Photo: Faith Goble, Flickr Creative Commons
My beard feels really soft today. It's usually pretty coarse, especially around the chin. Maybe my beard is trying to suck up to me because it knows that I'm considering taking it off this weekend. We got our official photos from school photo day this morning. I'm not sure why I get a package every year. I never pay for it and I think it usually ends up in the trash after mouldering under stacks of ungraded papers for months on my desk. Usually, I'm disgusted by my own face. I'm intellectually aware that I'm not an attractive man, but that image of me in my own head is just a little more attractive than that visage with the squinty eyes, strange lumps, and grossly over-sized head that always shocks me when I see a photo of myself. And for the past few years, the fact that those photos always showed a puffier version of myself than I'd like to see didn't help matters any.
Of course this time, the base homeliness was still there, but the puffiness was greatly reduced. I lose weight from the nipples up and the waist down, so when I lost 20 lbs. earlier this year my face really slimmed up and my butt and legs went from almost ripped to just ripped. I exaggerate the tenacity of my gut, but not by a lot.
It's the beard this time that shocks me most this time. I knew it was thinner than I'd like, a fact that still surprises me considering the ample supply of homegrown fiber clinging to my back and chest, but I really didn't realize just how ratty it looked. Of course it was shorter at the time of the photo. I'd just trimmed it down for the start of school and I'm sure it's fuller looking now after three weeks of growth, but I think it's time to move on without my beard and check back with it again when I'm older and hairier.