Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | August 27, 2012

Things at Which I Suck: Beards

I’ve had a beard since I graduated college in 2006.

There are two brief exceptions to this claim.

The first would be when I applied for work at the MIT Libraries (twice) and Boston College Libraries (once) in early-to-mid September of 2006. I wanted to look professional, so I shaved off my scruffy man-fur for the interviews.

In reality, this probably didn’t make me look professional nearly as much as it made me look like a confused middle-schooler wearing his dad’s suit on career day.

We’ve already documented how ridiculous I look in suits…so now imagine a freshly-shorn, 22-year-old face in addition to an oversized suit.

Now take what you’re picturing in your mind, but make it look more scared of the big city and toss in just a wee-bit of desperation for gainful employment and I think you’ll have a pretty good idea of the game I was bringing to those interviews.

After my flurry of interviews, I was cleanly-shaven during my early days at MIT. I thought it would give a better impression if I shaved off my beardy goodness and showed up looking like a well-adjusted member of society instead of the recent college graduate/poor hobo/displaced Midwesterner that I was in real life.

Granted, that lasted for about all of two weeks or so until I realized that people could wear baseball caps at work and grow insane, woolly mammoth-inspired beards with little or no recourse from upper management.

At that moment, I went ahead and called it quits on shaving (and/or attempting to “style” my hair) and I’ve had a beard pretty much non-stop since October 2006 until this very day.

That having been said, in recent months, at least once or twice a week someone at work will come up to me and say something like: “Oh…so you’re growing in a beard, huh?” or “You decided it was time for a beard?” or “Letting the beard grow out?” or “Nice beard, when did you decide to do that?”

Six years.

I’ve had a beard for six years.

Yet every week someone—sometimes the same person over and over—is always asking about my beard as though it’s some brand new toy I picked up over Christmas vacation.

My mind is absolutely blown.

I mean, I get that I haven’t had a majestic, full-bodied Dan Pribble-style beard or a perfectly-groomed and immaculately-shaped Ryan Gray-style beard for the entirety of my employment at MIT, but I’ve sure as hell had a beard this entire time.

Has my beard really been so pathetically un-beardy for more than half-a-decade that people couldn’t even tell that I was growing a beard?

That’s the only logical rationale for people suddenly commenting on my new beard, right?




  1. Yes. It is the only logical rationale and your beard is that sad.


  2. Well, either that or: 1) They are suffering from short term amnesia. Every day. Because they hit their heads on something every damn day. They’re clutzes. 2) They are suffering from early onset Alzheimers or dementia. Same kinda short term memory loss deal. 3) You are working with clones. New ones come in all the time to give the other clones a break because clones tire out more quickly than the original. 4) Your wife (or maybe elves?) shaves parts of your beard in your sleep so that your beard always looks different. 6) Your co-workers are alien robots merely parroting words they are programmed to say to observe the social niceties. 7) You are in hell.

    Take your pick.


    • Hm. Somehow I missed #5. That one’s top secret and involves the government. Don’t ask or you’ll get sent to Guantanamo.


      • I shall ask zero questions about #5!!


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