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I'm not one for shaving. Never have been. In college I would go anywhere from four to six days between shaves, cleaning up only when my face teetered on the brink of "beard" instead of "scruff."

Problem is, I have kind of a crappy beard. It's thin across my cheeks and missing in some essential areas around the mouth. So when I entered the work force, I started shaving regularly, since what was "scruff" teetered on the brink of "grubby" in an office setting.

Along the way, I learned how to shave with a blade (Gillette, a Sensor at first) instead of an electric (Braun), complete with the night I spent 45 minutes nursing my first razor gash above my lip right before a date. Years later, my now wife would introduce me to the pleasures of premium shaving cream (Fresh, in a varietal long since discontinued, for which I still seek a suitable replacement).

The wife, though, kind of digs the stubble. And I now work at an office where not shaving is almost a requirement on non-client-facing days. So, miraculously, I'm shaving less again, although I'm in enough meetings that I wind up using the razor four days out of five.

Yet curiosity and hope still get to me. This past week, as I have sat mostly in my apartment and a hospital room with wife and child, I've let my face go, to see once more if I could actually grow a proper beard. The answer, from days three to six, from the missus was, "It looks hot." Which, on day seven, teetered and fell into, "You're shaving for the bris, aren't you?" And indeed, I am: again, the growth is, well, pretty awful. Although I could probably grow a righteous antiestablishment moustache or an Ethan Hawke goatee, anything more typically handsome is just not in my follicles.

Thus for the second time in under a year—having also tried this stunt between jobs last fall—I have tried and failed at bearddom. Wednesday morning marks nine days of growth, a new record for me, and a sad return to the tub of Kiehl's White Eagle in the bathroom cabinet. I'll look sharp for our guests, but I won't be completely happy about it.

Nathan, if it's 2020 or so, and you're reading this, I hope you don't remember your bris, and I hope you never got your hopes up about your facial hair. You will be many things in your life, but fully bearded is probably not one of them.



I always thought a clean shaved look was the way to go. However, women seem to love a light five o'clock shadow. I started to grow one and my fiance loves it. There is something rugged and mainly, and I hate to say, Brett Favreish about it.

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The Ideapad debuted on November 1, 1998 and has been through numerous incarnations through the years. It is now a weblog and personal journal.
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