On Saturday I arrived in Merced CA to visit my Mom and take care of some things for her. When I entered her room in the mid-morning, at the skilled nursing facility where she is currently located, she was sleeping. When I awakened her, I could tell she wasn’t really sure who I was. The problem wasn’t her mind … it was my face. I shaved my beard and mustache a few weeks ago and have been clean-shaven since. My mom has not seen me without a beard and mustache in over 45 years.
My dear wife, hadn’t seen me clean-shaven in about that length of time as well and when she came home from work on the day I did the deed, she was startled and did three double-takes. With some grace and gentleness she eventually told me that she preferred me with the beard. When my daughter, who had never seen me hairless was confronted with my facial nakedness she was not as tactful. “I don’t like it” was her terse response. It seems as though my wife and daughter do not like the real me and would prefer the mask instead! 🙂
Well, back to my Mom: We chatted for a while and talked about family, her physical condition and other things that made it obvious that I was really me. Then she looked at me with an impish grin and said, “I’m having a hard time believing that is really you. Let me see your driver’s license.” Aside from the fact that this statement and request scared me momentarily in regard to my mother’s mental state, I complied. Once she saw my license with my bearded picture she said, “Yes, it really is you.” She also made it clear that she likes me this way.
I shared that reaction with my wife last night. “Mom likes it this way and thinks I should keep it shaved and I’ve always tried to do what my Mom told me.”
Linda’s response? “You are to leave your mother and cleave unto your wife.”
That sounds like a trump card to me. I don’t think I can win this hand!