Blog: My Shave-Free Summer, Day 86

(originally written 8/23/17)

About three weeks ago, I attend the wedding of friends Raff and Riz. At no time did I even consider so much as a trim of my then-61-day-old beard. Surely, mega-beard owners Charlie Blackmon, Jason Motte and Bryce Harper have attended someone’s nuptials since they quit shaving—”if big-leaguers can sport Chewbacca chins at weddings, so can I” was the thinking.

When I showed up, my bud Jonathan—who I hadn't seen in a couple of months—hit me with a look best described as a hybrid of confusion and caution. Gesturing around his own mouth to indicate my growth, he perpexedly asked "What's all this?"


He's but one of many to ask that question. I like to jokingly tell people I'm protesting stupidity—maybe if people realize what their behavior's leading me to do, they'll stop doing and saying stupid things; hopefully stop being stupid altogether.


But the true reason I quit shaving is as simple as I just didn't want to. It's tedious. It can be painful. And if you want to remain "presentable", you have to do it again three days later—at least in my case; for some dudes it's  every goddamn day. 


Furthermore, whenever I'm in the 707, no matter how badly I try to avoid being recognized, somebody from the distant past screams my name from a passing vehicle or otherwise accosts me. I don't want to be recognized, because A) I'm not there to talk about the past, and B) I have no memory of most of these long-unseen peeps. That leads to awkwardness. Who needs more awkwardness in their life??? Not I.


Perhaps that sounds haughty or conceited, especially coming from someone who recently recognized two women on the street and—yes—screamed their names from my passing vehicle like a lunatic. Fine, call me a hypocrite, then. I just prefer to keep a low profile, to the point I usually don hats and dark glasses whenever venturing publicly in the 707.


They seldom work. 


Earlier this year, a former boss who I hadn't seen in 17 years recognized me in a Subway shop. Last spring, a former family friend who hadn’t seen me since my early teens jogged past me and knew right away. Not long after, outside a different Subway shop, a guy I hadn't seen in literally 20 years (and eight more years before that) immediately identified me. With a hat on. And dark glasses. And a (regular-length) beard. My face is not that distinctive. This shouldn't be happening! And yet it is.


(For the record, anyone reading this who's had a chance 707 encounter with me...I'm not talking about you; we're obviously friends and still in contact.)


So there's this Shave-Free Summer's motivation. I don't know if I'll make it the entire summer—brief temptations to crop off the beard have arisen for the first time in recent days—but if I make it to 100 days we're havin' a party!!!