Let’s just acknowledge off the top that beards are back (and have been for several years). They’re pretty much socially acceptable everywhere. They’re acceptable in most professional settings (sorry, New York Yankees). And in some circles, they’re even a social status symbol allowing you to gain entry to exclusive societies and grooming parties. They can also make you a sworn enemy of the Dollar Shave Club.
Over my years of personal field research, I’ve discovered there are two types of beards. Deliberate or circumstantial. Yes there are many styles, trims, cut-outs, lengths, etc. Beards often can be more high maintenance than a regular or daily shaving routine.
Deliberate beards are grown with intention and made to last. Maybe your facial hair is exquisite and needs to be on full display. Maybe you’re hiding a disfiguring scar or unfortunate cheek tattoo. Maybe you’re a pirate. Or Santa Claus, who is really just another sort of pirate if you think about it.
Circumstantial beards are sometimes born out of necessity (Do you play Ser Davos Seaworth on Game of Thrones?), but can also occur simply due to happenstance (Did you wake up one day and all of a sudden have a beard? This can happen!). Circumstantial beards are theoretically temporary and may signify less a commitment to beard style and culture from the wearer than indifference or a general “oh yeah, that thing on my face”.
And then there are babies. Two of them. Both under two. For a time, anyway. This give’s rise to an entirely new kind of beard: deliberate *and* circumstantial. Because at some point, the futility of shaving with babies makes otherwise circumstantial facial hair growth morph into a new realm of acceptance, ownership, and a “you’re darn right I chose to look like this” attitude, because at least we can pretend we had some control over our outward appearance.
So for the discerning individual looking to sport a deliberate *and* circumstantial beard, here’s how to shave with babies in three easy steps. I promise, this works whether you like to shave on a daily basis, prefer to wear perpetual stubble, or cycle in and out of beardom as your mood suits you:
Step 1 – Realization:
Notice it’s about time you shaved. Maybe you shaved this morning, or yesterday, or trimmed your beard last week. Doesn’t matter. Today, you feel like you need to shave.
Step 2 – Preparation:
Ask yourself is my razor charged? Do I have blades? Where’s my shaving cream, lotion, soap? Who is that tugging at my leg? Why do I smell poop? Who is calling for Dada when they should be napping? Where did all this poop come from? What did my child eat? Why aren’t there anymore wipes in the package?! What kind of snack do you want? Have an apple. No? You want something else? How about raisins? Something else? Chickpeas? How about cheese? Yes? Not this cheese but the other one? Now you want an apple? I’ve cut it up for you. Oh, you wanted it whole? Here’s another whole apple. Cut it up? The other way? They way Mamá does it? Dada doesn’t know that way. Why is your brother eating crayons?
Step 3 – Acceptance
Try again tomorrow. Or the next day. Or next week. Feel confident that one day, maybe soon, you’ll shave again, rediscover your face, look like yourself or how you remember yourself. Secretly, deep down inside, know that this isn’t going to happen. Not for a while. You have a beard. A growing, unruly, unkempt mountain man of a beard. Own it, live with it, hide snacks in it. This is who you are now.
One day you might find a moment to shave again. Just know that it won’t be the right moment. It never is. In fact, you’re statistically more likely to choose the most inopportune moment, just when you’re needed the most. By everyone.
And then you’ll look in the mirror and for a moment you won’t recognize yourself. And you’ll have a mixture of accomplishment and regret. You did it, and yet you kind of miss it. It’s okay to feel that way. It’ll grow again, I promise. And you’ll still want to shave it off again. Eventually.
If you have time to shave, then you have time to write and time to post. This blog may have gotten a little bit scraggly from neglect. But I now have a new beard trimmer.