of my loved ones. It ranged from the laudatory for my clean cut self (' you are so handsome without it') to the highly critical ( 'why are you doing THAT'). On one occasion, while I was in the process of growing a beard, I met my mother at her beauty parlor. She introduced me to some of the women there. "This is my son, he doesn't always look like this".

I also must deal with my own doubts about the look I will achieve. Being bald, I have this image of my face seeming to be on upside down.. I also fear that I will stare into the mirror and see an old religious man staring back at me.

Yet, I carry on in my experiment. I want to be seen as the professor, learned, venerable. I have recently abandoned contact lenses, after an affair of nearly half a century. What better time to reinvent my image then at the moment that the glasses have already made me look smarter. There is definitely a lot of gray in my beard. In the right setting that can help cultivate my intellectual image.

Maybe it is nothing more than that I am on vacation. Maybe it is that it has been a difficult year and I want to begin next year with a fresh start. Maybe it is just vanity. Maybe it is boredom.

My daughter is coming home from vacation today, and will soon get a look at me. I know that my son and my sister will be reading this piece shortly.My razor stands ready, on a moment's notice, to spring into action.


Anonymous said...

I don't think your ugly, old or terribly religious.

Robert said...

thanks, I think.


Anonymous said...

I'm not quite sure what I should be more upset about--your badly injured shoulder or that you are growing a beard.
I hope the beard is just a short-lived mid-life crisis and that your shoulder injury won't give you another excuse for not shaving. Just think what mom will says these days about your new look now that she really doesn't edit her thoughts!!!
Your loving sister,

Robert said...

Even when Mom was filtering her comments, she was clear about her thoughts on my beard.

Your loving brother

Jared Alessandroni said...

Don't let the MAN tell you to shave that beard. If you come back from MA a raving lunatic with facial hair, a wolf-skin breech-cloth, and spouting about how roadkill is the new Atkins, you'll still have my respect.

Robert said...

I never really understand what you are saying.

I think you are complimenting me, and choose to take it that way even if not intended.