I recognized him not at all.
"You remember my little brother, Nick," said Jada.
I turned to greet a young man in his early twenties. He wore a simple t-shirt, shorts and a full beard. The beard was impressive. Thick. Black. At least half a foot in length.
I looked deep into his eyes. I saw him then.
"Oh. Yeah. There you are, Nick," I said. "I didn't recognize you with all the new developments." I gestured to the wild growth on the lower half of his face.
"Yeah. A friend is paying me $500 to grow out my beard for a year. I can't touch it at all. It's been 6 months."
"Six months! Wow! I'm dying to see it at a year. You grow a good beard, Nick."
"Thanks. I think my friend offered this bet because he's jealous. He can't grow facial hair."
"He can't? I thought all men could grow beards. I thought it was a right of passage. Beard growing. Or at least the shaving of a beard."
"No. Lots of guys can't grow beards."
I have thought long and hard about Nick and his beard and his bet.
Why don't women place similar bets?
None of my girlfriends have ever offered me any amount of money to grow out my leg hair.
What if I did? What if I just threw caution and my razor to the wind? YES! I could start a trend. A sexy, hairy leg trend! Ooooo YEAH! I can see it now. There will be commercials indicating the best way to moisturize dry leg hair. Leg hair extensions will be all the rage. Hairy thighs will be the pinnacle of sex appeal.
OK. That's too foul to joke about. I can't continue. I'm making myself gag here.
There is no amount of money...
And what about Nick's girlfriend?
She was there. At the pool party in which I was the only adult in a swim suit. Lovely young thing, Nick's lady. Red hair. Great smile. Makes a killer Greek 7 layer dip. Pre-med. She seemed fine with wiry hairs that surely come between them at the tenderest of moments. Scratchy.
My thoery is this. She is still Nick's girlfriend. Wives don;t stand for that kind of tomfoolery. NO SIR! Once a man gets married he no longer has THE RIGHT to grow hair when and where he will. It's in the contract! Look it up.
I know. I'm a wife.
I am a very mellow wife compared to many of my friends.
Some of the women I know actually fasten shock collars on their men when they arrive home from work. If they try to escape when the front door is opened the collar is engaged delivering a fantastic shock. If the husband barks too loudly the same punishment occurs. He better not even THINK about digging a hole under the fence... because... ZAP!
My man is sexy with a bit of facial hair. I like a shadow. More than that, however, is not acceptable. I don't administer punishments of co-mission when it comes to his pokey face. Only punishments of o-mission. I chaff easily, you understand.
My husband thought Nick's beard was hilarious.
"What if I grew a beard like that?"
"It would be a lonely year for you."