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    Entries in Class Reunion (1)

    Sunday
    Sep182016

    Too Chicken to Grow a Beard

     

    I have a Sam’s Club membership. It belonged to my father and I simply transferred it after he passed away. There are good deals to be had if you know what you’re doing. Personally, I don’t buy much in bulk like he did because, in the end, he left cases and cases and cases of canned goods in every closet in the house, and some had expired years ago. I think it had to do with Obama’s election. The end was near.

    Anyway, I went into Sam’s to buy one of their huge and delicious rotisserie chickens. At only $4.98 each, it’s a real bargain. One of the guys behind the counter (I guess you could call them chicken tenders) told me that if I wanted to wait a few minutes, he’d be taking fresh ones out of the oven. Of course, I waited. We talked a little. That particular store sells around 200 chickens a day. Sometimes, 300 on Saturdays. Amazing!

    §

    My class reunion is coming up very soon. No, I’m not taking any chickens with me. A week or so ago, I thought about growing a beard just because I wanted to, so I stopped shaving. ‘Yeah, I look a little scruffy, but it should grow in nicely,’ I thought. Eventually. By the time I fly up to New Jersey, it should be fully grown. It’s not a fashion statement of any kind. I just decided to complement my already existing mustache and goatee that I’ve had for, like, forever. However…

    I was hungry when I got to Sam’s, so I sidled up to the restaurant counter to order something to eat. They sell pizza and hot dogs and other assorted sandwiches at great prices. I decided on a sausage sub with peppers and onions. The lady who took my order and rang it up was probably around 70-years-old. I’m 64. I think she was Hispanic (or Latino) because she spoke in extremely broken English, but I’m used to it after living in Florida for such a long time.

    “Oh, you very handsome man,” she said, but not nearly as clear.

    Oh, how nice, I thought, but I didn’t really believe her. “Thank you very much.”

    What happened next was rather interesting. She took one of her hands and stroked her cheeks in a downward motion, as if to be pressing on a beard. “No, that not look good on you.”

    “No?”

    “No, it make you look old. Much older.”

    “Oh… Hmmm. Thank you.” And I meant it. This was something to think about. I had a full beard back in the mid-80s and I’ve always thought about growing another one. My reunion, I thought, would be the perfect time. Except for that one statement. I mean, I can understand a 30 or 40-year-old telling me that it makes me look older than I am, but a 70-year-old? That’s a whole different perspective and honest critique, so I will shave it before I go. There’s absolutely no way I want to attend my class reunion looking older than the rest of the old people who will be there.