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Monthly Archives: August 2008

I live in a cul-de-sac and a neighbor who just sold their home put a clothes dryer on the curb.  Curious, I asked my neighbor, “How old is it?”  She said, “Only 4 years old; the heating element went out and why bother, we’ll just get another.”  I thought to myself, “Why not try to fit it to save money?”  (I tried to fix our washer machine that was only 6 years old.  That’s another story.)  But herein lies the problem with the area in which we live.  I have seen several extremes: homeowners will buy or lease a fancy/expensive car but have no furniture or curtains or food in the refrigerator.  These folks feed capitalism.  I have seen businesses jack the prices up because the assumption is that people in this area can afford it.  For example, a dad whose son plays football with my son, tells me that his auto repair shop has increased the price of parts over 70%.  Then there are folks like my neighbors who not only feed capitalism but the assumption of establishments like this auto repair shop.  Finally, there are people like us who don’t have a lot of money; we simply moved to this area 19 years ago because the school district is top notch and houses sale quickly.  We are victims of capitalism.

What recourse do I have:

  1. Do I scream?
  2. Do I tell my neighbors that they are not helping my cause? 
  3. Do I write or boycott establishments like this auto repair shop?

I think the middle class is being so squeezed it may progress to oblivion.

I am growing a beard!  I have been clean shaved for years.  I am finally in a “context” where I can grow one.  And when I was an undergrad, I could not grow hair on my face; now I get my chance.  Younger friends (non baby boomers) don’t seem to mind; one couple said to me, “I like it.”  (The husband also has facial hair.)  I like the younger generation because they in general challenge the status quo.  With the older generation, I seem to have broken a rule or upset the status quo because “everyone” is giving me feedback.  Consider these comments:

  1. “I have to get used to you with a beard.”  I am thinking to myself, “Why, you’re not my wife?” 
  2. “I have a razor in the car.”  This comment from a clean shaved deacon.  I am thinking, “Have you said something to your pastor who has worn a beard since 2002?”
  3. “Forget to shave this morning?”  I am thinking to myself, “No.”

As I said before, a beard, seems to be a social faux pas in some “circles”; I believe for these reasons:  one, most companies have an unwritten law of no excess hair on one’s face.  In fact, a gentleman told me recently that his company at one time did not allow any facial hair at all.  He works for the same company and now wears a gold-tee.  Second, look at folks on TV.  Take news reporters for example.  Enough said.  But there was Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes who not only wore a beard but later an earring.  Yeah, Ed!  Third, I have heard that a person wearing a beard was suspect.  I don’t know why.  Why do we judge people by their skin color, what they wear, by their tattoos, where they live, their hair length, and now what they have on their face?