Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Goatee

I'm going to talk about the wedding we went to over the weekend a little more tomorrow. In the meantime...I'm going to talk about this one picture I took at the reception.

What's notable about this picture? Well, I think the guy in the blue tie looks just like a 20-year-old version of me. I purposely took this picture from a distance, because obviously the closer up you get, the less he looks like me. But the primary features are there: short hair, round glasses, and most importantly, the goatee. Oh, the goatee.

So...those of you who have known me a long time already know this, but I used to have a goatee. From October 1999 until March/April 2006, excluding the summer of 2002 and the last week of October 2005, I looked kind of like this:

Yep. In fact, those of you who knew me in college may only recognize me with the goatee.

Why did I grow the goatee in the first place? Well, why not? I developed the ability to grow a full face of thick facial hair at a relatively early age. Not every high school senior can grow a goatee. But I could. So I did. I was also pretty insecure with myself in high school, so I thought...hey, maybe growing a goatee will help turn things around for me! Might as well give it a shot, right?

And, to be honest...it might have actually helped. I think I was "more popular" in my senior year than I was any other year in grade school, ever. And I even found a date for the prom, which when you're me, is no guarantee. Sure, I was still an awkward geek, but at least I looked like a bad ass. Because we all know that personality doesn't mean a thing when you're in high school. It's all about appearance. Actually, that would be an interesting question to ask my then-prom date. "Would you still have gone to the prom with me if I didn't have the goatee? Be honest..." (Full disclosure: I never quite figured out what my prom date's motives were in going to the prom with me. Still kind of bugs me a little bit. I have a theory, but...I'm not going to get into that.)

I also liked that the goatee made me look older. I remember playing goalie in a pickup soccer game in high school - very poorly, I might add - and hearing someone from the other team say something to the effect of, Their goalie is, like, 30 years old! I thought that was awesome. Then, I ended up in a steady relationship with a girl who also liked the goatee. And with that, that goatee wasn't going anywhere, at least not for a while. Except for the summer of 2002, when I worked at Publix. At the time, Publix had a "no facial hair" policy, excluding mustaches. Is that policy still active? Anyone know? (Keith?)

Fast-forward to October 2005, when I shaved off the goatee for a Halloween party. My "costume" was basically one in which I tried to change my appearance as much as possible by losing the goatee, not wearing a hat or glasses, and wearing nice clothes for once. It was pretty effective, but it got me thinking. Is it time to get rid of the goatee? Well, not as long as the girl still likes it. So I kept the goatee until we broke up, at which point I promptly shaved it off. And the goatee has never been seen again.

Which is lower maintenance: a clean-shaven appearance, or a goatee? With no facial hair, I have to shave more or less every day. (Six times a week is what I usually end up doing.) Chin hair grows by far the fastest, so with the goatee, I only had to shave every other day. But I also had to trim the beard about once or week, and that was a pain. I'd rather just shave six times a week.

Will the goatee ever make a return? No. I had a persona I was trying to portray at the time, and the goatee served that well. Now that I've actually embraced my nerdy self, the goatee would run counter to that. The goatee is not me, at all. Which, interestingly enough, is the exact reason I grew it to begin with.

I am not going to completely rule out a full beard, however.


Keith said...

Yes Publix still maintains their clean shave and short hair policy for men. However, about 3 years ago Publix decided managers don't have to wear neckties unless they want to. So, there is always a chance the beard rule will be overturned.

Also never say never. The beard could be deployed as a powerful scare tactic on young boys teenage Marla brings home to meet Dad.

allen_t said...

Just FYI if you do decide to grow a beard facial hair seems to have gray in it before hair on your head. With the beard you can then look scary and old.

Perfectance said...

(Cool! You still have that old picture I took of you!) After reading this, it is disheartening to look back and now realize that we (at FSU) never really knew the real you. You had a unique look. In fact, your avitar on my Nintendo Wii still has a red hat and goatee. We tried updating it, but then you just looked like everyone else.