Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dudefile #26 - The Goatee


My friends and I love your site!!

My q is regarding dude's goatee. He's a new dude I just recently started dating. He's half-Asian which is code for *very little facial hair* and yet, he insists on growing a goatee. It just kind of ends up looking crusty and unkempt, and well, let's face it, I think it's unattractive. But he sees it as an integral part of his facial structure. Is there any way to sway my dude, to shed the light, er, that is to say to shed the goatee? Do any precious words exist that could make him shave it off or is it a lost cause? It's not that it's a deal breaker, but, what can I say, I prefer them clean-shaven.What magic words can I whisper to my dude??

- Smoothie

Hi Smoothie,

Ah, the p^ssy goat. The prison pus&y. The pudding ring. The chin strap. I’ve got good news and bad news for you on this front, Smoothie. First, the bad.

As a phenomenon the goatee is going nowhere. It’s like how the DW’s grandfather wore a hat well into the 1990’s and the old hippies over in the Haight still wear tie-dyes and headbands. Time and fashion keep moving, but all of us, to one degree or another, end up standing pat at some point with the things that were cool to us at a certain age. There will be a spate of Gen-X mouthringers for the next fifty years, just as many hipsters of today will overestimate the shelf life of their Burt Reynolds/ Earl Hickey lipstripes and cling to that initially half-ironic statement with surprising earnestness until one day their teenaged daughters tell them they look, like, so 2008. Really, the only way to completely stomp out a facial hair fashion move is to have a Hitler come along. So, unless Stone Cold Steve Austin organizes some kind of roid-inspired genocide, get used to more of the goatee.

Now, the good news. You might be able to get Mr. Crusty to shave this thing. Look, for one thing, dudes may be less in tune with fashion than you are, but none of us wants to be a clown. Also, dudes are best at expressing that they care about you through actions instead of some tedious talking stuff we can’t and don’t want to keep up with. Put those two things together and you should just tell him what you honestly think. You don’t need too much of a segue. Just be mildly diplomatic or clever. Here’s how the DW’s wifey broached a similar subject about a month or two into their courtship.

Scene- In bed, late at night. Mood- Happy and goofy.

Wifey: What thing about me do you least like?
DW: Uh, nothing, shnookums. You’re perfect. Super perfect, actually.
Wifey: (Waits for DW to understand he’s supposed to ask her the same question. This takes a while.)
DW: Oh, uh. What do you least like about me?
Wifey: Your mock turtlenecks.

And that was that. Topic on the table. Since the DW is the kind of dude who really doesn’t care much about fashion and shops for clothes less than once a Jupiter year, simply raising the issue was enough to get him to purge a couple Steve Jobs specials from the closet. Your dude might be just as easy, but if it takes a little more persuading here are a couple things to keep in mind when crafting your argument.

One- Make sure you keep the argument that goatees are ridiculous To People In General, not just as a matter of your personal preference. If the dude feels like it’s just a matter of your opinion, he’ll resist because he’ll hear the crackle of the p$ssywhip in your voice. After all, why does your opinion matter more than his? But it’s harder to argue against conventional wisdom about what is cool. Maybe even couch it that you’re trying to do him a favor and spare him public scorn or spare him from looking old or something. Remember- Say It’s Not Just You.

Two- Stay focused on the fact that shaving is subtracting rather than adding. It’s stuff like “But you’d look so cute in this two hundred dollar Euro disco shirt,” that makes dudes feel like pets and instinctively resist and cling desperately to everything you hate just to retain some dignity. Dudes do not like to feel like you are dressing them up. But if you were to say, for instance, that the goatee is just “one less thing for you to think about” or that he “doesn’t need it” or something like that it appears less like you’re trying to talk him into something than trying to do him a favor.

This all said, you might well meet with resistance. The DW’s favorite 'around the house shirt' is literally 20 years old and has a hole in the left armpit the size of a salad plate. It’s tattered and stretched out, the DW’s wife hates it, and it probably does look dumb, but you’ll have to pry it out of his cold dead hands. It’s his favorite shirt and that’s that. If your dude is similarly attached for no real logical reason to the nosebeaver you may just have to live with it because no argument will work to get rid of it.

Whatever way it plays out, though, bringing up the topic isn’t going to be a huge problem to your dude. If he wants to shave, he’ll feel good about doing something for you. If he doesn’t, he’ll feel good about sticking to his guns and being manly and resisting being whipped. If you’re prepared to accept either outcome (and it's good this isn't a deal breaker for you because you really do need to be prepared to accept either outcome) there’s little risk in bringing any of this up.

Best of luck bringing your man’s face into the new millennium,

the DW

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is a tough one. dudes don't like to be told what to do or how to dress or groom. the p'whip factor cannot be underestimated.

and imagine how sensitive and ultra tactful your dude would need to be in order to suggest to you that your current hairstyle is a bit too trendy and maybe not right for you. it's a delicate situtaion or sure.