I thought I had mercifully escaped all the pandemic grooming issues. In the early days when salons were shut down, I had to do my own gray hair color remediation. While it wasn’t a complete disaster it was certainly something I don’t ever want to do ever again.
Color is tricky. The box might say “dark golden brown” but on your head that shade can veer right into Ronald McDonald orange territory. I learned the hard way to stay clear of any color that contained the word “golden” because at least on my hair, it was code for Carrot Top.
If you’re old enough to remember Sun In, the spray-on hair lightener that was 100% guaranteed to turn your hair orange in the amount of time it took to apply Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil (SPF 0) to your entire body, then you’ll understand what my hair looked like.
My vegetable-hued follicles were nothing compared to living through my husband’s months long adventure of growing his hair out, which I will graciously say is, umm, a look that perhaps isn’t suited to his face shape. I told him if he entered man bun territory, we would need to have a very serious discussion.
Now, though, a man bun sounds quaint, even delightful. I say this because my husband has grown a beard. I have nothing against beards. I like beards. I just don’t know if I like having a front row seat to my husband’s beard journey of self-discovery.
He’s gone deep into the land of beards. Discussing his beard has become one of his favorite topics of conversation. He’s yet to decide on what his beard should look like. I cautiously asked him if he was going for a jolly Santa Claus vibe (please, no) or more of a couple of days of growth of stubble which means he would need to immediately shave.
His beard has permeated every facet of our lives. For example, when the Chiefs were playing the Browns, were we talking about the Chiefs? No: We were discussing the beard of the Browns’ coach Kevin Stefanski. In terms of beards, it’s a good one. Honestly in regard to facial hair and head coaches that were on the field that day it gets the W over Andy Reid’s mustache. Not that Reid doesn’t have a magnificently lush mustache, mind you.
Our children are even becoming concerned. Our daughter, who’s away at school, immediately called me after FaceTiming with her dad to ask, “Is that beard for real?”
“Oh, it’s for real all right,” I told her. Then she sighed and inquired, “Well, will it be gone by the time I get home for Thanksgiving?”
I confessed I didn’t know the answer and then had to share the hard truth that there was a chance he could decide to go full Santa by then because the beard situation remains in flux.
Her response was a succinct, “I find that frightening.”
My husband has even begun using his beard as a bargaining chip. He told me that if his beloved University of Texas football team lost a game, he was shaving off his beard. They lost to Arkansas by 19 points and the beard remains.
It’s not like my husband hasn’t trimmed his beard. He seesaws back and forth between deciding to let it go free range and keeping it “business casual.” Currently we’re in the business casual mode and in the immortal words of our son, “let’s hope that’s the worst of it.”
I don’t think it is. I have a feeling I just can’t shake that Santa Claus is coming to town.
Reach Sherry Kuehl at email@example.com, on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs on Instagram @snarky.in.the.suburbs, and snarkyinthesuburbs.com.