Well, 2008 has gotten off to a crazy start so far. We had a small gathering of folks here for New Year's Eve, mostly Row N folks and a few other TA folks as well as some of my friends from the bank showed up. The party was an open house format, with the first few hours being family friendly and alcohol free, but then after 8 pm, we opened up the bar and let loose. I don't have any problem with family friendly events, and for the most part, the kids yesterday were very well behaved. Some of the families were a bit scared off by the 8 pm bar opening, but our invite was pretty clear that the first hours were going to be quiet but then notched up a bit. The last guest left at 2 AM which left a few hours for girl and I to clean up. We passed out about 4:30 AM or so, and slept most of the day.
But something of a big event occured earlier on Sunday, as I shaved off my goatee and am now clean shaven. This hasn't happened for at least 10 years, as I've had some form of beard on my face. It started with the movie Clerks, and the character Dante who had a goatee and I thought it looked cool. So I grew one, and have kept it until Sunday.
At first, it was itchy but I thought the facial hair was cool and I wasn't dating anyone at the time. However, my mom hated it. My mom never hated much of anything, except the beard, so I had to listen to her object through many a visit why I grew such an ugly beard. She eventually grew to like it because my friends and sister actually thought it was pretty cool. But admittedly, I was told by many of my dating prospects that the beard was a nice touch because my smile wasn't very good and it covered that up. Not exactly the nicest thing to share with someone, but since self confidence wasn't something I had much of at times in my life, I went along with it.
Then many years later, I met girl and she grew to love me but admitted on many occassions she didn't like facial hair but knew it was me so she didn't mind. But my beard was getting more filled with white and grey hairs, and at points, it felt like 200 grain sandpaper and there were points I was scratching her face pretty bad. She had never seen me without my beard, and it had been a while since I was clean shaven, so on Sunday I took the plunge.
This wasn't something I just did because she asked, but it was more of me realizing the beard was nice, but it was also a bit of a crutch to hide what I thought was a bad feature. I had even admitted to many friends for years that the goatee was a way to hide my face, and hadn't put that all together until Sunday. I have to admit that while my face is still a bit dry and not used to being without hair, it's been a nice change of pace. I can always grow it back at some point, but now that it's not there, I find myself smiling a bit more. Plus, I think I look a bit younger without all the grey hairs on my face, too. While my age isn't something I concern myself with that much, I do want to look good for girl because I want her to feel special when she's with me. Yea, even after all these years, I'm still smitten with her. Not a bad realization to start 2008..