I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m not a bad person. I feel like I deserve the same chance at happiness that everyone else has.
You guys all said that you liked beards. You said that. You posted all the pictures of those guys showing off their sweet beards and bearded guys lifting weights and bearded guys drinking and bearded guys holding kittens and everyone went nuts for it. You can’t say otherwise, because I watched it happen.
My existence so far hasn’t been un-spectacular. My parents were kind and raised me well. In college I learned a lot of things that have really helped me claim a stake in my career. The planning for the bagel/sandwich restaurant I want to open one day is coming along nicely.
There’s about six billion people in the world. So why am I so alone?
I started to grow one out, and at first, it looked silly. I nearly cut it a few times because it began as this scraggly, ugly mess on my cheeks and chin. It wasn’t ready for beard conventions yet, but I knew, deep down that, like my Dad used say, if you want something bad enough, you’ll keep at it until you get it. And so I did.
As a little kid, they never tell you that one day you’ll be taking #beardselfies. No child writes “I want to have a grizzled, laudable, marketable man face,” on his Kindergarten assignment of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” When you’re a child, you never once dream that someone will take a black and white photo of you smiling and sipping a craft beer, all because you have this tremendous beard on your jaw. Life takes you in odd directions.
But did anyone want to take black and white pictures of me, smiling while I sipped my favorite brewery’s new fall ale? Did anyone post that on their Tumblr photo blog that’s dedicated to men with stunning beards?
No, they didn’t. I had a single picture taken of my friends and I and not one comment said anything close to “Tommy! Look at your new beard! It’s great!” Nope. It was all “I didn’t know you lived in Asheville, Melissa! We should hang sometime.” and “Actually, I was just visiting friends, Brian! But I’d love to. :)”
And that’s bullshit.
What’s so wrong with my beard that I can’t get more than fifteen likes on an Instagram photo no matter how many times I put #menwithbeards or #dudeswithbeards or #beard? I wear glasses too for god’s sake. I thought that was what you people liked? The game isn’t changing. Beards are still receiving the same kind of admiration. There’s no new sudden trend that swings in the favor of the clean shaven.
WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? Someone, please tell me. I hate waking up in the morning and feeling less than human.
Some days, I just want to be done with it. I want to take the clippers and trim it all away. Or go to a barber and sit in that chair and when he says “Why would you want it cut? It’s such a beautiful beard!”, I’d reply with “Too little, too late.”
Except he wouldn’t say that. No one’s said that, or, from how it’s been going, ever will say that. I’m just a guy with a beard. Another bearded face in the crowd.
Steven grew a beard and, at Ian’s birthday party, everyone talked about how big it was. Men and women alike stroked it and oooh’d and aw’d at it. I had the same beard. Same size, same girth, and same fullness, and I got nothing. I even dribbled some of my Jack Daniels shot on it and no one made a peep. I just wiped my beard and tried to hide the fact that, on the inside, I was screaming.
Why do I feel like such a failure? Why AM I such a failure?
Everyone needs love, guys. Even those with beards that, apparently, are less than extraordinary.