Hairy Situation.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’m working on growing my beard. I was originally going to participate in “Beards for a Cause”, but I decided that I couldn’t commit to a year of not trimming my beard and still keep peace in the family and workplace, so I decided not to go that route. So it looks like I’ll pass on the whole Grizzly Adams motif (as if I could actually grow something like that without looking like a derelict.) But I have made a commitment to myself and have decided to keep on growing until at least May 1.

There’s a couple of reasons I’m going on about this a little bit. For starters, I’m terribly vain and I enjoy talking about myself whenever the opportunity arises. I don’t think of myself as prissy, just pretty.

Secondly, people have begun noticing that I now have a beard. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, since I’ve been working on growing it since October 29 and it’s now December 6. I was asked today at work, not once but twice, if I’m growing my beard out. Of course I gave them the whole spiel about growing it out full but keeping it shaped. Bulky, not frizzy, and my other aspirations.

I sort of blame the whole beard experience (and my near obsession with it) on one of my fifth grade teachers. My elementary school had just started the “Enrichment Program” and I was one of the many guinea pig students. I guess we were the freaks that were absolutely bored with pedestrian elementary school tasks like multiplication and division, spelling and band, so they came up with this program for us artistic/creative types, where we could express our other wise hidden talents. Our Enrichment teacher’s name was Mr. Rayburn. He was in his mid 20s and to me, absolutely handsome. I was eleven years old at the time and I knew he was the most gorgeous creature to walk the face of the earth. He was about six foot tall, had red hair and the fullest, most beautiful auburn beard I had ever seen. He seemed like the cool type… the kind that related well with kids, knew how to be hip in 1979 and the sort of guy that you could call by his first name, even though he was a teacher. I was crushed because one day he came in clean shaven and he let a couple of girls in the class touch his bare face. I hated those girls, because not only did they get to touch Mr. Rayburn’s face, they also commented on how smooth and handsome it was. I wanted to slap them silly. He grew his mustache back but it wasn’t the same. He disappeared after that school year. I ran into him once when I was in seventh grade when he was visiting from another school, and there he was, bearded again. I haven’t seen him since.

So I guess I come by my whole beard/mustache/goatee thing honestly. And for now, it just keeps growing and growing and growing…

Malcolm Rayburn