Today marks the fourth week of The Great Beard Experiment. The disposable razors and shaving cream have been tucked far away in the medicine closet. For the past 28 days, it has been Mach Zero in our household. Sadly at the beginning the best this man could get was to have his facial hair grow in bunches. Enduring this patchy spot, things began to fill in to the point 6th grade boys have stopped pointing and calling me ‘peach fuzz.’ In fact, Trix are no longer for kids as this man gets a milk beard every time he eats this sugary cereal. I am now waiting to officially reach Hairy Zen when small birds starting build nests in my beard.
You might be wondering what sparked this facial hair frenzy. Here are a few reasons for why I have decided to go Gillette free:
(1.) Out with the old and in with the new. In order to accomplish a New Year’s Resolution, it means other activities have to inevitably fall by the waist side. Carving out time for my new priorities meant becoming creative in the area of time management. Let’s say the average shave takes 10 minutes. Over the course of a year this frees up 60.83 hours or approximately 2.5 days to invest in learning another language, taking a pottery class or working out in the gym.
(2.) These tough economic times have hit the checking account pretty hard. Like the majority of middle classers, every one of my pennies counts. Rather than give up Starbucks or my frequent runs for the border, the razors were cut from the shopping list.
Enough with the practical. Let’s get to what truly kept me from reaching for the blade when the urges to itch the stubble became uncontrollable.
(3.) Since Christmas morning I have been attempting to fool others into believing I am some sort of an outdoorsmen even though the only rock trail I have climbed is the Code Red of Mountain Dew. Knowing my love for looking like a trendy poser, Jenn gave me a North Face vest for the holidays. Hence the new Grizzly Adams look and my sudden love for Eddie Bauer sweaters.
(4.) In tribute to tonight’s season premiere of my all time favorite television show Lost, I decided to head back to the island and unlock my inner Sawyer. The chances of me actually accomplishing this feat are not good considering the fact the majority of those time wasting Facebook applications say I most resemble the portly funny man Hugo instead. This isn’t the only thing going against me. My unkempt look comes closer to Tom Hanks in Castaway then the con man that makes most women weak in the knees. Trying to make up the difference, I have created a sarcastic nickname for every person I know.
(5.) As fun as it is to pay student rates at the movies, I am tired of having a baby face. For crying out loud I am in my thirties. I do not need crayons and three kiddy menus when I take my family out to eat.
(6.) A bushy beard also helps me brave the arctic temperatures of Wilmington, NC. It is the only way I survived the massive snowstorm of 2009. Clean-shaven Tony would of frozen in that light dusting of accumulation.
(7.) Curiosity killed this cat. I wanted to see what celebrity I would look like when hairy. Would I resemble Cuban dictator Fidel Castro or the former gun touting Charlton Heston? If I had my choice, I’d want to be the bearded Sting on Obama’s inauguration night. That my friend was a thing of beauty.
(8.) The growth of facial hair seems to be a common occurrence for guys who have waved farewell to the corporate world. Along with burning all of your collared shirts, ties and slacks, the beard is one last act of sticking it to the man for the years of busy work and TPS reports.
The last reason deals with January’s focus of curing my social shyness. In a previous post I mentioned an eHow.com article I came across about tips to enhance small talking skills. Considering I started the month at the remedial level in the art of conversation, any tip that would get me to the barely passing level I was willing to try out.
Another trick the article offered up was expanding my horizons by trying something new every day. The problem was many of their suggestions were either lame or impossible for me to accomplish. Going home a new way is out of the question since my daily commute to work is a gas guzzling 1.6 miles. Try sushi – as much as I want to love this cuisine since it fits into my desire to be hip and trendy, the fact is I absolutely hate fish. Play pinball, paint a watercolor or bake a pie. That would be a no to #1 and # 2 while I’ll leave the last to Betty Crocker. Then it hit me: grow a beard.
Nothing makes a better icebreaker then facial hair. The conversations are endless:
“Hey…I think you have some dirt growing on your upper lip.”
“No, I do shower from time to time. What you are looking at is my new sweet stache.”
“Have you converted to another religion….are you a Hassidic Jew?”
“Nope, I am still down with the Big J.C.”
“Did your hair on the top of your dome take a vacation to South Beach?”
“No, the missing persons report I placed for the hairs on my head have created very few leads…”
“Are those M&M’s stuck in your beard?”
“Yes, this is where I hid my mid-afternoon snack when I find myself zoning.”
The results have been amazing. It gives me a foot in the door when it comes to small talk. Conversations seem to be lasting longer. I even get a few laughs that are not related to the hairy mess growing around my chin. So, all you shy guys toss those razors in the trash and beard up!