Day 1: Should I Shave or Should I Grow

In college, I was unable to grow a full, thick beard. When I let myself go on some weekends, I looked scruffy and unkempt. Being an Ultimate Frisbee player at the time, I was already considered a hippy and I feared that a beard would give me the reputation of long-haired dirty hippy.

After graduating, I quickly found myself working in the hospitality industry at The Colonnade Hotel. Unlike most industries, where you can occasionally come to work with a shadow on your face, the hospitality industry has very strict rules. I would always abide by the maxim that I needed to shave within 4 hours of my scheduled shift. This meant that even by the end of a 14 hour day, I would still look reasonably shaven. At times, it was difficult and my face would be angry with me. After all, shaving twice in 16 hours is brutal on the skin, but, occasionally, it would have to happen.

So, now, having left The Colonnade Hotel for parts unknown, I have decided to let myself go. And although this has not resulted in any wild naked fire rituals or inhumane acts of tactless aggression, it does mean that for the first time in my life, I can finally be called: A Bearded Jew.

Growing up, I used to watch the transformation that Charlton Heston made in the Ten Commandments after seeing the burning bush and speaking to God. I was always mystified by the older, bearded man that he had become. His facial hair was meant to symbolize the passage of time as well as wisdom and elevated stature. Because of this, for some unknown reason, bearded men were always shrouded in a veil of intellectual mystery.

Pharaoh, Let My People Grow!

Did I mention that I was enamored by Charles Manson’s beard as well?

So, anyway, the question posed originally was: Should I Shave or Should I Grow? And you are more than welcome to sing along if you’d like:

Darling you gotta let me know
Should I shave or should I grow?
If you say that you are fine
My hair’ll grow til the end of time
So you got to let know
Should I shave or should I grow?

Always cut trim cut
You’re happy when I’m soft as a baby’s butt
One day stubble is fine, next day no way
So if you want me to shave today
Well come on and let me know
Should I shave or should I grow?

Should I shave or should I grow now?
Should I shave or should I grow now?
If I go there’ll be a beard
An’ if I stay I’ll feel weird
So come on and let me know!

Now you know why I chose the hospitality industry instead of working as a lyricist for the next great pop star. I temporarily managed a rap group in 2004, but as you can see my career was cut short and did not lead to superstardom as I kempt my day job. Clearly, I should not have picked up a second career following in the footsteps of Billy Shears. Although I was a killer clarinetist and a mean pianist, I was never groomed for choral singing. I needed to brush up on my harmonies and pitch rather than simply altering the words to make ridiculous and sometimes hair-raising rhymes. It certainly led to a lot of laughs in the back of the room as we trimmed down some of the great songs of our generation. Perhaps I should go to graduate school for smug arrogance with a concentration in sarcasm and a minor in punnery instead of business school...

Or on second thought, I should simply come up with a few good comebacks for the dirty hippie, scruffy redneck, disheveled sea captain, and hirsute circus freak jokes that I will encounter on the road.

Well, I have to finish packing the car and head to New York City this afternoon. I will try to give at least brief updates on a daily basis as well as pictures from the road.

Obviously, for the time being, I have chosen to go instead of stay, so why not let it grow instead of shave!


Blogger Sarah-girl said...

brilliant, totally brilliant..

12:11 PM  

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