Chin up


Jeremy Paxman grows a beard and it makes the newspaper headlines. I grow a beard and I am met with derision from my own family.

It was all because I watched Skyfall on the plane travelling to our holiday destination.

“Daniel Craig looks good in a beard,” I thought. So I resolved to stop shaving whilst on vacation… which proves I have learnt nothing from my swimming trunks experiment after seeing Craig emerge from the sea in Casino Royale.

Mrs R hated my beard.

“It’s like kissing a doormat,” she explained and refused to kiss me again for the whole duration.

I was secretly pleased. A doormat has stout, manly bristles that can scrape mud off your wellies. I want a chin like that, but when I ran my hand over my face it just felt like a sparsely haired rodent, with bald patches.

“Stop touching your face!” Exclaimed Mrs R at regular intervals whenever we sat at a restaurant table or at a picturesque spot.

For a beard novice the compulsion to touch is irresistible. It is like meeting a new person and being allowed to touch them quite intimately.

I was hoping for a rich blonde-mixed-with-auburn colour, which I vaguely recalled from my last attempt at facial hair more than a decade ago (inspired by a picture of a Viking) but this time my beard was mainly grey, with a few bits that just looked dirty, as if someone had wiped their wellies on my face.

After a couple of weeks I shaved it off. I sat down with the family and didn’t say anything…

…Mrs R didn’t notice my smooth cheeks until several hours later, when I ventured a goodnight kiss.

“Oooh!” She raised her eyebrows. “You’ve shaved… You look ten years younger.” (I would have been more pleased about this remark if it had been made the moment I emerged clean-shaven that morning).

None of the (mostly grown-up) children noticed for more than two days, despite the fact that I was with them all the time. Which proves something or other.

3 Responses to “Chin up”

  1. They value you for your personality rather than your looks?

  2. /you might as well not exist?

  3. don’t worry, i’d notice if you didn’t exist. ps, please can i have some money?

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