As we discussed last week, to take the bump off of my chin - and, coincidentally, to also take the bump/mole off the base of my neck - I had to shave my beard. (Well, I didn't really need to shave to have the mole taken off of my neck. Although it might have helped a bit if my upper chest didn't have quite so much hair, but that is due to the bandage, not the actual mole removal.)
It has been a number of years since my face was truly clean shaven. Usually, when I decide that I want to get rid of my beard/goatee/whatever I've got going on I simply set the clippers to "zero" and take it down to about a one-day shadow.
So it has been a while since I've seen my full face only covered in skin. And, although I had every intention of taking care of this step in the doctor-visit prep on Thursday evening, it was almost stymied by a lack of razor. Luckily, I found one in the one-quart clear zipper-top bag I take with me when I travel. (Note to self: Buy more razors before travelling.)
Here is how I looked before I went into the bathroom:
For the record, I don't think I usually look quite so "big-chinned." I'm blaming the angle of the camera. I'm not all that good with the whole "self-portrait with a digital camera" thing.
Although... I must admit... I do rather like my glasses.
Here's how I looked when I came out of the bathroom:
I walked over to Christopher and he looked at me and said "That doesn't really look like you." Sadly, due to the fact that my beard has gone so grey, it also didn't look very much like Wolverine. (Because, yes, the only thing keeping me from looking like Wolverine is the color of my beard. For the sake of this blog post, I'll ask that you kindly all agree with that statement. Thank you.)
OH. Look! The mole on the base of my neck makes a cameo in that picture. I hadn't noticed it before.
So I returned to the bathroom and did some more clipping and shaving of the beard. The Wolverine mutton chops got smaller and smaller, and I even trimmed up my sideburns.
I remembered, as I was doing all of that, that I really kind of like the act of shaving. I don't love the time it takes every morning to keep it all smooth, but I do like the activity. It's kind of a cool ritual of sorts. And, apparently, it's one I'll be keeping up for the next week, since I'm supposed to keep a bandage on my chin (and another on my neck - which Christopher said kind of makes it look like I had a tracheotomy), and they don't stick to stubble.
Oh. In case you're wondering what I look like without my beard, it's something like this:
Okay. So maybe that photo is actually from grad school back in about 1992. But it's totally what, in my mind, I figured I would look like when the beard came off.
Instead, I got this:
I'm happy to say that, after 4 days and some time for my skin to relax, my skin no longer looks red and irritated all over the place. And I haven't nicked myself and caused myself to bleed, again (that would be the dot above my upper lip). Although... throughout the day on Friday, and then a couple of times since, I have had a little bleeding from my chin - but that's covered by the bandage (which is the reason I can't grow my beard back, yet, as I'm sure you remember from just a few paragraphs ago).
I think Christopher has gotten past the "You look weird" stage of this. And I think almost everyone in my office has seen me, now, and asked what the heck happened - prompted, in large part, by the chin bandage. (I've also gotten the I'm-going-to-take-that-as-a-compliment-style "you look so much younger - I mean, you don't look old with the beard, but..." comments at work.) And I've even gotten used to my current reflection in the mirror.
Which does not mean that I'm staying clean shaven after this is done. But it does mean that I might be open to the options. Though probably not the Wolverine one.