Wait a minute. That’s not quite how it went.
Once upon a time, long ago, a woman heard a knock on the door. She opened it up and much to her surprise there stood a strange man that looked somehow familiar. She asked what he wanted and she was shocked to hear the stranger call her by her nickname, Kate. She looked harder at the stranger. He said he was there to pick up her son.
She searched her memory for forgotten bargains. Was there an agreement with the devil and fiddle? Had she made promises involving straw into gold? Should she just shout out “Rumpelstiltskin?” She was lost as to why this stranger would want her son and she would be damned if she was going to hand him over.
“Uh, Sir, the sign says “No Solicitors”. Thanks.” She said as she started to close the door.
“Kate. It’s me Joe. Come on.”
And that is how my dad introduced his beard for the first time and was thus referred to Joseph the Gnome by my mother for long after. My dad might have taken this personally. Well, actually, he did. What he was not aware of, however, was that my mother was spending her days with a two year old and David the Gnome, a favorite cartoon and was probably the only cultural reference she had for a man with a beard at that moment.
The beard is something of a controversy in our house. Everyone loves it. His wife, his kids, his friends, his clients, everyone but my dad. My dad hates it. Or rather, hated it. He kept it going after he recovered from chemotherapy as a sort of superstitious don’t- change-anything-if-you’re-winning kind of thing.
It was attractive. He looked a little like Sean Conneryto me with the beard. The picture in my head of my dad is with this beard.
Then it happened.
A girl asked him if he wanted a senior citizen discount. That he is of AARP age is of no consolation. That he’s been looking for deals his entire life means nothing now that he can get 10% off on Tuesdays.
My dad who has always been confident, successful, popular and the life of any party, decided that his beard made him look too old and promptly shaved it off.
Then he sent me a picture.
I am horrified. To me, he looks a bit naked, a little vulnerable and totally NOT MY DAD. Seriously, it almost like I’m seeing him in his underwear. I’m not sure where to look anymore.
So, in a bid to convince him to let it grow back before I go home for Christmas, I’m putting it out there for you guys to vote on.
Do you like him with the beard or without?