Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

The VanDyke is my friend: adventures in facial hair

I'm so glad facial hair is one of my grooming options. Once upon a time, it wasn't. And with my being one of the quieter, less obvious heterosexual men in the world, I caused confusion.

Confusion = me being called "ma'am" to my face twice back when I was a junior high school student.

That was the late '80s, late 1986 to mid-1988, when I was in junior high. I had short hair and a body build that made me not so obviously either gender, especially when I was wearing a padded coat 'cause it was winter in Virginia. Now I wish I had recordings of what my voice sounded like back then, because after several years on-and-off of speech therapy I'd developed a surprisngly precise speaking style that made some people think I was from New England...or from England. (Before speech therapy, I had trouble pronouncing my Rs. After it, I was watching loads of Monty Python and picking up on those accents.) I think my voice was unexpected, too, in some way. Did I sound like a man? Did I sound like a woman? I don't really remember, because only I hear my voice from inside my own head, so of course it doesn't sound like what everyone else hears.

Anyway. Facial hair. I never grew it until college, when my electric shaver broke. Broke = the shaver started eating bits of itself, and I thought If that's chewing through metal I do not want that touching my face! No time or money for haircuts, either, so my hair was, well, no longer so short. It never got very long, I'm not meant to have long hair (not even mullet-length hair), but it came out more wavy than it had for all those years I'd kept it short. (Oh, and another thing. Until about Grade 5 or so, my hair'd been straight. Straight straight straight. Then one area above my right eye started curling, and only that area, and this drove me to distraction enough that I cut off that nub of hair a couple of times. Then I got it professionally cut again because I have no haristyling skills and my impromptu cut made my hair look unbalanced and should Chris be given scissors? awkward. But my hair was wavy hair screaming to get out, and get out it finally did.) At its longest and most epic, my facial hair was longish and wispy and almost like the lead singer of the Spin Doctors's facial hair; later it settled into not being too long, even if I don't touch it. I'm better at trimming now, too. I've learned hair care stuff!

And I guess I'm more obviously male in my look now, as it's been two decades since being called "ma'am" in public. (I've also never been been called "ma'am" in private. That's not my kink.) Though if I did look like a woman, even with facial hair, my town of Portland would have my back. Portland's home to several bearded women. Rick Emerson on his radio show once said that people had harassed some of our town's bearded women and that those harassers should stop it. Rick said "Let's not be stalking the bearded lady. Though let's all admit that 'stalking the bearded lady' sounds like something really exotic."

This has been nicely random, this entry.

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