Today I shaved. The beard is gone. The kids didn't want me to shave it off, but it's my face, after all, not theirs. If they want a beard, they can grow one themselves. That's the problem with kids these days. They expect everything to be done for them.
It was the soup at lunchtime that decided it. Too much got filtered out on the way to my mouth. Also, I hated the feeling of moisture on my moustache when I had a drink of water in the night. Somehow it was worse in the night. In the darkness. I could feel the water sitting their on my whiskers, tempting me to lap it. Like some animal licking its fur.
I hated the smell of my beard. Even when clean, it smelled. It smelled of whiskers. Whiskers have a smell all their own. I can't describe it but I hate it. I have always hated the smell of whiskers.
I didn't like the way it felt either. Though I did spend an inordinate amount of time, stroking and twirling it.
Then there was the fact that the beard made me look about fifteen years older than I did without it. At first - perversely - that was my main reason for keeping it, as I actually liked looking older, although I have to say it was older in a shabby rather than a distinguised way.
And, naturally, I was more determined to hang on to it the more people told me to get rid of it. Though my wife never once asked me to shave it off. I suspect she was using reverse psychology all along and is now mightily pleased that I have succumbed to the razor.
But now, it's gone. And I'm glad to see the back of it. God knows what possessed me to grow the thing in the first place.