Last week I explained in great detail the difficult personal challenge I have set myself. To grow a beard.
I feel I should give you an update.
Well, I have persisted. For a time I felt things were going well and I noticed that in certain light, my facial growth looked quite distinguished, with blinds shut, curtains drawn and lamps off for example.
I went into work on Monday morning and my many colleagues were bearing witness to an epic facial adventure whereby I was not succumbing to the call of the razor even though the patchy and ginger mess was somewhat unruly.
But nobody said anything. This left me a little perturbed. Why was nobody saying anything?
Was it because it actually looked normal? If someone came into work wearing a different jacket, you wouldn’t say anything. The same can be said for me with my new manly, bald Spartan look.
Or perhaps nothing was said because people are just too polite. Well except my friends. Both Malcolm and Luke said exactly the same thing, “You’ve got an upside down head!”
Today I sat on the train home opposite a man who’s beard was nothing short of perfection. I’m not one to be jealous, but a part of me did want to render him unconscious so I could shave him out of spite. ‘Look at him,’ I thought, ‘Working away on his laptop on the train, looking like a professional with his perfectly combed hair and incredibly neat, well groomed, even beard. Just who does he think he is? Minding his own business focussing on work. Oooh look at me and my model beard. We’re just getting on with our work. Later I shall brush my beard and nurture it with rare oils that you can only obtain from a cave in the deepest baron lands of the orient! What a Bastard!’ That’s what I thought. I had the worst case of beard envy I’ve ever had. I’m not proud.
‘That’s it, I’m shaving it off,” I said in a sulking childish kind of way. “I’ll never grow a beard.”
“But I’m kind of getting used to it,” said Mrs Grump.
“You’re getting used to it?” I said trying to work out if this was indeed sarcasm.
“Yes. You can’t shave it now. You’ve got to stick with it. You need to give it at least a month”
Let me tell you that behind every great man is a great woman. I was now experiencing a pinnacle moment in my beard growth. I wasn’t only doing this for me, my honour, my family’s Irish ginger heritage; I also had to do this because I was actually getting some sort of approval from Mrs Grump! This is a rare opportunity for a man to get the green light, especially when you look like you’ve glued some pubes to your face. Is it any wonder I asked for her hand in marriage?
For a good few minutes we spoke about the ginger, scraggly, monstrosity on my face. Discussing the intricacies of the missing bits, the unevenness, the different colours and how to potentially maintain it.
This was just the lift I needed.
Thanks to Mrs Grump, not only did I research beard growing techniques, read forums where other men had also endured the hairless cheeks problem and received words of encouragement from well established bearded men, I looked into beard brushes and celebrities who also have ginger beards (Ewan McGregor, James McAvoy and Christian Bale). Mrs Grump also leant me a brush and allowed me to use a small drop of her very expensive conditioner which I believe contains coconut stuff, other natural stuff and unicorn extract.
My enthusiasm is restored. I’ve given my beard a controlled trim to allow other areas to catch up a little and thanks to Mrs Grump’s hair conditioner, it’s feeling silky smooth and soft. If I’m not typing, I’m having a good stroke! Of my beard that is! You’ve got a filthy mind!
Almost at three weeks now. Back on track, staying strong thanks to the support of the good lady.
I’m about to join an elite club. The bearded bald brotherhood of high testosterone. Get out of my way Macaulay Culkin with your t-shirt of Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt of you wearing a t-shirt of Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt of you wearing a t-shirt of Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt of you wearing a t-shirt of Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt of you wearing a t-shirt of Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt of you wearing a t-shirt of Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt of you wearing a t-shirt of Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt of you wearing a t-shirt of Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt of you wearing a t-shirt of Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt of you wearing a t-shirt of Ryan Gosling……..