On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 3:17 PM Clem Cole <clemc(a)ccc.com> wrote:
When I met my future wife I was 21, and she wanted me
to grow a beard, so
I did. Since then I have occasionally asked
coworkers who have complained
about shaving why *they* don't grow beards: the most common answer is "My
wife doesn't want me to."
Moved to COFF ... while bearded UNIX folks do seem to be a common thread,
I think we are stretching Warren's patience a tad. So ... I have sort
of a different story.
I had shaved in off and on during college and in the first few years I was
working but had grown it back before grad school. I still was not sure I
liked having it, and as I got close to finishing, I mentioned to my
officemates at UCB that I'd shave it when Newton (our advisor) signed my
thesis as a signal to everyone I was done.
So the day I came into the office clean-shaven, Peter Moore looks up and
remarked, 'now I know why you wore one.'
So, I showed up at Masscomp without it and was quickly ostracized as so
many of the SW team had some sort of facial hair, I quickly grew it back.
Roll forward 20ish years and my wife egged me into shaving it off one
summer weekend. Our then 5-year-old daughter cried -- she wanted her
Daddy back. I've had it ever since.
When I was in the Marine Corps I shaved nearly every day (the exceptions
were extended leaves back home or occasional extra-long missions in
Afghanistan when we were outside the wire). I once tried the
permitted-but-frowned-upon "low regulation" haircut and didn't like it. I
usually opted for the Navy standard "high regulation" haircut instead of
the super-motivated USMC "high and tight", which I always thought looked
goofy, and is the haircut they give you right before you graduate from boot
When I got out, I luxuriated in not shaving for weeks at a time because I
could and, frankly, no one would yell at me. When my kids were born, it
became a nuisance I would attend to as time permitted. When my youngest was
born, I was in the habit of shaving biweekly, if that. One time I let it
grow for a couple of months and then abruptly shaved at night; I remember
being nervous that she would not recognize me in the morning, but she saw
that I was clean shaven and actually gave me a big smile and seemed rather
delighted. I was secretly relieved.
That said, 20 years later she and her mother both claim I would look
younger if I shaved it. But at this point, I kinda
like not having to
shave my neck and lower chin every day if I don't want to; so I have
I still alternate between clean-shaven and not; mostly I prefer
clean-shaven because otherwise I tend to get bumps and generally find it
uncomfortable. At one point when I was young I had hair down to my
shoulders but honestly, I just can't pull off long hair anymore: I keep a
relatively short haircut. I haven't seen the inside of a barber shop since
the start of the pandemic, but I've shaved my head multiple times as I'm
reasonably certain I can do that without completely messing it up, and I
have clippers that will go down to the scalp. It grows back pretty quickly,
so I only look like a conehead for a couple of days; as we used to say in
the Corps, the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is a
- Dan C.