In one of my rare, blatantly-contrairian actions, I committed what most Bears would call a “hate crime” and most Bears will cringe next time they see me.
The sanctum sanctorum of the Bear Community is facial hair. Yes, seriously. Facial Hair.
I don’t recall how long it’s been since I shaved my face completely, really I don’t. The only time I can actually place in time was back in 1996 or so, when on complete whim—just as today—I dug the razor into the bearded area and dispatched with it without a second thought. I know that time was 1996-ish because it served as an inspiration for a character in the novel that I wrote, A Strong Sense of Place.I know I’d done it at least once or twice between then and now, but I never did understand the big deal. This must be the equivalent of a woman going for a short haircut, or—gasp!—bangs and feeling traumatized by the whole thing.
No trauma here, but there is a small delight in making a change and a small boost in having committed the murder of a beard.
I do remember that whenever I’d shaved it off last time, the outsized men had an outsized reaction. Well, a couple of reactions anyway:
- they failed to recognize me for a few heartbeats, and when they did, there were involuntary cringes on their faces, sort of like when Gwyneth Paltrow showed up at the Oscars wearing that hideous dress that made her look like she was perpetually hunched forward and also made her breasts look like they just joined AARP
- I got smiled at and cruised by men (and boys) who previously paid no attention to me
I swear to GoB that these things happened.
You’d think I drowned a kitten just to watch it die.
Come to think of it, that may have been the first time I started to realize how dead-serious the Bears take their body hair.
O, the Gore!