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  • Paul Davidson

How My Goatee Transformed My Life (Or, Shaving Accidents)

Years ago, I was fed up with being “the nice guy.”

And so one day, without warning, I put down my shaver and screamed to the skies (much like Kirk did in the famous second feature length movie of the Star Trek phenom), “I will refrain from shaving until my goatee has fully grown in!”

It took about five days.

The idea had emerged months before. I saw people everywhere with goatees and women on their arms. They acted like they had zero cares in the world. They did what they wanted, they said what they wanted, and their goatee seemed to back them up.

I would do the same thing.

Initially, once the goatee had grown in, I started systematically changing my personality. I snarled pretty reguarly and often expressed myself with statements like “Whatever”, “Like I care” and “Do what you want, it’s your life.” These came across so much better with the goatee saying them, and based on the initial successes of my goatee-dom, I decided that the ultimate test was imminent.

My friend invited me out with his new girlfriend and her friend later that night.

Throughout the whole evening I allowed my personality to be swayed by the devil-may-care attitude of the goatee. If the goatee thought what her friend was saying was b.s., well the goatee would channel such an opinion through my mouth. If the goatee wanted another beer, it’d ask the girl to get it for him. The equation had come full circle:

Facial hair + attitude = Success!

Needless to say, my friend’s friend was taken by me, the goatee, and the attitude that spilled forth from my voice-box. The night resulted in a string of dates with said friend’s friend, where the goatee continued to rule the events in question, snarling with a variety of careless comments that, surprisingly, were never challenged or looked down upon. The growth of the goatee had turned me, yes, into a different person — but that person was living THE life.

Then came the shaving accident.

Keeping a goatee groomed is a tough assignment. The lines, the angles — they all must be kept in perfect symmetrical harmony. Yet one afternoon, prior to another evening with the friend’s friend — my hand slipped. A small corner of the goatee’s left side had been harmed. I tried with all precision to fix it. Before long, like a man’s dead leg having to be amputated, the soul patch and bottom left corner of the goatee had been eviscerated.

What remained was a moustache and a chin patch.

After careful consideration, the decision was made — the remaining hair would have to go, returning my face to the smooth, youthful look it had experienced prior to the goatee experiment. But as I looked in the mirror I wondered to myself if after all this time, meeting someone and getting to know each other and laughing and what not — would a lack of goatee really change everything?

Uh, yeah.

That night was the last date I would ever have with the friend’s friend, as the lack of goatee removed the mystery, rebelliousness and personality that had once spilled forth like an out of control dam. The goatee was gone, and so was the girl.

Although some have said that the moral of the story is that you have to be yourself and can’t pretend to be someone you’re not, I can’t help but think that the real moral of the story is this: If you can’t be sure that you know how to shave a goatee…grow a beard.

You may feel like Kenny Loggins or Willie Nelson, but at least you won’t have to worry about shaving.

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