Announcement #1: I've grown a beard.
I've gone down this road before, but usually it's been a half-assed attempt that really should be classified as temporary shaving laziness. It never lasted more than a week or two and could barely qualify as a beard. This time it's for reals. And after several weeks now, it's really started to grow on me. (Oh hells yeah that pun was intended.) What I've got going is no Chuck Norris, and I have no delusions of ever growing a beard as ass-kicking as his. Right now I'd say it's somewhere between James Lipton and gay porn. I may let it go a little while longer even though it makes no sense as summer weather looms. I think I can go to the point where I could pass for a fish stick hawker (or maybe at least a Phish concertgoer).
Yes, I know beards have not been in style for quite some time. And mine doesn't look particularly good. And all but two people questioned on the subject have recommended that I immediately shave it off. (The two that didn't recommend shaving only said "do whatever the hell you want" followed by some muttering that sounded like "idiot.") But I don't care. It's my inalienable right as a man and as someone who can't grow hair on top of his head. Plus I know my girly little brother Kip couldn't grow anything nearly as manly as mine so I'm sure he's way jealous. It's true, no one holds the door for me at the daycare anymore, but it's a small price to pay. For the time being, the beard is staying.
Some beard knowledge* for y'all:
-The study of beards is called pogonology.
-The last U.S. President with facial hair was William Howard Taft, who was in office until 1913. Currently, not one Senator has facial hair.
- In ancient India, the beard was allowed to grow long as a symbol of dignity and of wisdom.
- In 1698, Peter the Great of Russia ordered men to shave off their beards, and in 1705 levied a tax on beards in order to bring Russian society more in line with contemporary Western Europe.
- Some Jews refrain from shaving during the 30-day mourning period after the death of a close relative, known in Hebrew as the "Sheloshim."
- Playoff beard is a tradition common on teams in the National Hockey League and now in other leagues where players allow their beards to grow from the beginning of the playoff season until the playoffs are over for their team.
- St. Clement of Alexandria quote: "This, then, is the mark of the man, the beard. It is older than Eve. It is the token of the superior nature….It is therefore unholy to desecrate the symbol of manhood, hairiness."
- In the late 60s and early 70s it was damn near impossible to get laid without a beard.
As for Announcement #2... stay tuned.
*Beard knowledge brought to you by Wikipedia. Mostly.