I've been writing about sports, music , TV and movies a lot lately.
Today, I'm going to go way off topic and talk about beards. I have a beard, but I'm not happy with the way I'm treated because I have a beard.
Now, I'm not treated poorly or differently from people without beards but, when I see another person with a beard they always seem to want to talk to me. I don't even know these people, but they feel a connection to me because we both have beards. Minus the facial hair, I'm sure we have nothing in common. These guys who share the same facial hair choice with me seem to be really into grooming their beards. They have them shaved in certain, "fashionable" ways or they have them combed in a specific way, or they have it in almost a hairdo type of way. Me, I have a "I'm too lazy to shave" type of way. I know that it's hip and cool to have a beard now. It's the new fashion trend for men. Much like the skinny jean or the glasses with no lenses, beards are having their day. The problem I have is the hipsters that groom these beards. You see guys out there with their handlebar mustaches that now have an equally groomed beard. This sickens me. Or, guys who have faux hawks and have a beard. How much more of a douchebag can you be. I'm a big Bryce Harper fan, but he looks like the definition of a douchebag frat boy with his hairdo and beard. There's also the guys with the "gruff" beard. This is done purposefully by these people. Just like shaggy hair was a thing in high school, having a "gruff"(I put it in quotes because these guys chose this look, they're doing it on purpose) beard is in. I believe the term thrown around is a "lumberjack beard". Do you know why lumberjack's have beards? It's not a fashion statement, these guys work in the absolute freezing cold, so a beard is just another layer of warmth for them. They don't do it to be fashionable, they do it to stay warm.
Now, I've had a beard for about 4 years straight. I shaved it completely off once because I lost 100 pounds and I wanted to see what my face looked like, but for most of my sons life, he's three and a half, I've had a full beard. I don't know why I started to grow it when I did. I guess it was because I started to lose my hair. I started going bald about eight years ago, but I was fully bald about five years ago. So, I guess I wanted to have hair somewhere on my face, so I chose a beard. When I started to grow it, I had bald patches right by my cheeks, so it took awhile for a full, big beard to grow. I didn't grow it big for fashion reasons, I grew it big so it looked full. It was around this same time that I noticed beards popping up almost everywhere. I'd go to the grocery store or the movies or even the mall, and about fifty percent of men had beards. No one was really doing anything fashionable at this time though. I was also given my first business card from a stranger promoting his beard grooming barber shop. This was when I started to become disillusioned with beards because I knew that something douchey and hipstery was coming.
And boy did it come with a huge explosion. I'd say the number jumped to about seventy five percent of men with beards (numbers are not exact). Still, I wasn't going to shave. Personally, I like having a beard because I feel that my face looks young without it. I like looking older. About nine months ago I had a normal sized beard, not too big, not too small. My wife told me she was pregnant with our second child and after an embrace, lots of hugs and kisses, I told her I wasn't going to shave until the baby was born. We are now six days away from the birth of my daughter. My beard is humongous(see above picture). I'm excited to get it trimmed after the baby is born because it is getting tangled and it's hard to clean thoroughly in the shower, basically it's more a hassle than anything else. Like I said, I'm going to keep my beard, but it doesn't need to be this huge.
The next thing I'm going to tell you almost made me shave my beard off last week. I was at Target with my wife and son and my parents. We were going through the check out aisle and another gentleman, a very nice guy in fact, came up to me with a business card, that's two for those of you counting out there, and it simply read, "Sweet Beard". This was all I saw at first, and even though this guy was very nice, I was angry. I was sick and tired of guys slapping me five or talking to me about grooming beards or casually telling me "nice beard" from a distance. I was fed up and I didn't want this card. I looked at him with a grimace on my face and quietly and angrily said "Thanks". I think he sensed my anger and softly told me, "my shop for beard grooming is on the back if you want to come by and get a trim". As I said, he was very nice and there was no need for me to be so mad. But then I looked at his beard and became even more upset. He had a HUGE beard, perfectly groomed. I wanted to scream at him, "I DIDN'T DO THIS FOR FASHION REASONS, I"M JUST LAZY!" I didn't do that because I'm a human being and I understand that I shouldn't act like a crazed lunatic to someone that's being nice to me (I have the internet as a place to act like a crazed lunatic).
But this brings me to the most important thing in my piece. I just cracked why I choose to have a beard. It was simple and has been staring me in the face for four years now. I'm lazy. I don't like to shave and the clean up afterward is too much. I don't like keeping my trimmers charged and I'm not going to use a straight razor because they burn my face. See, I found multiple reasons why I won't, but someone will read this and think that all that stuff is easy to do. But like I just said, I'm lazy. I'm not fashionable by any means necessary, and I didn't grow this beard to be "cool", I did it because I'm lazy.
It's as simple as that.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. His beard is the reason we hear Ty and do not see him. Wish him good luck with the new kid by following Ty on twitter @tykulik.