Tyler Stanton and I have been friends for many years. We occasionally meet in Commerce, GA. I call it our Commerce Mandate. It makes it sounds official as if I have some serious business that needs my attention. Someone asks, “What are you doing tonight?” and I can say boldly, “I have to attend to a Commerce Mandate.” They nod in amazement.
(A Starbucks employee just informed us that we have 10 minutes until closing. I tell her “cool” and Tyler takes a big swill from his cooling coffee)
Me: Tyler, right now you are sporting a pseudo beard. In the length of time that I’ve known you, I don’t think I have ever seen a fat beard on you. Is that true?
Tyler: I feel like — I mean we’ve known each other for awhile — I feel like I’ve had a number of beards throughout that time.
Me: No. Never. It’s been pretty much this (pointing to Tyler’s chin area). The beard you are sporting looks like you forgot to shave this morning.
Tyler: I typically shave every fourth day. Around day 2.5/3, it gets to be pretty awful.
Me: You have the uncanny ability to grow a 3 o’clock shadow.
Tyler: I started shaving when I was probably…11?
Me: Was that out of need or because you wanted to be a “shaver”?
Tyler: A little bit of both. I think that I thought I was awesome at the time. I had the ‘stache problem early on.
Me: We call that the Thinstache.
Tyler: Well, I had the Thinstache probably in 5th or 6th grade. I was an early developer. I thought I was awesome then…
(The oppressively loud sound of grinding fills the store)
Tyler: …sorry, I can’t concentrate anymore because of the espresso that is being made with 8 minutes left. I forgot what I was saying.
Me: (Apparently thinking like an Austrailian) No worries. You are also a Connector too, right?
Tyler: Do you connect?
Me: (Hanging head in shame) Not at all.
Tyler: Well, you have a bare chest, don’t you?
Me: You do a blog and I think you did a post about the beard line… you had some equation?
Tyler: It’s an equation that’s quite simple, but I feel like when dads teach their kids to shave, they should have it in their back pocket.
Me: I really didn’t understand the equation.
Tyler: The equation is this: Beard Line < Jaw Line. (Goes on to explain equation) I feel like a bad beard line can make your somewhat fat neck look like a really fat neck. Nobody wants that. That’s where I gain weight is the neck region — first. So whenever I gain weight…
Me: …it goes straight to the neck?
Tyler: (Nodding) Straight to the neck. It’s… The jowell…
Me: That just sounds pretty gross.
Tyler: It’s a problem.
Me: Alright, we’re done here I think.
(Same Starbucks employee approaches our table to inform us that of the easily 2 minutes we actually have remaining, we are now out of time. I protest and Tyler slowly looks to the floor and offers a sarcastic remark.)
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