The time that I had a shave and gave my wife a heart attack.
Looking back, I don’t know what possessed me to suddenly shave my beard off. I had been carefully growing it for years, and when I say carefully, I mean carefully. You see, growing a beard isn’t just a case of binning your razor and hoping for the best. It takes daily conditioning, careful sculpting and endless brushing; even then it still looks like you have a birds nest on your face at least 90% of the time.
All of that is worth it though, for the one day a month when your facial hair actually looks pretty good. I’d even gone as far as joining a beard club, to talk to other men with beards about beards. So, yeah my beard was pretty important to me.
Anyway, after nearly two years of developing my beard, I woke up one extremely messy-beard day and decided it had to go. This was a pretty big deal and something I ended up mulling over for most of the day before I finally picked up the razor and began. I was expecting that, post-shave, I would recapture my youth and look exactly as I did during my 18–19 year old glory days. Being very nearly 30, I should have realised that, that probably wasn’t going to happen.
My memory of the actual shave is pretty hazy, but from what I can remember, the feeling of excitement very quickly turned to horror as I started to resemble a giant wrinkly man baby. Once the realisation had set in, I assessed my options and immediately established that I had no real options. I either had to go all the way or leave some form of weird goatee, which would cause me to look like a 70’s sex pest. I had to go all the way. Off the beard went.
This is where the story gets interesting. My wife, being a doctor, had been working nights and was sound asleep as I wrestled with the “to shave or not to shave” decision. As a result, she had no idea what I was contemplating and had gone to bed with me looking like a triumphant viking warrior (if I do say so myself!). It is fair to say that she was probably not expecting to wake up to someone with a face as smooth as Austin Powers on a date.
At this point, I knew I could have a bit of fun. As I have said, I had had the beard for two years and I was pretty sure that in her exhausted post-night shift wake up, she would not realise that the shiny chin in front of her belonged to her beloved husband.
Time to wake her up then.
I snuck into the bedroom and nervously peered over her, judging with precision the distance that would cause maximum fear whilst keeping my face in focus for her sleepy eyes. I reached out and turned on the bed light.
As a result of waking up to a stranger in front of her, Hope started blindly hitting out and I came about half a millimetre from being caught with a right hook. It took about 20 seconds for the screaming to subside and, at that point, Hope started to realise what had happened. Only then did it dawn on me that I had probably gone too far. No amount of back-tracking was going to get me out of this one.
Luckily, with Hope being on nights, I was not sent to sleep on the sofa. Although, I ended up having to get out of bed very early in the morning, before she got home, as I could not settle. I know she is going to get me back at some point. She has this unparalleled skill, in that she will never let something go.
All in all, the shave was a disaster and the plan to scare Hope was even more so. Not my best decision and I have a feeling I am still waiting to be able to fully assess the repercussions of the eventful day.
On a side note, the beard is being re-started and has now grown some of the way back. Only another 2 years of growing left before it is back to how it was before.