Welcome to my massive 12 month milestone beard update post!
This time around, I’m going to let you in on the top-secret Beard Code, tell you about my experience of job-hunting with a beard, and I’ll even get into the unspoken psychology of Cold Beard Wars.
But first, the critical figures at the massive 12 month milestone. The beard has reached a splendid length of 13cm … and we dyed the beard purple the other day.
The Beard Code
Here are my observations and interpretations of the unspoken beard code that only exists between those fine gents who possess a beard of some sort. Those with a suitably impressive moustache or pair of sideburns will occasionally get a half-nod of semi-respect, but generally, there has to be hair on the chin. Clean shaven boys don’t share the code and are looked down upon or just ignored completely.
The basic rule of the beard code is: if the other man’s beard is bigger/longer than yours, he commands more respect. This means that the larger beard always has the right of way when two guys cross paths.
Beard code interactions range from a simple nod of acknowledgement through to praise and photo requests. Women and babies may touch the beard as they please, all others must request permission prior to any beard fondling.
Job Hunting Beard
While I was looking for a job in Darwin, I kept my beard braided. It was a lot neater, but still not neat enough for any office jobs. I was a bit pissed off about it at the time, but in hindsight, I’m glad – I’ve worked in offices for the last seven years and was hoping to try some different jobs while we were on the road. So I had to find a beard-friendly job. I ended up getting a job delivery driving in a small truck. It’s almost expected that truckies have a beard!
Cold Beard Wars
Speaking of workplaces, when I was working back in Melbourne before we left on this trip, I experienced what I can only describe as a cold war between beards. It felt like there was a bit of an undeclared, silent facial hair competition between some of us bearded fellows. Maybe some sort of alpha-male, king-of-the-jungle type stuff.
When I first noticed this strange phenomenon, I was growing a long, pointy goatee which I trained to curl forwards then upwards. Over the course of a few months, other guys would come into work after having shaved and they’d look a bit defeated. They would seem melancholy and wouldn’t be able to make eye contact with me.
I’m not one of those macho “look how big mine is” type of guys, but I reckon the beard war I stumbled upon was a very testosterone-fuelled dominance contest, though subdued and non-violent.
When my pointy, curly goatee started tickling my nose too much, I shaved it off and left a short stubble beard. All the guys at work the next day seemed happy and excited. I think I inadvertently declared victory and reset the beard war.
Then I started growing this.
Juz, Dave and Beard
In the last beard update, I mentioned how much Juz dislikes the beard and misses my face. Women not liking their man’s facial hair is very common – “it tickles”, “it’s scratchy”, “You gave me pash-rash” (Juz: and that’s not even half of it!). And so we must compromise…
Rather than shaving it off completely, the beard will undergo a transformation. Juz will be getting back a fair part of my face while I’ll be keeping most of the length. Everybody wins!
Keep an eye out for the next post, which reveals the transformation!