Over the past couple weeks I've been working on an experiment. It's nothing earth shattering, but it's been very interesting to see how people react to it.
My experiment? I've grown a beard.
Now, to most people that may not seem like much of anything. It's just hair on a person's face. It itches more than not and there are only a few men who have been able to pull it off.
My favorite author had one.
Hockey players have them in the playoffs and Grizzly Adams had one, but from everything I've heard ... it's not for me.
I would have to assume by the common statements of dislike I've received that I am closer to Grizzly Adams than, say, a guy like Matthew McConaughey, who seems to be able to do whatever he wants and women just swoon.
I'm married, so the desire to get women swooning is long gone, but I still like to think I look presentable.
The most vocal opponent to this is my wife.
She hates it!
That has probably added to the length of time I'll let this continue, but it really does matter to me what she thinks.
To be honest, I don't like the thing either. It itches, it looks like I don't care anymore and from what I've been told, it makes me look like I'm 10 years older than I really am.
As a man with the inability to grow hair at this point in my life, I have often taken to growing facial hair as a way to change things up.
I've had mutton chops ... that's right my friends, mutton chops. I've had a goatee, I've had a mustache, and I've had my personal favorite, the fumanchu.
There is only so much a man with no hair can do to alter the way he looks.
Perhaps I was doing all this just to channel my inner Hemingway in hopes of a brilliant novel rising up from my stubble and finding its way onto the page. Perhaps I was hoping to win the Stanley Cup. And maybe, just maybe, I was trying to become a better columnist by looking more like my counterpart, Burton Cole. I really don't know.
The only person who seems completely unaware of this is my son. I'm his dad, hairy or not.
So, I suppose by the time this runs on Sunday, the three weeks of bearded glory will have been shaved off and my round cheekbone-less face will be smooth once again.
That's how my wife likes it, and let's be honest here, she runs the show and it will make her happy.
I guess I'll try something new, like working out.
Let's get serious ... that's not going to happen.
Joshua can be reached at email@example.com