19 October 2010

"Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not"*

Over this past weekend, I committed a minor act of rebellion by not shaving.  Decided to give my purty mug and the bristles protruding therefrom a bit of break.  Given that I have slipped back into the habit of shaving with an electric razor (efficient, but boring) instead of blades (slower but smoother and very soothing), this doesn't seem like much of big to do.

In the grand scheme of things, maybe not.  But the idea has reared its head again, that I haven't determined yet why I was shaving every ding-dang day.  I wasn't in the mood for it, lacked the patience and the energy.  Plus, I was feeling my oats.  Heh.

My daughter doesn't seem to mind my beard, not since this last winter made me get all Grizzly Adams-ish during the Great Blizzard of '10.  She thought it was weird at first, then hardly noticed, then was somewhat surprised when I finally shaved it off.

Lately, I've been freaking her out by telling her I'm going to grow my hair out like ?uestlove of The Roots.  She has the double take down pat.  She hasn't quite decide if I'm serious or not.**

What I find more interesting these days is the reactions I get from the grown-ups.  Today I was asked if I forgot to shave, I was told that my 'rugged' look was nice, and most interestingly...I was told "It's not you."

I managed to not laugh at the last one.

Not me?  Really?  Why, whatever does that mean, it's not me?  Who do you really think I am?

If it means the beard does not fit preconceptions or the premature conclusions or the mold that others expect me to fit into, well then, I guess it isn't "me".

It doesn't irritate me that someone would say that, not anymore.  Now I'm just amused.  Because the beard is me.  It's all me, even if it isn't something "I" wouldn't typically do.  Rather, something that others think I wouldn't typically do.

I consider it significant that my reaction now is what it is, rather than what I used to do whenever someone commented in such a fashion on something that seemed "not me".  I used to immediately get embarrassed, and feel like I had done something wrong.  And usually, my reaction was to not do that thing again because I didn't want people to think me odd or unruly.

But...maybe I am odd.  Maybe I am unruly, in my own way.  For the first time in my truly adult life, I'm beginning to feel okay with the things that I am.

Some days, I am a beard.  Some days, I am not.  All days, I am me.

*Yes, that's the name of the debut album from the Arctic Monkeys.  Sorry about the Wiki link, I couldn't get to the official band site of www.arcticmonkeys.com.  Anyway, I heard "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" on the radio as I drove home tonight.  Good stuff to snarl along to, on a cool fall night with the windows down...the album title was just too perfect.
**I'm not.  Maybe.  Who knows?  I might be able to rock a 'fro.


  1. hmm. in your picture you still look like max headroom.

  2. Social pressure to shave is a mild form of sexual oppression.

  3. Okay, Lady commenters. Raise your hand if you like a beard on a man.

    *hand remains at her side*

  4. While I do not particulary care for full out beards, I am a fan of the five o'clock shadow look
    and maybe a little scruff

    Artic Monkeys rock.

  5. *raises her hand*

    i always fight the impulse to say, "if it isn't me, then who is it?" good on you, sugar!

  6. Hubby grew a Stach for two years, people thought he was Hispanic and security would pull him aside for an extra search! He is Irish, they mostly look like him over there...I think you should take a photo of yourself and make it into one of those Andy Warhol photos for your profile pic for a while...threw us for a loop- or dangle the brass ring...

  7. hey, i am not my legs either. if i choose to go a week between deforestation and there isn't someone to run his hand up my leg to know the difference, am I really a leg or am I just someone who hates wasting hot water?

    and Di, as long as I am not running the risk of having to share his dinner later, I am fine with it.....

  8. Sometimes I'm not even me but the beard is still there. Such is the power of the beard.

  9. It is all you, as you say. I personally like scruff. It adds a manly character I find attractive. Since I've seen your photo with some scruff, may I say, it works well for you. Um, probably better than it does in your little photo icon there... ;-)

  10. I have that cd memorized. Perfection. Riot Van and Mardy Bum... ack.

    I'm with Fragrant Liar on the scruff.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...