From Friday till Sunday, I was in an intense retreat online with the Evolutionary Collective. My brain cells were mightily scattered – in a good way.
I woke up this morning felling pretty darned tired. It became apparent that my commitment to life amounted to pressing the power button of the TV remote. I decided to pig out on a few hours of coronavirus coverage. Some of it was gloomy stuff but heroes of every ilk were also there for the viewing.
I’m fascinated with commercials, with what they say about our “modern” life. After a run of four or five of them, I had a wee “Ah hah!” It was about the men. Some guy was peddling car insurance, looking sporty in his close-cropped beard. Then a fellow was waxing poetic about dog food “with real meat and veggies” … also bearded. And how about having a new car delivered to your home with no physical contact needed? The delivery driver was smiling beneath his ample facial hair.
“Hmm … they all have beards.” I flashed back to a visit in Alberta with Jody’s brother and his family. Lance said something like “They’ll spot you as a tourist right away.” Curious, I piped up with “How?” > “No beard.”
This morning, I pulled out a piece of paper and started a tally of men in commercials. You’ll be happy to know that 92 of them pranced across the screen, trying to sell me something. And 59 of those souls wore beards and/or moustaches. 64% in favour of facial hair.
I got to thinking: What does it take to be a man? Clearly, marketers see hairy faces as highly desirable … but I think not. My occasional days of not shaving just made my face itch. I don’t need that. As far as I can tell, the only requirement for manhood is the possession of a penis. There’s no blueprint. Not appearance, personality or occupation. Not height or clothing.
I know I have the basics, and that’s good enough for me. We men are patches on a coat of many colours. And the garment shines! Vive la différence.
Unbearded, I continue my walk in the world.