Thursday, November 21, 2013

Like So Many Things, This May Be George Michael's Fault

I have a confession to make. It's a confession that will probably surprise those of you who have known me since school days. It's nothing that I'm ashamed of or anything, but it's also not something I've ever really talked about with anyone.

I suffer from beard envy.

Oh I can grow a beard and all that. I've been able to do that since high school. It's just never the beard I want. I'm cursed with variations of Tony Stark beards (not inappropriate given the similarities in our personalities), meaning that I can grow a goatee or beard along my jawline, but my cheeks remain sadly barren.

Tony Stark

(I'll pause here sympathetically to give those of you who are too juvenile to read the last sentence without giggling time to recover. Good? Onward then.)

The thing is, there are brutal limitations when this is what you're stuck with. First, you can't really get away with the stubble look. If I go a few days without shaving at all, I don't get the whole Adam Levine sexy vibe. I get the "hey, did you eat a cinnamon donut and just sort of smear it on parts of your face in a patchy mess" vibe. No one is handing out Sexiest Man of the Year awards for that one.

Adding insult to injury, I have to face men that are more gifted than myself in this area almost every day. On my own team I work with a man who can grow a full beard in a week, and not a weak (week) beard either. It's amazing. He even honored my request of growing full, Dickesonian mutton chops last year for Christmas. I wanted to put a top hat with holly in the band and a long scarf on him and send him around requesting alms for the poor, but hey, we wouldn't want to make things weird, right?

But even my teammate in his swarthiness can't compete with Redbeard. I don't know his real name. Hell, that might be his real name. He works on another team within my organization. I only see him in passing. When I do, it's breathtaking.

This man (this is an assumption - he may be a mythical beast of some sort) does not just grow a beard. He's aggressively bearded. Every time I see him, he has grown a different configuration of facial hair. Sideburns. Just a mustache. The Imperial. Handlebars. Mutton chops. The Van Dyke. A full beard that is so manly it would not be out of the question for the beard itself to don a flannel shirt and go wood chopping. He's a ginger topiary garden.

Beard Styles

And it's not weeks between each either. It's days. I'm afraid to introduce myself to him because I would spend the entire conversation staring at his chin, watching it grow, until I got the obligatory "Hey, my eyes are up here".

I know I shouldn't get hung up on things like this of course. I mean, it's not like I can change the fact that my face has developed this way. Also, I don't think my lack of manly beardiness has really hindered me in any way. No one has ever asked me to grow a beard in an interview or anything. Besides, it's what's inside that counts, right?

And my spleen is still one sexy mother%#$*er.