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These days, I'm the director of the American Library Association' s Office for Intellectual Freedom. I'm also executive director and secretary of the Freedom to Read Foundation. See "About Me" for contact information.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Men's facial hair

It was a long time ago -- late spring of 1985 or 1986 -- when I was preparing to do what I did every summer: shave my beard. But my wife, Suzanne, asked me not to. She liked me better with a beard, she said. So I kept it -- right up until several years ago, when I shaved it for a play I was in (Greater Tuna, and again for Wizard of Oz).

Last month, I trimmed back my beard, basically just removing sideburns. It was a sort of funky look, and I liked it. Yesterday, based on my son's digital photograph of the new line, I trimmed it back further to the more common goatee. (Although now I kind of regret it.)

It's a weird thing. On the one hand, it's genuinely if oddly refreshing to drag a razor across your face, then splash it with cold water and cologne. It might also be cooler.

On the other hand, the first couple of times you shave previously unshaved skin it is distinctly painful, and subsequent shavings tend to nick previously painful spots again, leading to unsightly globules of bloodclots.

Here's the thing, though: I have made that difficult adjustment from my longstanding and distinct-from-reality self-image (early twenties, basically) to actual chronological reality (details too depressing to recount). So, what the heck? Why not play with my facial characteristics, as if I were my own Mr. Potato Head?

Next up: braids?

1 comment:

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