I went into the package store where I buy wine to buy wine and a guy was there who I sometimes see late at night or on weekends. He obviously has another job and this is just a part-time guy.
I was the priest at his marriage--that I know--but I can't for the life of me remember his name. He still has a wedding ring on but I don't ask about his marriage. He's very friendly, though, so things must be OK...I only pray....
He has a goatee and I mentioned there were so gray hairs in there. He laughed. And then, for no reason I currently understand, told him something only a few people know.
My beard, which I've had since I was 25 except for two small interludes, started turning white when I was 35. So I colored it until I turned 40. At that point my hair was still dark brown and I thought--"I'm 40, I shouldn't be vain any more" and stopped coloring it.
It came in all white, as it still is 37 years later--not that I expected it to go brown or red or anything again.
And what was interesting is that people who knew me then knew something was different but not what. For months people said to me things like "are you OK?" and "how are you feeling?" and "anything up with you?"
Then my hair started turning white, so it didn't matter any more.
(The only two times I've cut my beard since I was 25 was once when we were going to Oak Island, North Carolina for vacation. Josh was maybe 6 and Mimi maybe 3. We stopped at a motel on the way and I cut my beard so I had a goatee that night. The day we arrived, I cut the rest off and my children were horrified and wouldn't have anything to do with me for several days.
The only other time was when I was on Block Island for two weeks by myself. And when I looked in the mirror I looked like John Goodman and immediately willed my beard to grow back super fast....)
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