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Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson

My wife, Kim, bought me a box of “Just for Men” beard and mustache dye.

It is sitting unopened on the counter of my bathroom sink.

I think she is trying to tell me something. You know, in that subtle, somewhat brutal, yet loving way that people in long-term committed relationships have of sending messages to one another. Kind of like how your favorite t-shirt mysteriously goes from being in your drawer to being in a bag of items to be donated.

I have had a beard for most of my adult life. Strangely enough it has never fully matched the ever-decreasing amount of hair I have on the top of my head.

You would think that the difference of six to eight inches wouldn’t have all that much impact on hair colors. After all, my face and the top of my head experience the same weather and conditions. As opposed to when you have a cast on your arm or leg and get it finally taken off to find the hair grown in longer and darker than your other limb.

Nope, my face and head are pretty much a package deal when it comes to exposure to the elements or anything else with the exception of when I eat soup.

Without fail, my beard ends up with soup in it by the end of the meal. I am not sure exactly how it happens, nor does it seem to matter how careful I am. Soups are the bane of any person with a beard and those without facial hair can never truly understand the constant struggle and risk of walking around with your lunch on display for everyone to see.

One remedy for this would be to keep a friendly dog nearby to help you clean things up, but this is neither practical nor particularly sanitary, especially when it comes to the disturbing things dogs will happily put in their mouths.

All things being equal, the hair on the top of my head should probably match that on my face. At least I would think that would be a reasonable thing to expect.

At one time, they were much closer. Enough so that at a distance my beard appeared to be the same blah brown of my hair, a closer examination would find a significant amount of blond, black and red hair hidden among the nest that occupies most of my face. That is before it happened.

It being the gradual shifting of my facial hair from being brownish to being mostly gray and white at this point.

Things are not helped that while my beard has gotten progressively more gray, I have also started wearing it longer. Given my tendency to fidget with my facial hair when I am thinking, it also means it seldom stays tidy and neat and instead resembles something left after a fox discovered a rabbit’s nest.

So here I am with a big bushy beard the color of dirty snow that my wife suggests makes me look a decade older than I really am.

I am far from being a vain person when it comes to how I look, but even I recognize that the crazed grandpa vibe probably isn’t the best one to give off.

Of course, I could always shave. The down side of this is that remaining clean shaven takes more effort in my morning routine than I am willing to invest. More importantly, my wife likes my beard. Or rather she doesn’t like my face without my beard, saying that I look far too much like my brother for me to come anywhere near her.

So, here I am with a box of dye that promises I can just brush it in and it will be permanent, at least until it grows out. In which case, I suppose I will look like some piebald old goat and be forced to repeat the endeavor over and over through the rest of my life, or until I decide to stop kidding myself about having any youthful vigor or zeal left.

How depressing. Or maybe I will just skip it entirely and not bend my knee to vanity and seeking to appear more youthful than I am. Eventually my hair will catch up to my beard and I will be gray all around. Who knows, I might even get me one of those bright red suits to wear around the holiday season.

I bet my wife would be singing a different tune if I pulled up in a shiny sleigh with a sack full of toys.

More likely, she would call the nice people to come take me on a ride to spend time in a padded room.

My beard, is gray, and I am OK with that.

Brian Wilson is News Editor at The Star News.