15 November 2006

The physics and psychology of my beard

I've never planned to grow a beard.  At first, I'm just lazy: I go three days without shaving.  I shave with an electric razor, and, strangely, my beard is easy to shave after one day or two days but after three days it might as well have been a year—I call that phenomenon the Beardocline—so when I go three days without shaving I'm less and less likely to shave.  At some point I go from the lazy stage to the apathetic stage, in which my manly whiskers become an ugly "wino" beard but I just don't care enough to shave it.  Eventually it gets so bad that I reach the acceptance stage: I take the time to trim it and make it look nice.  I go to the trouble of maintaining it until I start to get tired of having a beard and realize that shaving it off is easier than keeping it neat.  Then everyone asks me what I did with my beard, but I think it controls me more than I control it . . .


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