Sunday, September 29, 2019

Finding the new me after 40 years

I didn't think that shaving off my goatee – which I did on Tuesday – then putting a picture of the newly clean-shaven me on Facebook, was such a big deal.

Not at first.

 But the picture generated 80 comments and 117 thumbs ups, hearts or wows among my friends and acquaintances. Amazing. I've never had any post ever come close to those numbers before now.

As I explained in the original post, I shaved it off because Kim said she'd like to see me without facial hair at least once in our marriage, which will soon reach 39 years together (that's worth a 'wow', I think). Because she's been so phenomenal in my recovery from recent colon resection surgery, I figured the least I could do, like Zoltar, was grant this wish for her.

So I did it. What a guy.

A lot of people have asked her how she likes the new-look me, and she'll tell them, that after her initial shock, it's growing on her.

Nobody asks me how I like it.

Let me put it this way: the other morning, I figured it was time to shave off the three days growth that had creeped out on my face. It had been at least 45 years – maybe longer – since my last full facial shave.

Turns out, I might have forgotten how to shave with a razor. I had trouble negotiating under my nose and I actually drew blood (something a guy on blood thinners doesn't want) when I nicked the corner of my mouth. I was going with the grain, against the grain, up this way, down that way, here, there and everywhere. Oops.

All of this reminded me why I hated to shave in the first place. I don't know how most women do it when they shave every body hair in sight, every day.

Then I looked at the face in the mirror. A hard look. The first real look since I shaved off the goatee on Tuesday. I saw a stronger chin than I remembered, but jowls were forming on the perimeters and they were somewhat accented by dimples I forgot I had. I think I surprised myself. Older? Younger? Thinner? I'm not sure I really have a grasp for myself. I'll allow myself an "I guess it's OK."

For now.

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