Growing a goatee is not, per se, an accomplishment. I mean, it’s a sort of passive activity that happens while you’re sleeping or eating or thinking about doing something more interesting than growing a goatee.
As with most things in America, however, we have managed to make it complex. You don’t, after all, just grow a goatee. You grow a certain kind of goatee, and the kind you grow says a lot about you. One of the things it might say, for example, is that you are not endowed with enough of the right genes to grow a goatee that says something nice about you and you should never attempt such a thing. I’m in that category, it turns out.
I googled “goatee” just for chuckles. The first site I clicked on had 213 pictures of men with different styles and a few pictures of women, but I’m not sure why they were in there since I didn’t see any goatees on them. In any case, 213 is way too many choices. It didn’t help when I then came across this frightening piece from askmen.com:
“While facial hair is a natural phenomenon for men, it's a part of the body that can be considered an art form in itself. Who would have thought that hair could actually become a way to decorate a man's face? Consider it a free accessory, that can complete your appearance and transform your look from night to day. There's a fine line between what is considered in and out of style in terms of facial hair. Any style is acceptable as long as it suits a man's face and his personality. We've covered the different hairstyles for men that are presently fashionable, but now it's time to cover the kind of body hair that can make or break a man's look; facial hair.”
That’s scary stuff. What if my goatee were to break my look instead of make it? What if it transformed my look from day to night instead of night to day? What if I looked older? Or out of style? Or…the worst…what if I’m (I can hardly bring myself to utter it) inadequate?
Help is at hand. A little more searching and I found out via YouTube that I could buy an expensive template that would help me trim my goatee to perfection every time. What I found most appealing about it was that when this guy used it, a woman in a slinky dress appeared from nowhere to glide up behind him and give him a seductive kiss under the ear. Since Tammy has never once responded to my facial hair that way, I thought it might be worth the investment. On the other hand, my goatee had so little hair in it that I wasn’t quite sure I should trim any of it away or the whole effect might disappear.
At least I had an excuse to get started. For my speech at our shelter’s international dinner in October I would wear a white shirt, a black vest and pants, a Greek fisherman’s hat and a goatee. With five weeks of no effort, I’d have “the look.”
After the dinner, I just kept it, like a forlorn stray animal, because there was this lingering hope that if I kept it, “the look” would eventually come. It was a vain hope, so in Costa Rica I had a stark choice: cling to the fantasy, or shave it off and let my upper lip and my chin tan like the rest of my face. I shaved it all off. Only then did Tammy say she liked me better without it. But of course that was after spending half a day with me, including a kiss or two, completely oblivious to the fact that I had shaved it off. Inadequate doesn’t even begin to describe my utter sense of failure.
Grow a goatee. Check.
Sun, November 27, 2011
by Ron Snell filed under