The powerpoint “post card” shows a photo of me a few months before I grew the beard, and a few photos of me in the months afterwards… It’s just a rumor that I got rid of all my suits when I grew a beard.
My beard is here to stay; yet, this morning, I about did the unthinkable. I came too close to shaving it all off. You see, about once every two weeks I trim my beard (I decided a long time ago that trimming every two weeks is a lot better than shaving every morning!). This morning, right before the shower, I decided it was time. I set the adjuster on the beard trimmer to where I thought was number 4, and ran the trimmer through the beard. It was wrong, it was set on number 1, the closest you can get without being shaved. I feel naked with my short stubby beard. It’s also further proof that I’m getting older, something I don’t like to admit. You see, I didn’t use to have this problem of being unable to read without glasses, but now it’s gotten to a critical point. Up close, without glasses, I no longer know my numbers! They just blur together.
My daughter, who has never seen me without a beard, is my secret to youth. Just this past weekend, I was playing with her and a few other kids in a pool when one of the kids asked her something about me. She responded, “He’s 51, but he acts like he’s 15.” It was the best compliment I’d received in a while.
Of course, my daughter has also been the source of me receiving scorn. When she was about two and we still in Utah, the two of us were shopping one day. This Grandmotherly lady was in the line behind us. She was probably my age, but in Utah, if you don’t have grandkids by the time you’re in your early 40s and great-grandkids when you’re in your early 60s, you’re not with the program and risk missing out on an eternity of eating Lucky Stars in the Celestial Kingdom.
“Did you put your shoes on by yourself?” This grandmotherly lady asked my daughter.-
“No, my Daddy did,” my child proudly proclaimed.
“Well, he put them on the wrong feet,” the intruder said as she cut me a dirty look.
I’m sure as my daughter gets older, she’ll find more things she can blame on me. All children are wonderful, I just happen to think mine are more wonderful than most, despite the blame I receive. She knew her ABCs before she turned two. When we use to hike, with her riding on my back, we’d make a game out of trying to see how many words she could come up with for each letter. As you know (thanks to the tenacity of the Brits, the brutal winters of Russia and the efforts of Eisenhower’s army), there are not many English words that begin with the letter “Z.” In trying to expand her vocabulary beyond “Zoo” and “Zebra,” I introduced her to the word “Zeitgeist” (which we borrowed from the Germans, as opposed to having it forced upon us). For months, zeitgeist was her favorite word, causing another intruder in a grocery store to ask if we were German. I shook my head and goose-stepped away. Best to keep 'em guessing.
Is there a point to this post? Not really, except that I’m feeling sorry for myself for having nearly shaved off my beard, for being old enough to have had a beard for two decades and for being unable to slow down the growth of a young girl who is growing up way to fast for my likings. And, to take the focus off my aging, I thought I might as well offend any Mormon or German readers I once had.
By clicking here, you can read about the hike in Idaho where I grew this beard out.