Beard thoughts

January 26th, 2012

As the cold winter winds blow across the lake and chap our frostbitten faces, I am comforted by one thing – my beard. At first I wasn’t really a big fan, but I must admit, it’s growing on me. (Get it?)

Anyway, I have received a lot of feedback on this new addition to my face, and I’d like to take some time to share my thoughts.

Men, this part is for you.

In the days of yore, there were two distinct gender roles: man and woman. The men went out and labored in the fields to provide for their families, while the women stayed home and cared for the homestead, the children and the kinfolk.

Fortunately, these misogynist standards of society have changed, and we live in a much more liberating and progressive world, where men aren’t the only ones driving pickup trucks and wielding power tools.

However, this can result in an identity crisis – how, then, can we define ourselves as men? The answer is in the scruff.

Occasionally, we must don a little furriness to assert our true masculinity. This comes in many forms, so make sure you choose the one that suits you best.

Famous styles include the mutton-chops (a good replacement for earmuffs), the goatee (a stylish yet simple choice for beginners), the creeper ‘stache (if you drive an unmarked, windowless van) or the full beard (for best results, don’t trim and move into the mountains to hunt with the wolves).

If your gal is giving you trouble, you have two choices: 1) Tell her to read the bottom half of this column. Or, 2) Use one of the following months as an excuse to grow your beard – No Shave November, Decembeard/ Don’t Shave December, Jesus-beard January, Facial Hair February, Mustache March, etc.

She can use these months to adjust to the beard. And once she is comfortable, gents, there’s really no reason to shave it off.

Ladies, this part is for you.

You see, I have discussed beards at great length with my fellow gentlemen, and we have come to some very important conclusions regarding the face fur.

While the beard might not be a pillowy soft surface, it symbolizes a man’s spirit. In the words of a good friend (and noted mustachio), “a true woman may not like the beard, but at least she can appreciate that it gives her man strength.”

No man grows a beard because he thinks it will look good. I mean, think about that – the only reason a person would grow a beard to look good is if their face underneath is ugly. No, a man grows his beard to make a statement. And that statement is: I am who I am, and I have the right to be me. If your man has a beard, you should be proud that you have a guy who is confident enough with who he is to have a beard.

Granted, it might feel like you’re kissing a squirrel’s back; for that we apologize. But think about how it feels for us – it’s like having a squirrel on our face at all times. So we can empathize.

But at the end of the day, it does give us some type of strength. In the story of Samson and Delilah, scripture explains that Samson would lose his strength without his hair.

If you don’t believe me, then let me offer this list of historical notables who sported mighty beards: God, Jesus, the Dos Equis most interesting man in the world, Bob Noll, my aunt Alice, Charles Darwin, Zeus, Chuck Norris, Santa Claus, Conan O’Brien, Billy Mays, Hagrid and of course Zach Galifianakis.

This year, going into the track season, I am looking forward to using my own beard to gain strength in my races. I think it will work magic for me in two ways.

First of all, I think that it will intimidate the heck out of my opponents. Let’s be serious – how would you feel if a mountain man pulled up next to you in a grueling test of physical endurance? My point exactly.

And secondly, I have found personal strength with my beard. In cold weather, it protects me from the snow, just like a buffalo’s fur coat. I have learned how to truly harness my inner-animal and I simply can’t wait to unleash it on the track.

But guys, you can choose any reason you want to grow a beard. Are you an athlete? Grow a beard. Are you an intellectual? Grow a beard. Are you straight? Grow a beard. Are you gay? Grow a beard. Do you have homework? Grow a beard.

The list goes on, but the message is simple: Beard on, my fellow men.