Years ago while Lara was in high school, Chris and I were asked to help with the Church summer youth activity. The multi-day activity varies from year to year, but about every 3rd or 4th year they have a Mormon pioneer re-enactment called, the Trek. This activity is organized on a church-wide basis, and is designed to help the youth appreciate their heritage and the faith and sacrifices made by the early members of the church. For this re-enactment we went to a wilderness location to pull handcarts up and down hills, through sand and mud. While we do this, we dress appropriate to the era (late 1840s) no jeans, tennis shoes, shorts, and long dresses only for the girls. The adult leaders are designated as Ma and Pa, and are there as chaperones and teachers. Each ma and pa have a group of teens and one handcart which is used to carry all their belongings and gear. We cook our meals over an open fire and learn how to make ash cakes and bake bread in a dutch oven.
All this background is to explain why I decided to grow a beard. I thought it would be a nice touch, adding to the authenticity. The trek was a lot of fun and we enjoyed the experience.
I kept my beard for several months because my wife said she liked it. One day on a complete whim I shaved it off. I waited anxiously for Chris to notice, but to no avail. Not a word even though I was hinting. (To You men out there: you needn’t feel guilty about not noticing your wife’s new hair do. They don’t notice either. That’s not to say you won’t pay, if you don’t.) Finally I asked, “Do you notice anything different?”. “No” was her reply. “Look at me!” I said. Finally with a little yelp she realized that the beard was gone.
That evening at the supper table I posed the question: “Should I grow my beard back?”
Lara said, “I think you look younger and thinner with a beard.”
My nephew Tyler Mason, who was staying with us at the time said, “I think you look smarter with a beard.”
Chris said, “I think you look sexier with a beard.”
That sealed the deal. What else is there? Smarter, thinner, younger and sexier.