Take that, facial hair fascists: A squirrel will be on my face

Sorry I haven’t been writing so many posts recently. It really has been non stop over these past four or five weeks. And now that I’ve got a chance to relax I’m just relaxing.

I’m a little bit worried about what my colleagues at work might think about me. Since I started working I’ve noticed that people talk behind one another’s backs quite a lot. Of course, I wasn’t naive enough to expect that it never happened. But the amount that it happens was a bit of a surprise. It’s not an act that I could keep up. I’m not very good at lying. I just start sniggering uncontrollably.

One time recently at work I was even more tired than normal because I was ill with the cold. I was puffing and wheezing and generally grumbly. When we were getting ready to finish, one person stage-whispered, “Duncan ran out of razors last night.”

I didn’t understand the comment. The only explanation I could think of was that because I was downcast with my illness it was some kind of comment about depression or something. But the comment would only make sense if I already had a reputation as a self-harming manic depressive. Was this what my colleagues thought of me??

The comment suddenly made sense the next time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I was beginning to sport a beard. It was an innocent comment about my untidy appearance. Phew.

Whenever I’m busy or tired — like I have been for the past few weeks — there is a certain five minute long routine which is always the first to be knocked off the schedule. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I really can’t be bothered shaving. Imagine if all the time people spent shaving was instead used for doing something useful. I think you’ll agree; the world would be a much better place.

Yet society deems bearded people to be potential axe-murderers or rapists. Or maybe just lazy bastards who can’t be bothered to shave. The whole beard thing became even worse when I realised that it made people think that I was ginger, a crime which for some people is right up there with axe-murdering and raping.

So I decided last year to start shaving regularly for the first time in an attempt to clean up my appearance. But there’s only a certain amount of time that you can shave every day and feel as though it is time well spent. As far as I can make out, it hasn’t altered the way people treat me. And it’s no use having a tidy appearance in the facial hair department if you only get your haircut twice annually or whatever (I haven’t had time to do that either). All it means is that my stupid, poncey face is exposed.

What I’ve discovered about shaving is that if you don’t shave absolutely every day it becomes the thin end of a very slippery wedge. It starts off when I just miss a day because I’m expecting to be indoors all day. Fair enough. Then I decided not to shave whenever I didn’t have to work. Then I started not to shave even when I did have work.

I was shaving every two or three days. Then it was every three or four days. Now it’s about once a week, twice on the odd occasion. The thing about leaving such big gaps between shaving sessions is that because your hair is longer the razor gets clogged up really easily, so the process takes even longer.

Now it’s clear that I value those five minutes per day far more than having an unhairy face. So I’m thinking — despite society’s apparent unease with anybody hiding their face even with perfectly natural facial hair — that I should just grow back my beard. Why the hell not?

I’m not sure what work will think about it though. I’m determined to turn up on Friday looking like I have a squirrel living on my face to see what they say.


  1. When you have a dark beard (mine hair is almost black) then shaving every day is the only alternative to a beard, so you are fortunate if you can get away with it for a day or two. Indeed, when I did grow mine, I’m so hirsute, that it was overpowering. I tried designer stubble for a while, but that needed regular trimming.

    Hair is a funny thing. People can be remarkably rude about it. Frankly, do what you want to do and damn their eyes.

  2. The ‘bitching about colleagues’ thing…get used to it! Best thing to do is to ignore it (unless it’s a friend they’re moaning about, in which case, tell them to get stuffed!)

  3. […] The only other option is not to write any cards at all, but is that really a viable option? No matter what course of action I take, I will be committing some kind of horrendous faux pas that will undoubtedly be generating conversations whenever I’m not around. Apart from that, I can only phone in sick every day between now and Christmas, but that probably wouldn’t make me very popular with the boss. […]

  4. Crazy isn’t it, that we order our lives around what other people think?!

    I reckon that if you’re comfortable in your own skin and it doesn’t affect your job – just go for it, why not?

    By the way, am reading a book about how rich people think – here’s what it says:-

    “Millionaires talk about ideas … The middle class talk about things … and the poor talk about people”. If you bear that in mind, maybe you can walk round with a really smug look on your face as you’ve saved five minutes AND you know that you’re not going to sink to their level.