I had the goatee long before I started losing my hair. I grew it because of Blackadder II. I figured if facial hair could make Rowan Atkinson look dashing, it was worth a shot.
The first time many of my relatives saw me with the beard was at my paternal grandmother’s funeral, in something like 1993. At the gathering after the service one of my cousins gave me a hard time about it. I proclaimed that my facial hair was the future, and that eventually, many of his friends would have the same facial hair. I am proud to say that I was right.
If that seems like an inappropriate conversation for me to get embroiled in at my grandmother’s post-funeral gathering, you should know it was catered with the contents of her fridge and freezer, and my aunts and uncles were all around my cousin and I, divvying up grandmother’s stuff, arguing over picture frames, and pulling up chunks of her carpet.