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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Me and Sam Elliot

Dear Dad,

                A few weeks ago I found myself standing in front of the bathroom mirror reflecting on a one week old mustache. My wife doesn’t understand how much is involved in this most manly of undertakings. As a matter of fact it is my understanding that most women find the mustache unattractive. Of course there have been some star studded exceptions over the years. Tom Selleck’s mustache for example could show up on the red carpet all by itself and be recognized.

               Women’s’ opinions aside, most men at one time or another tackle facial hair. I’m not talking about Luke Perry sideburns, or the Johnny Depp dirty lip. I’m talking about the bushy monstrosity that captures the flavor of your food and holds it there for you all day and night long. A full fledged Marlboro Man, Sam Elliot glorious soup strainer. The trouble of course is this gun fighting, bull tossing, rodeo riding image cannot be captured without enduring several weeks of a prepubescent face. We men spend all this time wearing stupid on our face, because regardless of what our wives tell us, we know that it will look good soon.

                 We say , “It will come into it’s own real soon, you’ll see.” What wife hasn’t heard this as she rolls her eyes and walks out of the room.

                 A week later I strode into the bathroom a victor. My mustache and goatee, and even that cool looking little triangle of hair under the bottom lip, had finally achieved a thickness I could run a comb through. It was time to trim. After all, the point is to look good, right?

                The trimmers were in their tray next to the bathroom sink. The light reflected off of the blades and the green L.E.D. glow on the handle indicated a full charge. I grabbed them with confidence and stared into the mirror one last time. A fierce lumberjack character stared back at me and shook his head as if to say, ‘don’t do it sonny.’ Very gingerly I began to even out the stray hairs that wouldn’t comb. I pruned and nipped away like a professional barber competing in the hair Olympics. When I was all done I put the trimmers down and turned to leave the room. I knew the missus would be pleased. I caught a mere glimpse of reflection in my peripherals.

                ‘That’s not even’, I thought to myself. Perturbed I snatched up the clippers again. In my agitation and haste I may have hacked away with a little less caution. The situation was beginning to get out of hand as I re-evened and re-re-evened. In less than five minutes I was left with a mustache that very much resembled the one I sported my sophomore year in high school. Three weeks of taking crap from my work buddies and my wife literally went down the drain. Just when it was about to pay off too. I am sure that I would have gotten the ‘Beef it’s what’s for dinner’ endorsement with that Wyatt Earp masterpiece of a mustache.

                I removed the guard from the trimmers. My eyes glistening, I cleaned the canvas I had so patiently cultivated. I wet a razor, foamed up and finished smoothing my face. Dejected I headed toward the living room. Determined not to say anything or smile, I sat down in my recliner. The only fun part of shaving everything off and starting from scratch is the game we men all play. For some reason family members who live with you day and night can stare you in the face and that drastic ZZ Top to Justin Bieber difference does not register.

                Well, almost instantly my four year old daughter jumped into my lap and said, “Daddy, your handsome now.” My wife gave me a sweet smile, and smartly, I let her assume that I had done this for her. Later I was well rewarded for my ‘thoughtfulness’ and sacrifice. I truly AM THE MAN. My mustache is retired until next year. Next year is going to be my year, I can feel it. It will come in to it’s own.


                          Your baby faced razor burned son.

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