In Defense Of Beards
There are a few little things you can do in a relationship that let your significant other know you care. You can watch his favorite TV show at least three times (to give it a fair chance), you can read his blog or his writing/ listen to his band even if his style doesn’t mesh with your tastes and you can let him be as enthusiastic as he wants while he grows his facial hair. Here are five reasons you should let him grow his beard.
1. It makes him happy
Many guys are just really stoked about their facial hair. They’ll sit around with their buddies and discuss the merits of beards, trimming techniques and styles. I can’t really explain it, but it’s something they just like. I’ve been told by friends that growing facial hair is a rite of passage for a young man; it’s something he should try at least once to decide if it’s right for him.
And boys do love their beards; they like how they can get away without shaving (no risk of five o’clock shadow when you’re sporting the full deal); they like to stroke it and feel slightly more intelligent; they like how it looks on their face, making them feel more rugged or manly. They can also appreciate the practicality of a beard, using it to scratch itches on their shoulders and arms (built in chin-pad) or to store food for the winter within the furry confines of their face.
2. No one likes a controlling bitch
This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received (granted, it was when I was working with a group on a writing project, but the words are still relevant).
Let’s be straight: You are in no position to demand anything from him regarding his looks. He’s a separate entity (whether your friends have given you a ‘Brangelina’ style couple name or not) and the two of you are not an amorphous couple-y blob. His face is his business. You should not withhold affection in order to manipulate him into shaving. You should not insult his bearded looks and expect his feelings to remain unhurt. If you’re at all convinced of the contrary, you’re psychotic. Seek medication.
If he’s the man you want to spend time with, you should support his endeavors the way you’d want him to support yours. If that endeavor is “No Shave November” or some sort of strange attempt to become Grizzly Adams, so be it.
Besides, how cuddly and loveable will you feel when he begrudgingly takes to the razor? He probably won’t be happy about it and you may even feel guilty about his (albeit small) sacrifice.
You wouldn’t want him telling you how to wear your hair or clothes, so you have no right to tell him he needs to shave.
3. It makes him look like Chuck Norris
Did you know that under Chuck Norris’s beard is another fist? Did you? Go watch Walker, Texas Ranger for the next few hours and don’t come back until you understand this phenomenon. I’ll wait. Go.
4. Bearded kisses. Nuff said
Few things in this world feel as wonderfully tickly and scratchy as a bearded kiss. If you haven’t tried it, go find yourself a beard. They’re wonderful. The survival of the beard could prove to be less of a self-less act if you open your heart to the stubbly, scratch-tastic wonders of beard nuzzling. Giving it a chance could open your mind up to a totally new (and totally hot) look.
5. Ultimately, it’s his choice
There are numerous reasons your man has decided to grow a beard: he’s getting in touch with nature, he’s participating in No Shave November, he felt emasculated by all the other boys and their beards, he got lazy and decided shaving was less important than sleep. None of them matter much anyway.
In the end, his beard is his business. He’ll shave or he won’t.
If you can’t learn to love his whiskered ways, you can mention it in passing (an “ouch! That’s scratchy” will almost never fail), but incessant nagging and insulting matches are never fun for anyone as they plant the seeds of future passive aggression and seldom lead to cuddling. There are some things in life that are worth bitching about, but your man’s facial hair choices are simply not one of them.
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”