So I haven't shaved since the end of July. Why? I guess I'm not quite sure. I stayed pretty clean shaven all summer while working at my firm, so perhaps it was a reflexive reaction to the tyranny of frequent shaving.
I'll come right out and admit it. I've never been a big fan of the daily shave. It chafes. While I was a student at BYU (where the honor code requires men to be clean shaven) I even got myself a "beard card" (a shaving exemption requiring a doctor's note). The official line was that I had a mild case of pseudofolliculitis barbae and so my doctor "prescribed" me facial hair.
Left to my own devices, I typically shave every week or so. My current beard started out as nothing more than pure laziness. As I wrapped up my summer work, I jumped on a number of home improvement projects and shaving just wasn't a priority. Once I'd made it past the "sandpaper" stage (usually a week and a half or two), Melbo stopped complaining (er... as much). From there, the beard just gained momentum. It became something of a conscious undertaking. I decided if I was ever going to just "let it all go," now was my chance. I had no looming interviews, no clients to impress, no events to oversee, and no weighty Church callings to live up to. It became sort of self-perpetuating. The longer it grew, the more curious I became to see how long it could get.
Five months long now and my curiosity has been satiated. Maybe if I was tending a lodge in Alaska I'd have more patience, but as things stand now, enough's enough. So as part of Melissa's Christmas present, I shaved this weekend. In stages of course.
The first left me with lambchop sideburns that hung two inches past my jaw (of which there is no photographic evidence). Then I went to the biker bush (this was a big hit at Church). And finally I scaled back to the well-trimmed goat. I'll probably stick this out awhile. While growing a beard is fun... it's suprising what a little shave does to Melbo's libido.