Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Beard: Cues to Care

I haven't shaved since Wednesday, Dec. 24, which means that I now have two weeks of growth on my face. This really wasn't a planned beard, though. After I shaved before we went to church on Christmas Eve, I set my razor down and thought, "Well, there, I'm done with you for the rest of this vacation."

And then when I picked the razor up again on Monday morning I looked at it and thought, "Eh, I think I'm mostly done with you for a bit longer." Then I trimmed the tiniest little bit around the edges, just to make the rampant growth appear a bit more purposeful.

This is a tip that I learned in a gardening class on native plant gardens. It's called "Cues to Care." The idea is that if you just have a bunch of native plants in front of your house instead of a lawn, people call them "Weeds." But if you instead put a little border around them, or add a small slate path, or perhaps a wee corner of turfgrass next to your walk, then it looks as if you have planted those things on purpose. Then you have a "Beautiful Native Plants Garden." A garden of native plants is much easier to maintain than a yard because they're plants that are supposed to grow in that climate. But it looks as if it takes a good deal of sorting out.

The "Cues to Care" for my beard must be working because whenever I've walked into a meeting this week, somebody has inevitably asked, "Why did you decide to grow a beard?" You see, there's an assumption that this beard was something intentional and purposeful, not sheer laziness.

"Cues to Care," your key to looking as if you're doing something on purpose, when in fact you're just doing less!


  1. I'm thinking cues to care doesn't really work with leg hair. There's no way around the sheer laziness factor. Trust me, I've tried calling it "European" over the years. People are not fooled.

  2. Yes, the cues to care are working for John's beard. It looks great. I'll get a picture of him to post over the weekend.

  3. "I've tried calling it 'European' ..."

    The problem is that you didn't accessorize properly. Try sipping a Perrier and surrounding the hairy leg with a Parisian cafe.