Beards and mustaches are all the rage 

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Let me start by saying that I use a product to keep from having a full face of fur. As a “mature” woman, a mustache and beard are not that comical and most women my age would agree. Science says it is normal, but we don’t have to like it, so I use chemicals to keep from being an “unidentified wooly something nobody wants to witness.”  

I recently read an article pertaining to facial hair and learned that some people have a fear of it. It’s called pogonophobia, and usually this irrational fright is due to beards, but can also include mustaches. When in the vicinity of someone with whiskers, symptoms include nausea, feelings of dread, sweating and irregular heartbeat.  

One afternoon, I was at the stove making a pot of vegetable soup and it’s hard to make a small amount. By the time I add onions, carrots, green beans, potatoes, peas and celery, plus butter, heavy cream and chicken broth, it appears to be a 55-gallon drum.
Gar has been an observer of this on numerous occasions and it always gives him a troubled expression. Since I know he doesn’t relish leftovers and will tell me to my face, “I’ve ate it three times this week and that’s all I can do,” I attempt to freeze some, give away some and leave the rest for a few dinners.
On this day, Gar walked into the kitchen, began to look nauseous, with feelings of dread, appearing sweaty, and with a seemingly irregular heartbeat. Knowing I was several days past due on the facial fur removal routine, I studied him a moment then asked, “Is it the soup or is it pogonophobia?”  

When it comes to facial hair, there’s a lot of trivia since the popularity of beards and mustaches has waxed and waned, no pun intended. Police officers in Madya Pradesh, India get an upgrade in pay if they sport a moustache. I think it would only be fair if this included aging female officers.
On average, a man with a mustache touches it 750 times per day. I’ve witnessed this by a friend who’s pretty proud of his big, black, walrus mustache he nicknamed “Sylvia.”
In a deck of cards, the only king without a mustache is the king of hearts. Beards are notorious too.

In the 17th century, men had to pay a tax for having a beard, plus they had to wear a medallion reading, “The beard is a useless burden.”
Ouch.
It’s the opposite for men today, as one acronym boldly stated: B.E.A.R.D. “Being Exceptional Among Regular Dudes.” 

All the Bible scholars will remember that in the Book of Judges, Samson had great strength; slaying a lion with his bare hands and decimating an entire Philistine army using only a donkey’s jawbone. In dedication to the Lord, Samson, a Nazarite, never cut his hair, and in that hair, God gave him his great power. The Philistines weren’t very happy that they couldn’t counteract Samson’s force so decided to utilize the services of a harlot named Delilah. She was paid a hefty sum to find out how to take down this mighty, though sinful, warrior. Samson told her his secret of strength, so as he slept, Delilah had his locks shorn. He woke and due to his breaking of vows to God (which had little to do with his haircut), he was left as weak as any man.  

Our second son, Tanner, is a doctor with a beard and wry humor. With the COVID-19 pandemic, medical professionals wore protective gear such as masks, but to fit had to have a clean-shaven face.
Tanner was asked if he wanted to shave or get a hood with a plastic shield? Since most physicians chose a mask, the hospital administration was dumbfounded when Tanner said he’d take the hood.
Puzzled, they questioned his thinking by asking, “Dr. Eiden, it’s so cumbersome. Wouldn’t you rather shave your facial hair?”
Being quick-witted, he replied, “I can’t cut it for religious reasons.”

Receiving blank stares, he added, “Ya, I can’t cut off my beard. I’ll lose my strength.”  

The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt grew beards to give them authority and to command respect. Hatshepsut, the first female Pharaoh, wore a fake beard strapped to her chin to command the same esteem as male Pharaohs. She wouldn’t have needed a fake beard if she’d simply lived long enough to run out of estrogen.
I know things and I know I wouldn’t have needed a fake beard.  

Trena Eiden trenaid@hotmail.com