You know life is good when you realize you've just spent an hour pondering something that nobody else in the world gives two hoots about.
The sun was setting, the breeze was nice and all was well, but I kept expecting my nasty little inner voice to butt in and say, “Yeah, but…”
It didn’t happen. And it shouldn't have.
I’m as healthy as someone my age should be. I’m happily married and rarely get threatened by my gorgeous bride, Angela. I have lots of work and love what I do. My kids are not currently incarcerated, and my grandkids don’t yet have pimples or drive cars.
Life is good. Not everybody can say that.
So why did growing a beard cross my mind? At the moment that’s my biggest question. Talk about first world problems.
I blame my situation on clever TV ads.
Spending time in front of the tube is less appealing than ever, but when I do watch I stick with shows appropriate for people of my rising age and sinking IQ. The ads pitch fashionable adult diapers, overpriced automobiles, medic alert buttons or products that relieve constipation or help you breathe better.
The other day I accidentally turned on an NFL football game. Before I came to my senses, I saw an ad for an electric shaver. I watched because this gizmo wasn’t what I expected.
Electric shavers have been around forever, but the old models were designed to make whiskers disappear. Not any more. The new, improved electric shavers aren’t designed to cut facial hair so much as sculpt it.
The three-day stubble look has been around for a while, but never tempted me. Mostly because I think it’s stupid to pay big bucks for shaving equipment designed to make you look like you haven’t shaved. But that's just me.
Today’s male grooming products do lots more than keep that three-day stubble in shape. The shaver being advertised during the ballgame had more tricks than a county fair midway magician.
The innocent-looking gadget enables users to twist, turn, swoop, and shape facial hair into designs with more loops and curves than the Porsche test track in Atlanta.
Some guys love the look. Why bother? I used to have a mustache and it wasn’t too bad because shaving a mustache is simply a matter of starting at the corner of your mouth and shaving straight down.
Jeff Foxworthy says goatees are beards for men who like to shave. I consider a goatee a first draft of a real beard for guys who can’t commit. Colonel Sanders got by with it, but why take a chance?
I once went unshaven for a week to see what my beard would look like. Short answer: hideous. It grew in gray, grim and spotty as a Dalmatian dog hide. Never again.
Speaking of hairy faces – and chests – I’m still in mourning for Burt Reynolds, one of the coolest, funniest, hairiest actors ever. RIP, Bandit.
But I digress.
I’m glad I got this off my chest. No beard for me. Facial hair shouldn't be hard to handle. If that's not in the Bible, it should be. If you want a beard, grow it out like Grizzly Adams or Santa Claus.
And if you're gonna shave, shave. Slap on some soap, scrape your razor around, bandage the wounds and move on.
Whatever you decide to do, do it well.
Life’s too short for ugly.
Alex McRae is the author of There Ain’t No Gentle Cycle on the Washing Machine of Love. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org