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No Shave November: A Beginner's Guide to the Weeks Ahead

My fellow countrymen, we find ourselves one week into an historic month.  The leaves are changing colors.  Birds are flying south for the winter.  Daylight Savings Time has happened, making it that much harder to stay up for Barry “Fuck You” Obama’s acceptance speech.

But let us not forget the true significance of this 11th month of 2012.  The chance, once again, to participate in No Shave November.

For the unfamiliar, No Shave November may sound like a feminist pin-up girl’s name.  Rather, it is a masculine tradition, the rules of which are contained in the name itself.  Don’t shave your grill for a month, enter into a sacred brotherhood.  Simple, yet profound.

For those who have never dabbled in the Facial Arts before, but like me, have begun the journey this month, I offer up a forecast of the weeks to come:

Days 1-7: We’re past these.  The first four days were probably kinda normal, unless you’re some sort of lumberjack-showoff like my roommate, who can grow a beard in less time than it takes a second-semester senior to shotgun a PBR.  I don’t really think these motherfuckers should even be allowed to participate in Manvember.  I mean, what are they even tryna prove?  But I digress.

For normally-equipped gentlemen, this week serves as an easy transition into the burlier stages ahead.  Peach fuzz turns to peach scuzz, and the plot thickens.

Days 8-14: The pace has begun to pick up.  You will survive the terrible “child molester/vagabond-whispy-upper-lip-stache” phase and move into the “It’s-possible-that-man-may-be-a-convict-but-I-just-can’t-look-away” phase.

The winds of fortune are swift, my friends.  And with their change comes much attention from the honeys.  Depending on the distribution of your beard-strings, you might want to consider some Neck Beard Trimming.  Some people consider this against the rules.  If that’s how you feel, A) go cry about it, B) maybe buy some turtlenecks or something.

Days 15-21: By this point, you’ve probably got a full-on beard (if you don’t, my bad, bro).  Have you begun to style it? Gel or moustache wax, perhaps?  Maybe you finally got that promotion you’ve been waiting on.  If you’ve never rocked the beard before, this could be a whole new world.  Just don’t let the glamour and glitz pull you in.  Remember: at the end of the month, you’re going to have to make a choice.  Back to Shaving Business As Usual, or continue on down the Road of Awesomeness and Chin Stroking?

Days 22-28: You may notice during this time that you gravitate towards more flannel.  Your diet shifts to consisting mostly of flapjacks, hotcakes, or griddlecakes, or some combination of the three.  You’ve taken to catching yourself in the mirror, just to look yourself in the eye and say, “Damn, that’s one mean mug you’re rocking, pard’ner.”  You have given up on contemporary music, preferring instead to listen to a shitty 3-song mix you made of ZZ Top songs (“Sharp Dressed Man,” “Cheap Sunglasses,” “La Grange” I think is the third one).  The beard has transcended being merely a facial adornment and settled as the key identifier of your personality.

Days 29 & 30: Did you remember to take a before picture?  ‘Cause you can take a sweet after picture and be a Facebook hero for a day.  All your friends will see the true gentleman you have Digivolved into.  An upstanding citizen, resplendent, brawny, and smelling strongly of cedar and tanning oil.

Speaking of FB, you have started a group called “I Ain’t Lose My Phone But I Got So Many Lady’s Numbers I Need To Start Giving Them Away.”  You are the only member.

Your responses are exclusively monosyllabic and often nothing more than grunts.

Former acquaintances who might’ve once viewed you as scrawny now pass your name along to their friends who need help moving.  “I’m pretty sure he can bench like, 130,” they’ve been heard saying.

You finish every tweet with “#sosayeththebeard.”

What happens on December 1 is up to you.  If you’re like me, you’ll keep the Gravy Train running as long as possible and then maybe settle down someday with a nice mustache.  Or maybe The Beard has become too much for you and you’ll take a razor to it right away.  The choice is yours.  Choose wisely, my dear readers, and may the Good Fortunes of Our Patron Saint Ron Swanson shine upon thee.

-Zephaniah Brownstein

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