established a monopoly of the area refusing any other growth and thereby creating some sort of sideburn comb-over look. While the hair below my mouth decided that a soul-patch is the new cool look and refused to allow hairs on my chin to grow. And don't get me started on the hair underneath my chin, looked like some sort of wire brush attached itself to my neck.
So I shaved it.
But not before I turned it into the most kickass fumanchu that you have every seen! You don't understand, I've wanted a fumanchu since I was 12. It was a fumanchu and a reverse mohawk, preferably at the same time. For those of you who did not grow up watching baseball in the 80's a fumanchu is basically a goatee with the middle of the chin shaved off. Basically, it is the most badass facial hair that you can have, short of those sideburns that criss cross into spikes across your face.
My beard worked great for creating one, the parts that I grew the best ended up coming through swimmingly with the chu (I can call it that now since I grew one). The mustache portion of it was still a little weak as its patchy and the right side next to my mouth is severely weaker at growing facial hair than the left side (not sure what that says about me) but all in all this was the best it was going to get. I was so proud.
That day I went out in Antigua with my new style and it was everything I hoped for. Dogs barked at me constantly. People changed the side of the street they were walking on when they saw me coming. I was denied service multiple times. I made a kid cry. It was awesome! For the first time in my life I was intimidating. I was intimidating up until the point when I started talking, then they figured out that I'm just a big softy. But nonetheless I understand the allure of crazy facial hair, tattoos, or piercing ... they are intimidating as crap.
I decided to shave the fumanchu after a day. I probably would have kept it a lot longer but that night we had prepared Thanksgiving Dinner for the family and after seeing the pictures decided that I didn't really wanted to be remembered by the family as the creepy guy with the fumanchu. Thus began attempt #2 at "Andy growing a serious beard." Mark the dates in your calendars, November 28th.
The second time around I was a little more prepared. I knew my strengths and my weaknesses (if i forgot a weakness Lindsey was all to happy to remind me). I felt confident going into this round as I feel a beard only gets stronger with long periods of growing time. I also had a better plan. I decided to just let it go nuts. Just let everything grow out including (most importantly) the neck.
I figured if I didn't shave anything back it would create a more peaceful and trusting environment to allow all the hairs to really come out on their own. This lasted about a month and a half, then, all in one day, I got food stuck in my neck that stayed there for approximately 4 hours (not going to lie, kind of disgusting), part of the neck beard was turning into some sort of rope formation (i really have no idea how this happened but it looked like a rope coming down my chin and laying on my neck), and Lindsey wouldn't look at me. That was enough to get me to do some clean up.
Currently, it is exactly two months since the beginning of beard #2. I still have many of the same problems as beard #1 but to a lesser degree. The patches aren't as big and the bare spots aren't as noticeable.
The mustache for one is coming together much nicer than it did before (although, and maybe someone with more beard experience can help me out on this, the most inner part of the mustache just under the nose has a tendency to curl up on either side and point in thus making me resemble a large spider). I try to groom it once a week but grooming with a pocket knife is a little difficult. Not really sure how much longer this one will be around, I'm a little nervous of showing up in Peru with an ugly ass beard and making the wrong impression, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am now fairly confident that at least by round #8 I will be able to make it past the "creepy" stage. Wish me luck.
So if you haven't noticed by some of the pictures posted on the blog, I shaved my beard way back in November. November 27th to be exact. It was a sad day, but a necessary one as my facial hair had reached the stage of scaring little children, dogs, and Lindsey. I know that I had said I would keep it until December but it really wasn't getting any better, I actually think it was getting worse. The few hairs growing in the location where sideburns should be somehow