It kind of grows on you after awhile
July 8, 2008.
I remember it like it was almost four months ago.
It was a couple days before a weekend getaway to a music festival in West Virginia, and it was the first time I'd shaven in weeks.
It also marked the last time I would shave since.
The idea was to ensure maximum exposure to the sun. When you go away for a long weekend, you want to have something to show for it when you get back.
Something that tells people you had a way better weekend than they did.
The fact that I've come to resemble a mountaineer since that trip to West Virginia is strictly a coincidence. But I'm considering concocting a story about having experienced some kind of Appalachian epiphany down there.
Because it seems like people just aren't satisfied with the truth.
I stopped shaving with any sort of regularity maybe four or five years ago. No reason, really.
Just figured I might as well enjoy the lack of pretension that comes with a lack of money.
Nevertheless, about every six weeks or so, I'd block out a half-hour and shave, if not because of some important occasion where a photographer might be present, then because I was starting to look like a fugitive.
But this time, I must have gotten distracted. Maybe it was the start of football season that did it, but somehow, between late summer and early autumn, I became Jim Morrison in Paris without really noticing.
Apparently, I am alone in that regard.
With more and more frequency, people -- even people I barely know -- are commenting on, inquiring about or otherwise expressing fascination with what has become a rather prodigious thicket of untamed facial hair.
Why, they wonder, have I grown a beard?
What, they ask, is the deal?
When, they want to know, did I join a ZZ Top tribute band?
In fact, it's starting to become more trouble than it's worth -- which is ironic, because I never would have come to resemble a young Grizzly Adams in the first place were I not of the belief that shaving is more trouble than it's worth.
To a point, anyway. I began noticing around the three-month mark that beards trap water -- which makes wiping one's mouth after using the fountain at the gym a must.
Similarly, I haven't been eating much vegetable soup these days -- although if I ever needed a Brillo pad for cleanup ...