You remember how I really wanted a chin strap but I wasn’t sure about anything else. I worried I might find a cheek beard “too much” and neck beard regrettable. But the more you came in, the more you figuratively grew on me.
I wanted a labret piercing since I saw Rick Campenelli with one in his early days on Much. Then when he took it out, he grew out a small soul patch, which covered up the scar. I hoped I could do the same if for whatever reason I had to take out my labret too long to put it back in. And that happened, because a conservative nurse intentionally held onto it too long after an oo so it wouldn’t go back in. I considered getting it redone shortly thereafter but didn’t want to find out if another nurse or doctor could pull the same stunt, so I figured best to wait until after I was done lower surgeries. Eight years later when I was, I was enrolled to start a program at a conservative faculty and thought better of it. And then the twins came along, yanking off glasses, poking at my skin graft, and I thought better than to find out if they could yank on a piercing. I presume they wouldn’t have the strength to make it rip out but still unpleasant. So for over a decade now, my soul patch has brilliantly covered up my scar. I still consider getting my labret redone but I doubt I will. I really like my soul patch, even when I’m not sporting a full beard, so win all around either way.
Beard, you were my safety blanket in the earlier days of transition, when I wasn’t confident that I would be scene as me without you. That diminished over time, as somehow stubble played that roll for a while, and now I don’t have or need anything to play that role. But I was grateful that you did while I grew more confident.
in the last few years, as I’ve grown you out more, you’ve become my fidget. I can’t forget you on a table or the pocket of trousers about to be washed. I don’t have to justify having you in a meeting. I can easily disguise a need to do something tactile as “thoughtfully reflecting on what’s being discussed.” This was an unexpected benefit, which I miss when I scale back my facial hair.
You keep me warm in colder weather. You’re the scarf I can’t lose or forget behind. I don’t know how to explain how tickled I was the first time I had beard icicles. The only thing I had expected less than to acquire them was feeling their slight weight, but not their coldness as they were just far enough away from my skin. I looked rugged without discomfort, just brilliant. I always assumed people’s faces were cold underneath them but no.
Now that I’ve gone bald, and buzz my shoehorn hair regularly, my first grey hairs will probably be nearly unnoticed. When I was younger, I hadn’t considered the possibility that in due time, it would be greys in my beard that would more prominently signal my aging than my head hair. I like how brindle you are. I kinda of hope there’s a decent salt and pepper period before you’re all white. But I also kinda look forward to being a Santa with a real beard. All in good time ❤
Here’s to roughly 15 years of you rocking my world, and the many more years to come.