Having a beard is something all bearded men take pride in. It is a badge of honor -- a marquis aspect of their appearance and a display of brute manhood. As a bearded man myself, I believe I can speak for the bulk of my bearded brethren when I say we are truly grateful for our facial follicles.
Depending on the type of beard you have, onlookers will take notice. Whether you're at the grocery store, bar or even just taking a stroll through town, it is rare that a good hearty beard will go overlooked. Beards garner attention, and with that attention often comes comments.
Here are a few things that bearded men are tired of hearing:
1. “Dude, how long did it take you to grow that?”
This is one of the more popular questions amongst the facial hair spectators, and rarely ever has an answer. It is not as though there is a specific start and/or end date to the growth process. “The day I started not shaving” is not exactly something one marks down on their calendar. Beards do not come with a birth certificate, nor are they marked with an expiration date.
2. “Can I touch it?”
While this question is generally asked out of pure flattery, it is generally not responded with approval or excitement. Beards are much better left untouched, as opposed to being thoroughly probed by the hands of strangers.
The enthrallment of spectators is indeed appreciated, however the extent of the interest is better left at a non-physical level. Asking to touch another person's face is typically not kosher, and bearded men should not be exempt from this.
3. “You have (insert food item) stuck in your beard.”
Though this comment is usually verbalized in order to be helpful, it never gets any less embarrassing. A desperate, awkward retort such as, “Oh, I meant for it to be there, saving it for later,” generally follows in a last ditch effort in order to save face.
Or maybe we're just feeding our beards because they are hungry? Either way, all bearded men have accepted the fact that their beards also double as food Velcro. You just have to take the good with the bad.
4. *While looking at any form of photo ID* “Is this really you?”
Whether you're at the liquor store scooping up a 30-rack, checking in at an airport or renting a car, there's a good chance you'll run into this question. If your current ID is unfortunately in your clean-shaven state, you're practically begging for the unneeded skepticism or painfully unfunny jokes. Yes, that person is me. I have just taken an extended hiatus from razors; let's carry on with our business.
5. “Are you just too lazy to shave?”
This question is arguably the most disrespectful question of the bunch. Much to the disbelief of non-bearded humans, there is actually no room for laziness when it comes to growing a beard. Whether it be trimming, styling or even waxing, the upkeep and overall maintenance of a beard requires a very precise attention to detail.
The beard you see in public isn't simply a product of just rolling out of bed; a lot of time and effort has been put in.
When you grow and/or have a beard, not only have you welcomed all the benefits of facial hair, but you have also opened the floodgates for a laundry list of worn out questions and comments. To all my fellow bearded fellows out there, I wish you well in your quest of taking these remarks in stride and not losing your sanity.