On our vacation I admittedly let myself go a bit in the grooming department. Sure, I took care of the basics, with showering and shampooing, but I decided not to shave the not-already-bearded parts of my face and neck.
Somehow, shaving seemed incompatible with towering mountains and wild rivers and hiking and bears and deer every time you turn around. It’s not just the northern mountains that bring out the non-shaving urge, though — I often don’t shave on beach vacations, either. In fact, I grew my current beard in 1997 on a family vacation to Florida. When you’re on a vacation where you hope to get away from it all, scraping your face every day with a sharp blade is one of the things you want to get away from.
But now we’re back to reality in Columbus, Ohio, where there are no mountains to be seen and the only whitewater is found in the jacuzzi at the nearest health club. And when you’re returning to the real world, it’s time to clean up your act and brace yourself for the rigors of everyday life. So this morning I lathered up with soap and scraped off those vacation hairs that had been happily growing on my cheeks and neck for the last week or so, and then I trimmed my beard, which was starting to look as overgrown as the old growth forest on the hiking trail to Avalanche Lake. It was kind of sad, though, to see those vacation whiskers wash down the drain and mark an official end to our holiday at Glacier National Park.
So now I’m properly neat and trim once more. I’m ready to head to the office.