Grizzly Man

When I was a senior in college, I attempted No Shave November and failed. Not because I cared how I looked (this was when my belly began to bulge and I wore hats all the time), but because my “beard” was so itchy I couldn’t think about anything else. I felt gross and shaved it off.

Another year, I attempted to make it the full 30 days, but shaved my upper lip frequently because I was embarrassed by what most people called “nothing” (I called it a “mustache”).

This year was the perfect storm. I spent most of my November gallivanting across Europe (read the first part of that series here), so my appearance at work wasn’t an issue. I also didn’t want to pack shaving cream in my carry-on; this left space for important things like granola bars and Pepto Bismol. The added bonus, though, was being able to take a selfie each day, and most of them were taken in some beautiful places. I’m proud to report that for the first time ever, I graduated from “peach fuzz at best” to “Hey, you kind of have a beard. It’s gross.” I’m counting it as a win.

November 1

Crazy eyes at the office–likely a result of pre-vacation excitement and general lunacy.

November 2

Airport smoulder. Or, my flight was delayed and I was unconvincingly playing it cool.

November 3

Jetlag, stupid dingus half smile, and a side of La Sagrada Familia.

November 4

The mountains of Montserrat and not a trace of facial hair.

November 5

The Mediterranean Sea and one raised eyebrow. The hairs begin to poke through.

November 6

Roma beats Bologna, and I start to think I can’t beat No Shave November.

November 7

Colosseum rubble and itchy chin stubble.

November 8

The Frascati Vineyard and fellow tour-goers telling me my beard looks grape and my puns are terrible.

November 9

Michelangelo’s David and’s Cole.

November 10

Riomaggiore, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and I ruined the photo with my scruff.

November 11

Atop Il Duomo at the Florence Cathedral, the world beneath stares up at my beard.

November 12

Our Gondolier had a full beard. We exchanged a friendly glance and hearty nod once the ride was over. Beards are the true universal language.

November 13

I’m so happy here because I felt like this pond on the island of Torcello looked like a Zelda temple. Also, I didn’t really need the scarf; I had my beard to keep me warm.

November 14

Art historians finally figured out why Mona Lisa was smiling…she had just imagined a 25 year-old tourist with a dorky pseudo-beard and chuckled while the painter worked.

November 15

Cata-combs when I really needed a razor. Thanks, France.

November 16

At the top of the Eiffel Tower, approximately 10 minutes before I bought hot chocolate and got whipped cream all over my beard.

November 17

New glasses, new jacket, new beard. Damn it feels good to be a hipster.

November 18

Symptoms of returning from international vacations: Jetlag, unruly beard, and a huge forehead, apparently.

November 19

I made it back to Cody’s, my favorite bar, as soon as I could after coming home. They didn’t recognize me with all the facial hair…

November 20

This is the part of the post where I start to run out of things to say. My beard is gross. Have I done that one already?

November 21

Coincidentally, this is also the part of the month where I ran out of creative picture ideas. So here’s my work parking lot.

November 22

Most prominent here is the faintest evidence of a downright horrific mustache.

November 23

Just five days after my europe trip, I went to Dallas for Thanksgiving. Here, I was mostly thankful that I only had seven days of this nonsense left.

November 24

I stayed at my friend’s dad’s place for the holiday, and had to deal with this terrible weather (and facial hair) on Thanksgiving.

November 25

Not my first rodeo.*

November 26

My first time wearing my Iowa sweatshirt all month!**

November 27

Bad hair, bad beard, bad selfie, badass.

November 28

Back at work, motivated by my new puffy vest and only two more days with that thick, lush beard.

November 29

One. More. Day.

November 30

The teacher at this painting class said I could use my bristly face as an extra brush…wait till you see how the painting turned out…coming in the next few weeks.

If you read through all of those, I’m amazed. Congratulations. I shaved the next morning and it felt SO SO GOOD. The surprising thing is that a few people actually seemed sad it was going away. I, of course, was just happy not to look disgusting anymore.

In my next post, the Cole Tries Europe series continues with Barcelona Day 2!

*Actually my first rodeo. More on that in a future post.

**Did I make you look?