Friday, July 16, 2010

The Beard is Back

The Beard this morning at 8 am (big schnooz and all) 

A few weeks ago a friend of mine suggested that I shave off my beard.  He said it would make me look younger.

I shaved off my beard.  I did not look younger.  I looked every day (and then some) of my 68 years.

The suggestion was made because I have a white beard.  I no longer had the luxurious dark brown beard that I had when I first started to grow a beard in 1972.

1980 - Phillies World Series celebration in center city Philadelphia

Twice before I have shaved off my beard only to be confronted with a face that I did not like.  I could not imagine spending the rest of my days looking at that face in the mirror during my daily shave.  Oh no.  Not that face.  Gravity had taken its toll.  I had a saggy face. I had jowls.

White first began appearing in my beard twenty years ago.  A white whisker here, a white whisker there.  I wasn't alarmed because the "little bit o'gray" gave me a distinguished look.  However, all too soon my whole chin was covered in white whiskers hairs.  My chin had disappeared.

The White Chin appears - 1986

I am fortunate that I have an angular face with high cheekbones.  A well trimmed, dark beard completes my look.  To those of you who think I am too narcissistic, get over it.  I don't apologize for caring about my appearance.  I don't apologize for having a healthy self-esteem.  After having spend the formative years of my youth constantly berated by my father for being "stupid looking", I am thankful that I got away from home at an early age (joined the Army) and came to the realization that I wasn't any "stupider looking" than many of my fellow soldiers.

My Pop 1991 - Tough Love

Self image and self esteem is so important to mental health.  There is that fine line between self esteem and conceit.  I am not conceited.  I know the difference.  I know conceited people.  I know good-looking conceited people and I know not so good-looking conceited people.  I also know people who have a healthy self-esteem.  I notice that those people who have a healthy self-esteem aren't necessarily good-looking in the Hollywood measure but they are very attractive none-the less because of their healthy self-esteem.  I've also noticed that the so called good-looking conceited people aren't so attractive once you get to know them and their conceit.  They are very unattractive.

Having said all that, I look better with a beard.  I look even better when I color my beard.  Now where did I put my Just For Men?

By the way Pop, I'm still "stupid looking" but a cute stupid looking.

November 9, 1976 (my birthday) Stupid looking me with my stupid looking hat

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