My husband, Scott, just completed his annual facial hair ritual - at Thanksgiving, he stops shaving til he grows a full beard, and then in January, he chips away at it gradually, moving through various sizes of goatees and sideburns to an ever-thinner mustache, and then eventually back to bare-faced. Once we get past the growing-in stage (which hurts when we kiss - he’s a nice hairy Italian boy!), I find the whole process fascinating.
It must be like changing hairstyles for a woman - we all love playing around with different looks, curly, straightened, updos, highlights - so I understand his need to experiment with his appearance. Actually, it’s fun to feel like I have a new man around every week - although some of them are more attractive than others. So far, we’ve gone through Abe Lincoln, Van Gogh, Sigmund Freud, Colonel Sanders, and Maynard G. Krebs (that was the bushy mustache & scraggly soul patch - every time I looked at him I couldn't stop laughing); there was also the trimmed-but-thick mustache, when I couldn’t decide if he looked like James Franco playing Harvey Milk’s boyfriend or a Tom Selleck-ish porn star. Now he’s wearing a shorter mustache, and he looks so much like Kevin Kline that I asked him to keep it for a while. (Confession - I’ve had a crush on Kevin Kline for years, and his ersatz Russian accent in A Fish Called Wanda makes me weak in the knees.)
Growing up in a Jewish family gave me an appreciation for hirsute men - My father has hair almost everywhere except on his head, and I’ve always preferred my boyfriends to have more hair on their faces than I do. But Scott happens to look good clean-shaven, and that’s what I’ve gotten used to. However, we’ve been together for eight years already, and what the heck - a little variety is fun. Plus Scott promised to say sweet nothings to me in a Russian accent - and I've even gotten used to a bristly kiss!