I ran into a young friend yesterday who I hadn’t seen in a few months. He must have grown three inches. He’s in that time frame of life when you can hear boys getting taller if you listen carefully. I looked a little closer because it seemed he needed something wiped off his chin. I thought I would help him out because he might run into a really cute girl. I stopped short of reaching up to his face when I realized what was on his chin was intentional. It was whiskers … of sorts. He looked a bit like Scrappy, Scooby Doo’s sidekick.

Facial hair on teenagers makes me smile because it generally looks like they are trying too hard to grow up. Ask most women and they’ll say on men in their 20s through their 40s a scruff looks good. An unshaven face on men in their 50’s and 60’s generally makes them look homeless.

One friend of mine grew a mustache in his 20s to look older and more accomplished. That was 30 years ago. I want so badly to tell him he doesn’t need to try to look older now. I suppose that would be kind of rude.

Shaving is such a rite of passage from childhood to perceived adulthood, for girls as well as boys. The first time I shaved my legs I was quite certain the general public thought, “Now there goes and adult. She shaves her legs.” The excitement of shaving lasted about 2 weeks.

I know a girl who doesn’t shave her legs and she’s not European or even an old hippie. She just thinks it’s a waste of time. It was a bit off-putting the first time I saw her in a skirt, but I got used to it, kind of. If you think about it, we do spend a whole lot of time shaving, waxing, lazering, and plucking. She may be on to something.


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