Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Justice Delayed

My Dad has had a beard most of my life. Its had a life of its own - various lengths, bushiness, scraggliness, groomedness (I made that word up), but its always been there. Just part of the landscape of his face. I always thought (still do) that it helped add up to his general handsomeness.

One day, when I was in high school, he came home with some bad news. Company policy had changed and all employees needed to be clean shaven for safety reasons, regardless of their (lack of) risk. Everyone in the family thought that, despite the obnoxiousness of the edict, it was going to be so much fun to find out what he looked like without that beard. Would he have a jaw (or be chinless like me? Why must that be my fate??!!) Would his skin be 8 or just 4 shades lighter than the rest of his face? Would mom have to knit him one of those special "beard hats" to keep his delicate skin warm during the harsh Maine winters? (I made that last one up, but it would have been kind of funny!)

the adult version was too creepy to show!

I was not wondering any of those things. I was 100% against any and all beard removal.

A couple of nights later I came home from basketball practice, innocent, happy, and unsuspecting. There in the dining room was my Dad, busy reading a book. I should have clued into something sinister going on since he was STANDING in the MIDDLE of the DINING ROOM "reading a book" and my brother and sister were flitting around him with excitement and anticipation, but, as I mentioned, I was innocent and naive.

Then he lowered the book.

And a stranger with my Dad's voice said "hi".

And I burst into tears and cried for a week.

I'm not even joking.

My Dad drove me to school and every morning that week we sat in silence as I tried not to cry. Because, as soon as he said anything the tears would spill out and make me even more pathetic.

Yes, I eventually got over it but, I also breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when he got a new job and grew that beard back right away!

Note: my brother thought I was totally ridiculous during this entire episode.

Justice Delayed:
I got a note from my sister-in-law the other day which said (I've replaced the names, don't be confused):

"We just thought of you because 'my brother' shaved off his beard and 'my sweet little niece' cried. He had a temporary mustache which was what really freaked her out! 

I replied back:

That is hysterical!!! I am in complete sympathy/empathy/horror with her! It is terribly traumatizing!!! 

So there. It's not just me!

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