Perception is a tricky thing, and it’s often wrong.
Well, not wrong as such, but rather it depends a lot on the perceiver, including their mood, their mind and their experiences.
Throughout this Movember experience, I’ve been trying to figure out what my moustache was going to look like. I’ve had several moustaches in the past, but they were all cleverly concealed within the confines of a beard. That way, they don’t get illusions of striking out on their own and conquering Hollywood, or Broadway or Stratford..
But as I challenged my self-identity over these last couple of months — or rather, as I challenged my perceivable self-identity — the target and result have flown around considerably.
Now, depending on the light, I might see:
- a bit of Louis Ciccone
- the beginnings of a full Paul Teutul Sr
- a math teacher/genius
- a banker (although without the requisite cash wad and expensive cigar)
- a fat man from the 1900’s
- someone who has finally grown up and become “adult”
Or a mix of all of these. Now, the coincidence of Movember photo day and Dress-Up Tuesdays exaggerates this. On the days when I wear the change of clothing and have a carefully-shaven face, there is a strange synergy of form, like my mind (along with the universe) notices the pattern match, and a nearly-audible ‘click’ is heard as existence falls into a well-worn notch.
I don’t plan to stop the Dress-up Tuesdays, by the way; I’m having too much fun with the odd reactions to it, and I hope I encourage others to adopt this civilized reaction to Casual Fridays.
It’s not that I want to see everyone dress up all the time (although that might be nicer), it’s rather that I rather like the idea of not dressing down so often. It strikes me that we have become all-too-casual with so many aspects of our lives, coddled by over-convenient media distractions into a form of catatonic stupor. Everything is so blasted easy, we don’t feel like doing anything.
Of course, not everything is easy. I struggle every week to pay the bills and buy groceries. I work more hours for less pay, then work extra hours on my PhD that I’m actively paying for. I don’t find much time to relax and enjoy media (although it seems like everyone else on the planet finds plenty!).
But then, I can surf on the Internet, lose myself in the wash of images, sounds, text and video, and at the end of a few hours, nothing is really accomplished.
(It should be noted that most criticisms about ‘everyone’ are likely as much self-criticisms as anything else. We understand by observation, and who do we observe more than most? Ourselves…)
I shall also continue to post something new here every Tuesday. I need to express myself in something longer than a clever tweet or story-accompanying snarky comment in the show notes of my podcast. These haven’t been coherent essays, but they have begun the practice and exercise the mind and fingers..
I’m also continuing to keep the moustache after Movember, although I am going to grow back at least part of the beard. Which parts? That, I do not know yet. I will be checking places like The Expanded Beard Type Chart for inspiration.
I do know that as the weather gets breezier and chillier, the chin starts to feel a little over-exposed…
By the way: I am never really going to “grow up”. I object to the very notion. I may get older, may get wiser (no guarantees!) and may get slower (but I can change that..) — all of these, but I refuse to abandon some part of the kid in myself. I refuse to accept that certain interests are “childish”, that using my imagination and creativity is somehow beneath my stature. I refuse to commit the unforgivable atrocity of killing off my inner child..
That said, I’m never being a Broney. Just sayin’. 🙂
And finally: if you want to contribute to the last couple of days of my first Movember, feel free to drop a couple of bucks off. I appreciate it!