Your drivelmeister is beard-free once again. Last time I shaved my beard off, B just about jumped out of her skin when she got a look at me. This time, meh. I thought she hadn’t noticed at all, but in the car on the way to yoga she asked, “Did you cut your hair?” I laughed the great big laugh of a person who is astonished by a question that seems so very obviously to be “No,” so she added, “Maybe you look different because you shaved.” I was a little disappointed that she wasn’t shocked this time.

Then again, last time I’d been wearing a beard for more than a year. I’ve been growing this one since Thanksgiving. Didn’t shape it, haven’t cut it since then, except to trim off just an eighth-inch of growth from my upper lip, and there’s the problem. It had finally grown long enough that it needed regular care and maintenance, and after thinking about it for maybe a minute, I knew that I didn’t want any of that, so off it came.

Weirdly, my face feels colder now. I never get the impression that my face feels warmer with a beard, but I can immediately tell that my face is colder without one. The sensation made me feel a few minutes of regret, but got over it quickly enough. And when I toweled off after showering this morning and realizing that the towel wasn’t extra-soggy because it didn’t have to soak up that extra load of water from my beard, my regret-o-meter’s needle fell to zero and stayed there.

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