About a month ago, Sean decided to grow a beard. I don't know why, exactly: maybe because it was winter and it seemed a manly thing to do---Man freezing! Man grow hair! Scarf for little girl, man say!---or perhaps it was a daring sociological expose into the general public's reaction to hirsuteness, who knows? Maybe he just got lazy and decided he was going to stop shaving. (More than likely that last one.)
At first I didn't mind the beard: it was sort of cute and scruffy and grungy. As time went on, it lent him a vague professorial air. But gradually the beard got beardier. He started to resemble a middle-aged geography teacher who still lives at home with his mother, and from there it was an easy slide into founding member of ZZ Top territory.
One day, there was an unfortunate (and very smeary) mustard incident, of which I cannot make any further mention lest I be forced to relive its very particular horror. Last weekend, when we were skiing in Tahoe, his beard froze white after he face-planted into the snow. When I met him at the bottom of the mountain, icicles were forming on the bristles like he was Old Man Winter.
"I think," he said, "that I have had enough of this beard."
"I think," I said, "that I would have to agree."
Now, there is a way to shave off your beard and there is a Way To Shave Off Your Beard. The former is probably easier and quicker, but the latter provides more comedy gold for your wife's blog. I think you can guess which way we chose.
Fig. 1: Portrait of the artist as an unshaven man. Heretofore known as the before picture.
Fig. 2: Hey, the 90s called and actually, they've thought about it, and they don't want that particular style of facial hair back, after all. You feel free to keep it. No, honestly, man, it's yours.
Fig. 3: This is for your Facebook page.
Fig. 4: We call this one "Someone's Dad in the Seventies."
Fig. 5: Hey baby, I wrote you some poems. In French.
Fig. 6: Back to normal at last. And just like that, it's as though the last month never even happened.