Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fear the beard

A funny thing started to happen to my husband’s face a few weeks ago.
Hair kept growing on the bottom of it. And growing.
It’s a beard, he said, when I asked him what was going on.
I’m growing a beard.
My husband has been known to grow a goatee or mustache/chin hair combo. Even a short, trimmed up beard. But this was definitely Beard 2.0. And it was getting longer by the day.
Here’s the thing about beards. They don’t just arrive full grown. They kind of sneak up on the people you live with. If the man of the house stops shaving, it takes about a week before the rest of us catch wind of this new creation. And then one day there it is.
A beard.
What’s the inspiration for the beard? I asked.
He reminded me about the upcoming wine competitions he’ll be judging at. I guess most wine judge types go for the clean-shaved look.
A beard might be one way of differentiating himself amidst the other oenophiles sniffing inside their wine glasses.
Or maybe the beard will help capture the wine “bouquet” more effectively.
Either way, he’ll definitely stand out.
The girls were a little dubious about Dad’s new look.
How long are you going to let it grow? they asked.
Is it hot?
Is it itchy?
Is that all gray hair?
The reporter in me was also curious. What kind of beard are you going for?
Former Giant Brian Wilson? Merlin Olsen from “Little House on the Prairie”? “Duck Dynasty”?
None of the above, apparently. After some consideration, he texted me his beard inspirations: sailor Sven Yrvind, castaway Tom Hanks and Zach Galifianakis.
I had to Google the first guy. Sure enough, he’s a sailor who possesses some mighty facial hair. And all white, I should note.
Tom Hanks’ beard in “Cast Away” was quite magnificent, too.
I don’t know about the third reference. Maybe I’ve got the “Hangover” movies on my mind but I kind of wonder how clean Zach Galifianakis keeps his beard.
Turns out that once you have a beard, it’s like joining a new club.
My husband has reported that beard wearers like to acknowledge each other.
Kind of like when a woman sees another woman wearing a really cute pair of shoes. Only beard guys just nod in a manly way at each other. They don’t ask where the other guy got his beard and if it was on sale.
After Googling Sven Yrvind, I came across this Australian guy by the name of Jimmy Niggles. In honor of a good friend who passed away, he’s been growing a beard for years.
And it really is some beard — thick, reddish brown and very long. He claims it’s worth a million bucks, but I think we might have a contender right here in Napa.
Our beard is definitely worth at least half that.

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