Ah, the art of shaving. Something I’ve never been able to fully master. Anyone that knows me is well aware of my sturdy distaste of shaving. Like, to the point of avoiding people I know will judge me by the state my beard is in. My journey with the scruff began early on in life. I had a full-grown beard by the time I reached the ripe, tender age of 15, which made me look 25. At first, this was a blessing (never been carded before in my life swear to god)…but now…shaving is literally the most mortifying part of my morning routine.
I wake up around 6am, make some coffee then check out my butt in the mirror; it is only after these steps are complete that I make the dreadful walk to the sink. I stumble into the bathroom reaching for my wonky razor in a half-caffeinated daze, as per usual, and commence attacking a full chin of hair with a biblical thrust that rivals that of a weed whacker every god damn day of my life.
All I want to do is find my stupid razor—which is just about as sharp as a fucking a butter knife. I wait for the full impact of my coffee to kick in so I can get this sharp object away from my face, back into the cabinet, and get the hell out of my house. As I rush out the door on my way to work—with makeshift, toilet paper band-aids sticking to the bloody nicks on my face—I curse the men out there with sparsely pubified faces. They don’t have to suffer being late for their buses as a result of shaving. Lucky bastards. I wish I were you.
Joe Manganiello is one of the few semi-relevant male celebrities that can pull off both the scruff and the clean-shaven look. Maybe I wish I were Joe. On second thought, I think I resend my original wish to be one of those follicly challenged men now. I feel like they compensate for having a deficient stock of hair by making entertaining and interesting facial hair choices (like a goatee, or a handlebar moustache), much in the way that a stray cat compensates for a lack of speech through vigorously screeching their meows behind a dumpster to get attention—now there’s some mental caviar for you to chew.
And well, you see, for me the actual beard isn’t the problem; it’s the thickness of it (first and only time you’ll hear this gay man complain about something being too thick). The thicker the hair, the longer it takes to shave. Five o’clock shadows quickly become my face’s version of “clean shaven” because my beard grows so fast, by the time I’m out the door, the hair is fighting to pop out of my skin, jockeying for position to be the first one to say hello to the world.
In all honesty, more often then not, I still experience secondhand embarrassment (whether I see it at the grocery store or at the club) when a stubbly-faced lover gets pushed away by their partner after an attempted kiss. It’s like; this country is not meant for us beardy fellows.
Sure, it feels nice when you’re done (like a breathe of fresh, after-shave air) knowing you can now pull the knives away from your face. But all the work that goes into maintaining a clean shave is not cute. I mean, really, you just want to be like one of those dudes that comports himself well at work, looking the part with an easily attained baby-face shave and a handsome skinny tie. But every morning seems like a gargantuan struggle to tame the mane, like that Groundhog Day movie, but for your face.