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I’ve grown a beard again. I am now opposed to much of the Western world where to shave constitutes some mark of effiminacy innate love of the prepubescent breeding. Because my desire to have facial hair or not is exactly like my father’s—that is, whimsical—, however, it is also in opposition to that part of the world where to grow a beard AND OMG DYE IT!!!11on!e is a sign of having mastered the apocalypse. So there’s that for you.



So, was this a unilateral decision?

Is the other member of the family supportive?

There’s a sort of unspoken (check that, it has actually been voiced, numerous times) code in our house that no shaving means no face-to-face contact. I’m not sure if this speaks to the delicacies of Sara’s facial features of the sharpness of my beard beginnings, but there it is.

I am always intrigued by how the facial hair issue is navigated in other households…

The beard is encouraged here. K can speak more specifically about the process, but as I understand it, prickliness goes away and is replaced with sweet-smelling (and, last night, ice-cream tasting) luxury.

B hates the beard. Her mother hates the beard. That pretty much rules out the beard. She also hates the intermediary stages she refers to as “sandpaper.”

My wife wholeheartedly endorses and requests the beard, because she says it’s “cute.” Being now an academic and public interest lawyer, I now can sport it and increase my professional bona fides, whereas in silk-stocking private practice, the clean shaven look was a cultural requisite.

The beard is hot. I was never a fan of beards before I saw one on my handsome young man.

Not all beards are created equal, of course. I’ve seen some sad ones that just shouldn’t have been allowed to exist.

And the sandpaper effect does go away after a while. It becomes softer. One must have patience with these things, but yes, it does hurt to get kissed in those early stages.

Wait. There’s cachet to being a bearded public-interest lawyer?


Thanks, kl.

only if you wear suspenders and do the bow-tie thing, or you have to have long hair, smoke pot and quote the federalist papers every chance you get… otherwise, it must be shaved… unless you play bass in a band

That’s funny. I do quote the Federalist papers every chance I get, being fully Hamiltonian in my federalism. I have colleagues who do the bow tie thing. I have had long hair, and another colleague plays bass in a band. They fired the last guy who smoked pot, though.

Predictable but fun.

Q. How many lawyers does it take to wear a beard?

For an understated affirmation of one’s simultaneous embodiment of sagacity and virility there can be no emblem better than a dark, well-trimmed beard. So, unless yours turns scraggly with tints of ginger… welcome to the club.

On a lighter note, here are some beard-related anecdotes from the Riyadh years:

One of the “non-traditional” students in my classes was a short, wiry man in his late fifties who wore a white beard reddened at the edges with henna. While most of us “Westerners” and the traditionally less-bearded Arabs from Egypt and Syria thought this practice was ridiculous and made the man look clownish, red henna beards are apparently a affectation marker of personal religiosity and even Muhammad dyed his beard red. There was another much younger and even more pious student who wanted badly to be accepted as something of a sheikh among his peers. In order to do so, he had to sport the requisite facial hair, yet this kid, like many other hormonally challenged 18 year-old males, could only manage a sparse ring of growth around his jawline and further compromised by an enormous bald patch on the right side of his chin. It would have been enough to make me consider martyrdom were I in his sandals.

It would have been funny if the kid tried to dye chin with henna.

But alas, my beard can only be smattered with darkness, a fact that’s evident in my mustache.

Beards are okay by me, but then it would be hypocritical of me not to extend my anti-shaving stance to the male of the species.