‘That takes 5 years off you’…

… Is what someone said in response to my latest haircut and beard trim. ‘I can’t go too short’ I said, ‘Otherwise it will have a very, very, very dire effect on my life’. ‘Really, how so?’

If my hair is too short and I am clean-shaven, I start to look like a little boy and find it difficult to be taken seriously in client meetings. In such meetings, the client may be giving their thoughts on an important issue, during which time they may catch a glimpse of me in the corner of their eye, they’ll continue speaking though will become increasingly sidetracked, before abruptly halting…

‘I’m sorry, ah, why is there a little boy in this meeting? This is a serious meeting. Does this company not take me seriously as a client? Little boy, why are you here?’

‘Um, I’m 31’

’31? Is this an April Fools joke? This child is not 31!’

‘I really am, look here (reaches for wallet to get ID)…’

At this point the manager, 8 years my senior, steps in to save the day…

‘We’re deeply sorry Important Client, today is Follow-Your-Dad-To-Work-Day at Adrian’s School, Adrian is my son’

‘Oh I’m sorry little boy’

‘Adrian, you better leave now, go on, go and play with your toys outside’

‘But I’m 31…’

Raucous laughter erupts.. ‘Ha Ha Ha, of course you’re 31. That’s classic. Kids are so great’

Stubble must be grown with caution, however, because if it grows too far beyond stubble and starts becoming a fully-fledged beard, I begin to resemble a strange hybrid boy-man cross, kinda like an entry into the Guinness Book of Records ‘Children With Beards’ section. Or a circus freak appearing in the ‘Lady with a Moustache’ segment. If I let my hair grow too long, its lack of texture makes it start looking like a helmet. Or a Lego Man. So it’s a delicate mix indeed.

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