I hit a point in my early 20s where I desperately wanted a change of some sort in appearance, just to shake things up. I thought very seriously about a tattoo or an earring, but I settled on a goatee. I remember at the time that it was an absolutely momentous and difficult decision. It obviously shouldn't have been but being the overthinker that I am, things can turn into far bigger decisions than they need to be. I kept that goatee for a few years before growing tired of it. Since then the goatee has come and gone as have a couple other facial hair styles, mostly for my community theatre shows (The handlebar mustache will never, ever come back if I can help it). It's comforting to be able to make that change now without worrying so much about it.
This winter I decided to grow a full beard, both for
the change factor and for a little extra insulation against the winter
cold (It's going to remain a short, well-trimmed beard, so it won't be too much insulation. Also, the scattered grey hairs don't show as much when
they're kept short.). For some reason, this change seems to have
created significant reaction. It's mostly been female reaction, but
it's been very polar in nature. I've been told that it looks very distinguished. Another female friend said that she doesn't ordinarily like facial hair, but that
it's a nice look on me. One more told me that she'd date me if she wasn't
already married (I don't know if I buy that, but it's nice to hear!).
On the other hand, one said that it ages me ten years. Another told me
that it covers up my good looks (an interesting backhanded compliment, I
suppose). A third said that I need to shave it immediately if I ever
want a woman to kiss me again.
It's been an interesting and educational
couple weeks since I've grown it. Maybe I'm just paying more attention
this time. Clearly this type of change won't please everyone around me, but fortunately I like it a great deal right now. We'll see when I need
another change, though. Hmmm...bare face? Back to the goatee? Maybe a fu manchu. Maybe some mutton chops. Soul patch? So many options... (so few that I'd actually choose voluntarily....)