I haven’t written a blog post lately because I’ve been busy growing a beard. My wife doesn’t understand how labor intensive growing a beard can be.
Often she’ll come home from work and say, “Did you finish the laundry I started?”
“Sorry,” I’ll say. “I was busy growing my beard and never had time to do it.”
“So you goofed off all day,” she’ll say giving me a dirty look.
That’s the way she is. If I’m not doing something for her, it doesn’t count as work. Personally, I’m not that narrow-minded. Often she’ll spend the day cooking, cleaning the house, mowing the yard, shoveling snow or trimming the bushes, and do I complain? Of course not. I realize she needs her fun time. Sure she could be doing more important things like oiling my fishing reels or sharpening my fillet knives, but I understand that she needs time to goof off. I have my fun times, too. But when I’m doing seriously important work such as watching football, taking a nap or growing a beard, she needs to understand that just because it’s not for her doesn’t mean she can denigrate it.
I think the problem is she doesn’t like me with a beard. Her friends don’t like me with a beard either, and her friends’ friends don’t like me with a beard. I’m sure there are people I don’t even know and have never seen me who don’t like me with a beard. It’s the strangest thing, because by all rationale the more of my face that is covered the better off I should be.
When I was six my friend Buzzy and I decided to grow beards, because we were going to be mountain men and mountain men don’t shave. I must have looked pretty good with it, because I didn’t shave for the next ten years and never heard a single negative comment.
When you’re six you don’t care what people think about you anyway, especially girls. Girls were just sissy guys who had to wear dresses to school and church even when the temperature outside was below zero. Occasionally I would find my eyes lingering on another first-grader, Mary Kurl, longer than they did on other people, stupid eyes—it was something I would have died before letting Buzzy know.
Mary was a little blue-eyed blonde who, even at six, had legs that wouldn’t quit. I’m serious. She was always running and skipping everywhere. Playing hopscotch and jumping rope. Sometimes I’d yell at her, “Hey Mary, sit down for a minute, will you? Give those legs a rest, already.” I think if Mary had asked me to shave my beard, I might have … but don’t tell Buzzy.
When I grew my beard before, I let it get a little long. This time I’m keeping it close-cut so I can look cool like Brett Favre and Matthew McConaughey. My mountain man is still there, but now he’s internal and wears a full beard while he gobbles down hardtack, jerky and pemmican. The good thing about having him internal is I don’t have to have a long beard that my wife hates, and I don’t have to gobble down hardtack, jerky and pemmican.
My new novel The Almond People will be out in a couple months. Those of you who read it, I would really appreciate a review. I can’t stress how important reviews are to authors. My last novel In The Lake had a few reviews and Amazon took them down for some reason. I’m not sure why. I think I had the beard at the time. So that may have had something to do with it.
Below are links to my books on Wings epress. Check out their site.