This Labor Day was the twentieth anniversary since I grew a goatee. Haven’t seen the ugly under those hair follicles in this century!
Several weeks ago Janet and I traveled, and in Keystone, South Dakota, I shaved.
I was shocked! Without hair on my face, everything looked different!
At least my receding hair line, even if it’s in a steady retreat, is a gradual reveal. It’s like a slow descent plane landing. But shaving cold turkey and going lickety-split from whiskers to clean shaven after twenty years, well that’s an engine failure crash landing!
I felt like I needed to introduce myself to the guy staring back at me in the mirror! Who is this stranger?
The worst part, however, was somehow, sometime in last twenty years, someone snuck another chin under the original! It doesn’t look like a double chin with facial hair, right?
But now, my face looks pregnant! Nine months. With twins!
That stranger in the mirror looked like Porky Pig! Bada, Bada, bada, that’s right folks! I felt oddly like murals painted on the wall of a restaurant we ate at in Wyoming…
Man, I gotta lose some weight! Ain’t nobody want to see pizza, potato chips and Oreos stored under your chin!
I’ve seen thanksgiving turkeys with smaller gobblers on their throats!
Now I’m terrified to turn my head too fast. That hanging gobbler chin could whip around and hit me upside the head! I could get a concussion for crying out loud!
I’m pretty sure Janet didn’t think I’d actually shave. After shaving, I asked what she thought.
She didn’t really say. Hmmm.
With a great deal of tact, she just sweetly mumbled something about a “new look”, but she fell in love with me with whiskers, but either way.
So help me out here – does that mean thumbs up or down? Like, or dislike?
Uh huh. I thought so.
I looked for support from my four daughters by texting a clean shaven picture. And support from the daughters? None! Zilch! Zero!
They texted back individually, and I quote …. “Grow again.”, “PLEASE, grow it back!”, “Grow it again!” and, “Weird!! You look like Blake!” (my oldest son).
I kept asking Janet throughout our trip, and each time I received a carefully worded non answer.
The day I shaved was primarily a driving day. As we trecked across Montana, I remembered something they did on a Hollywood star show I saw — face exercises!
You hold your jaw all tensed up and try to dig a ditch with your chin as the shovel. Then you open and close your mouth a hundred times, followed by half smiles where you try to touch your cheek to the corner of your eye.
I didn’t do well on the nose wiggles, but I could feel the burn on tongue push ups where you push the tip of your tongue back past your wisdom teeth as far as you can!
While we drove, I was sneaking in face exercises when Janet was reading and enjoying the sights out her window.
But then, then she caught me with my face all contorted.
“What are you doing?!”
I explained the concept of face work outs. The more I talked, the more she laughed. It was embarrassing!
In Montana though, I came up with an untested theory! Supposedly, it’s impossible to lick your own ear.
But here’s the theory….if you stick out your tongue as far as possible, then jerk your head fast enough, wouldn’t the gobbler chin swing, catch the tongue, and push it over to your ear!? You may sprain your tongue, but if it works, here I come Guinness Book of World Records!
I could even test the theory at a nursing home where there’s lots of gobblers!
Anyway, the rest of that day I’d glance in the rear view mirror to see if my chin muscles were tightening up, or if my mustache and goatee were growing back.
Nothing. Not even razor stubble.
All I’d see is the lily white skin on my upper lip and chin. I felt so, I don’t know, vulnerable and exposed.
Felt as naked as a newborn! And that skin with no tan made my mouth look like a talking baby’s bottom! I need a Pampers for my mouth, something.
Then a Steven King fear hit me. What if shaving my goatee caused face baldness?! My face would be like my head! Yikes!! It’d be like one of those hairless cats that look like someone used electrolysis all over it!
I don’t need electrolysis. I just need chin liposuction!
Our trip was great! Saw some beautiful territory and thoroughly enjoyed the time!
By the end of the week, at least a few pictures started showing a few bits of stubble, albeit mainly gray.
It’s all motivated me to hit the gym and keep doing face exercises. I still don’t turn my head too fast though, just in case.
I figured this out too! If I edit our vacation pictures and crop out my double chin, no one will ever know now! Wink, wink!