My husband is growing out a beard this fiscal year.
This he does with energetic vigor and pride, regardless of my dismay and the copulatory frigidity resulting in said dismay.
Facial hair on men with whom I am intimate grosses me out for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the unidentifiable but nevertheless genuine feeling I get that I am in the company of a child molester or gambling addict or other sort of guy who looks like he’s got something to hide, like a history of penal exploits or otherwise general creepiness.
Also too the fact that beards are never soft and fuzzy against the face like you might have been conditioned to expect from growing up in the western world where bearded men like Santa Claus and Jesus and the lumberjack from Little Red Riding Hood—heroes all in their own special way—are depicted with almost cloudlike furriness and warmth, but instead bear the texture something more akin to a million tiny sprigs of dried alfalfa (a.k.a. Medicago sativa, a.k.a. Straw,) against my arguably less-gruff cheeks and lips.
(Note, however, that I have only ever kissed two men with thick and bushy beards, and one man-boy with the barest attempt at one, so I am, I grant, not the end-all resource for this allegation. But in my experience, is what I’m saying.)
And if the thought of my hay-faced husband secretly moonlighting as a penny-whore pimp after I fall asleep is not compelling enough a reason for him to shave it off, this last one ought to seal the deal: His beard stinks.
As in, reeks. As in, an odour permeates from the face bush scruffing daily longer from my husband’s visage.
And the worst part is is it’s an unidentifiable sort of stink. I can’t quite pinpoint what it is his chin smells like. I think if I could put my finger on the stench it might not bother me so much, like say if I could ascertain for sure that his beard bore the smell of Old Man, or Cheddar Pringles, or My Fifth Grade Backpack After I Took An Onion To School For Science Class But Never Produced Said Onion Because My Table Partner Had A Nicer Purple Onion And Mine Was Just A Plain Yellow Onion And So We Used Hers And I Left Mine In The Side Pocket Of My Knock-off Jansport For Like I Think Two Weeks Until One Day I Realized That I Smelled Really Bad All The Time And Finally Went In Search Of The Source, I think at least then I could come to terms with the smell and maybe be okay with it or if nothing else develop olfactory immunity toward it.
But I can’t figure out what it smells like, his beard.
The closest I have come to identifying Poor Kyle’s eau de scruff is this: You know how when you don’t shower for a while, not like a really long time so that you absolutely reek, but just long enough so that your bangs kind of won’t come unstuck from your forehead and you find yourself keeping your arms safely positioned down so that you aren’t confronted with how bad you really stink (as opposed to stinking no matter what degree of lockdown your armpits are in)?
It smells like that but also a little sweeter, like that smell sacked up with the smell of cantaloupe and the smell of Poor Kyle’s Beard is their bastard child.
Not exactly the sort of turn-on I signed up for when I agreed to marry the man.
It doesn’t help his cause that he works as a heavy-duty mechanic around grease and dust and fellow greasy/dusty mechanics, and his facial hair has the unfortunate characteristic of soaking up odors in which it is immersed, kind of like Febreze except so not.
Come to think of it, Febreze might have a thing or two to learn from the fascinating qualities of my husband’s beard. They could take a sample of it, maybe, and ship it off to their labs for further investigation, and maybe could develop some sort of beard-like room decor, like an oil-scented plug-in but with hair, or maybe a tree-shaped cardboard beard, anything that could feasibly hold a beard and soak up the stench of last night’s curry and then be disposed of neatly the next day, and we’d make a percentage of royalties for every beard they sold.
We’d be rich.
And I guess in that case, in the case where it served some sort of purpose (id est raking in the dough), some sort of plausible purpose beyond merely vexing me on a daily basis, the beard could be tolerable.
But in these economic times, I don’t think anyone’s really ready to invest their life savings in beard-infused aromatherapy candles.