A Close Shave

Time to hide the razor?

We’re just a month out from the end of the year. December for many means Santa Claus known for his beard, red suit, and rotund figure. This month is also known for its connection to facial hair and that’s the topic on deck today.

For nearly a decade or more, No Shave November or Movember has grown in popularity among men as an opportunity to celebrate facial hair. A handful of women have also opted to participate in No Shave November by avoiding shaving their legs.

No Shave November is not only about shelving razors and keeping facial hair untouched but also to bring awareness to prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. Many of those growing out their facial hair set goals that if they can reach so many inches with their beard, they will donate an amount relative to the length of their facial hair.

I usually take advantage of the month to avoid shaving and growing out my facial hair. Thanks to my attempted Halloween costumes that required a clean-shaven look I’m only sporting a little more than 5 o’clock shadow. Eventually, it should reach a length that I like. Normally, I’d already have some facial hair and have a head start on facial hair for the month.

Of course, as I’m always challenged by my boyish good looks, the facial hair doesn’t help. I’ve tried shaving more often but it still doesn’t grow in thick enough to my satisfaction. Besides that, my beard usually begins to itch as it grows so I have to apply lotions or beard oil to grow out the beard. Many times, my facial hair ends up looking like former Colts’ Quarterback Andrew Luck with full neckbeard.



Year-round, I have at least a goatee, circle beard or some other facial hairstyle. Male-centered meme accounts usually remind that the difference between a man with facial hair is that a clean-shaven man bears more resemblance to a toddler than an adult man. Of course, exaggeration is a hallmark of memes, but men sans facial hair do often skew a decade younger than their actual age. So that’s the main reason I have some degree of facial hair to age myself up.

I know some women appreciate the smooth skin look and are averse to full facial hair while others appreciate the hirsute look. Obviously, I can’t speak for what is physically attractive about men with or without facial hair, but I obviously aspire to look more rugged than not.

My ideal look would be the well-maintained full beard look but as mentioned it becomes challenging. For clarification, the full beard look I’m referring to is similar to Chris Evans or John Krasinski not exactly the Santa beard. Maybe when I get older, I can grow my beard out and have the distinguished silver facial hair look. At least thanks to smartphone apps and Snapchat filters I can have the facial hair I’d like.

What’s your opinion on beards and facial hair?

Poetry Wednesday #28

A chill in the air even in November is today’s Poetry Wednesday entry, appropriately titled “November Frost”

“November Frost”

Over thirty-two degrees, but the lawn is frosted like a cake.

Under forty degrees, it’s starting to feel cold.

Over this cold front already, can it be summer on the lake?

Under the covers, wishing I had someone to hold.

There was splendor in the grass, the long summer hours;

Look again for glory in the flowers.

Long days are dying in the North, yet soon we will celebrate a birth

Long ago He came to a world in sin and error pining, as the Morning Star

In the midst of dark and cold, it is a time for mirth.

In the midst of holidays approaching, joyous shoppers ready to hit ev’ry bazaar

Hark! flakes of snow white as the moon

Crisp and barely autumn air is a hunter’s boon?

Fortunate are we, for we can bear some cold since we aren’t in th’ regions polar

Fortunate one ain’t always me, I haven’t found my pot of gold or any fame.

Away from the cold I’m soon to be, but my money soon will be with some Sunshine toller

Away to the Southern lands I go unlocking warmer weather, and Florida is the aim.

Turning much cooler, everyone warmly clad

Tempering to the season’s chill, right now it doesn’t feel too bad

© Ryan Stroud 2018

Poetry Wednesday #26

Poetry Wednesday today features the latest original poem, “Here Comes Halloween.”

“Here Comes Halloween”

The month comes to an end, it’s the eve of All Hallows’.

Kids are hungry and ready for mini candies and marshmallows.

Look! Here’s a goblin, now an astronaut, and soon a vampire will be at my door.

Good for them, this group just down the street has a cheery esprit de corps.

The costumes each one is wearing are just as colored and varied as leaves of the maples and the sallows.

Imaginers will come all night long, guided by the pumpkin lamp.

Here comes more up the cobweb-lined ramp.

Now look, a cute furry little doggie, nope he’s a werewolf listen to his howl,

His cute little sister is feathered and hints how wise she is dressed like an owl.

I’m a little worried about that teen boy at the end of the street, he’s a trickster — a scamp.

Is that Elphaba or some other witch with the skin with that hue of celadon?

Oh boy, these little costumed sugar balls are running all over hither and yon.

Soon winter will be coming, the moon is more quickly out.

Tonight, it’s all fun and games—glee and celebration in costumes echo in the night with a shout.

Here like a flash, the autumn and October at midnight will be gone.

© Ryan Stroud 2018