Thursday, April 23, 2020

A Close Shave

I shall be shaving shortly. I thought you would want to know.

Over the past four decades or so I have periodically grown a beard, mainly as a way to lessen the possibility of anyone counting the hair follicles on top of my head. My one and a half year old granddaughter, who can only reach the number three before giving up, could successfully conclude this exercise if she undertook it. Follically challenged is how one of my friends describes me.

In addition to my efforts at distraction having been wholly unsuccessful, my mother and sister always told me I looked better clean shaven (and I have forever believed everything they stated). Even at 68, and despite the fact my mom passed away more than 3 years ago, I still don't want to upset her. Thus, the beard has never been more than ephemeral companion.

Yet, with the self isolation of this pandemic, I, along with seemingly half the universe, have put my razor into hibernation.  I was relatively late to this game, now but about two weeks removed from removing previously unwanted hair. Unlike my son, who can apparently grow a beard just by thinking about it, my progress is painstakingly slow. Only now is the hint of my effort first taking shape.

So, it was more than a little disconcerting when I awoke this morning to the text message from my son "some bad news." Underneath was a headline from a recent article in the NY Times, "Maybe Consider Shaving That Pandemic Beard."

I already knew that having facial hair was a problem in that it prevented proper fit of an N95 mask. But I have had no occasion to utilize one, as my last true public exposure was about the time the President was informing us this would all magically disappear one day.

However it turns out that my habit of rubbing my new growth several hundred times an hour is also fraught with potential peril. And who really needs one more reason to worry these days? I already wash my hands every time a car passes outside or the sun disappears behind a cloud. Is it truly necessary to add my face to that equation?

So, as this piece now mercifully meanders to its conclusion, I will take my face into the bathroom and deposit my new growth into the sink (taking necessary precaution to prevent clogging the drain). In that manner, I will give Covid 19 one less chance to have its way with me.

And, as further benefit, I will make my sister and my mother very happy.


ASK said...

Once a week whether I need to or not. But my problem is that what’s on top keeps getting longer.

Anonymous said...

Another bright side was that it gave you a good 45 minute (or longer) activity!
You look maaavelous with and without!


Robert said...

More like 45 seconds.

And I am having a hard time figuring out the difference between the before and after pictures. A poor effort at best.

Anonymous said...

Either way with or without the beard you look handsome.
I particularly like that purple New York State police shirt.
I could use one every time I come visit


Gail said...

Now I realize why you never suggested we do a FaceTime chat! Mom's smiling and so am I...

tomfeyer said...

Looking good either way, Bob!

I've had a beard since my senior year of college: 1975!

Anonymous said...

Can’t ever make it to 11am unshaven.


Anonymous said...


I’m about 2 weeks unshaven. I shaved my neck this morning because it was itchy!


Anonymous said...

Better without.


Anonymous said...

Only you could write a whole missive about as mundane a topic as shaving.
Glad you're doing well.


Anonymous said...

I like facial hair on men


Anonymous said...

You look wonderful either way but I think I agree with your mother and sister.