Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Beard Phenomena- Post From TGOO

(This is with regard to THIS post... the comment section in particular.)

And speaking of beards, I observed an interesting phenomenon some years ago when I first grew mine out. It came in mostly gray, with a touch of its original dark brown here and there. Walking from the parking lot into a store, drivers would stop their cars 50 feet away to ensure I didn’t feel threatened or needed to hurry. Young women about to enter the store would see me coming and wait until I was at the door, then they’d open it for me to go in first. It really felt strange for a man who regularly ran 25-30 miles a week, was still fearless and was still almost bullet proof.

So I died my beard back to the color it would have been when I was young, dark brown. This changed everything. Cars wouldn’t even slow down as I stepped into the walkway. One man in a pick up actually accelerated so I’d have to walk faster. And the young women who used to open doors for me now hurried to get out of my way. Now, instead of being an old man, I had become a menace. The Southern custom of taking care of the old folks no longer applied to me.

Somewhere in this phenomenon is a doctoral thesis for some sociology PhD candidate.

Some 10 years or so later, my beard is gray again. The touches of original dark brown are completely gone. I recognize that I’m no longer fearless; it takes less energy to just walk away than it does to go nose to nose with someone. The chronic aches that I live with as a result of my youthful activities assure me that I am no longer bullet proof. Scars from shoulder surgery look back at me when I trim my beard. And my knees ache when I merely walk a few miles.

I’m letting my beard grow really long for Christmas. It’ll look good when I wear my Santa hat. And it’s nice to be down here where the young folks were raised to respect the gray beards with the big bellys


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