At first it was just a lark. I was working with a roofing crew the last two weeks of the summer and it seemed the natural course of things to try to blend in, especially after they found out I had no criminal record. Plus, I was lazy. Not shaving meant I had an extra ten minutes in the morning, precious time when you're waking at 4:30 a.m.
But the beard-growing became more deliberate when I contemplated the maturing effect it has on my baby face, which belies my 28 years. I was about to start teaching English to college freshman and I didn't want to look like a student. When people guess my age it's usually in the 23-25 range, which is roughly the same age as some of the freshmen at Montgomery and NOVA. So I've kept it a few weeks into the semester to establish myself as an authority figure. All fear me.
People say I look good with a beard, that it "works." Someone even said, "As a rule I don't like beards, but yours isn't bad."But I'm still not sure bearded is really me. I look in the mirror and continue to surprise myself with my appearance. What's more, sometimes it itches, especially on humid days. And you know that comforting feeling that washes over you when you turn your pillow over and it's cool on the other side. I don't feel it anymore, just bristles.
So, it's time to cast your vote. Beard or no. Plenty of pros and cons, which balances the scales and makes me indecisive. Your vote could tip the balance.