Peter Grows A Beard! Shocking! Astounding! Ravishing!
Peter Tatara - January 27, 2008
I used to shave everyday. Each night, just before bed, I'd shear off whatever fuzz had sprouted atop my chin; however, my workload -- transformed from insane to fatal by the launch of the New York Anime Festival in December -- resulted in me clawing my way home too late and too tired to complete this task. It wasn't that I was too lazy, it was that all I could do before my body gave way to utter exhaustion was stumble into the proximity of my bed, so that when I passed out, my head hit a pillow rather than the harder, less comfortable floor.
The New York Anime Festival is now over. It wrapped more than a month ago, and I'm quickly gearing up for the New York Comic Con, which is scarily under 100 days away. I know my schedule will soon become a hellish marathon filled with Stan Lee-faced devils and hobgoblins masquerading in Batman capes and cowls, but for now, I'm able to retire at a sane hour every evening, cook myself some dinner, watch Celebrity Apprentice, and unsuccessfully try to score with my girlfriend. Despite this, it's been hard getting back into my shaving routine.
Since the Anime Festival maelstrom, shaving's become a weekly affair. I start the week with a clean face that becomes some heroic stubble on Tuesday and Wednesday, looks unmanageable on Thursday, and devolves into something that belongs on a homeless man come Friday. By Saturday, I become annoyed with the thing and the scratchy, prickly way it feels whenever I move my head. Sunday, unable to stand the whiskers a moment further, I hack it all away.
I realized, though, that I needed to at least attempt to look professional again, and this meant either getting back into a daily shaving regime or growing a beard properly. I opted for the latter, and for the past three weeks, I grew a full beard for the first time in my life. As I mentioned above, after about five or six days of not shaving, the very feel of an oncoming beard annoys me so much that through the entirety of my adolescence and adulthood, I've been unable to resist tearing it from my skinindex.. But I didn't this time. It was hard, but after a few more days, it didn't suck as much. I got used to the thing. The problem was my girlfriend got used to it, too, and started playing with it every moment we were alone together. It got pretty frustrating when I couldn't function because she was perpetually petting, brushing, and trying to braid my chin. I tried to make a deal with her that stipulated she could do whatever she wanted to my beard as long as I had unrestricted access to her chest. She didn't bite.
This brings me to the final week of my beard experiment. Getting bold, I slashed off the sides to make a goatee. While I thought I looked absolutely retarded at first, it grew on me. My girlfriend, too, while initially laughing for a solid twenty minutes, started calling me rugged. I thought "rugged" was codeword for "Now that you look like a man, you can have me any time and any way you want." I was wrong.
And considering I wasn't getting any additional play -- and also that I was afraid I'd soon start looking like Jamie Hyneman -- I ultimately lobbed the entire beard off. It was never really me, and I'm much happier without anything but the occasional five o'clock shadow across my face.
If I wanted to, I could compose some tidy moral to this story, but I trust you've got the intelligence to put together a conclusion on your own. Also, it's almost time to watch Celebrity Apprentice.