Thing is, I do know a number of men who have full beards who are lovely and I have no modern references for disliking beards. Geetangeli's husband had been cultivating a growth for a few years and he's a lovely man - he looks a bit like a Russian Prince around the time of the Revolution at the moment. I had another workmate a few years ago, an uncut Sikh, Jassinder. There was nothing threatening about his beard either - I remember giving him a peck on the cheek after a night out with the work guys and I was surprised at how soft his beard was. My friend Jugdeep, is also Sikh, but he trims his beard. Lovely man, nothing freaky about him. Nothing threatening, nothing strange. Alice's husband sometimes sports a beard. Doesn't bother me.
In my new role, I find myself with a new workmate. It's taken a few days to get used to him, but the major stumbling block for me in getting to know him better was his beard.
This fellow is a dear man - a great workmate. Supportive, sweet and easy to get along with, but the face fuzz, which to his credit is clean and well trimmed, had something at the back of my psyche yelling.
Beards have always had this effect on me - unsettling me, making me feel threatened. I've only once ever dated a guy with a beard, and that was a well trimmed goatee. For the rest of the male race, I've always given beardies a wide berth.
I'm not sure if it's because nobody in my family had a beard. None of my my family friends had a bear either - which might be seen as a bit strange as I was a child of the seventies.
The only bad association I have with beards happened when I was a young child. A group of family friends went on a picnic in the Adelaide Hills. It was a lovely hot dry day. I was about five or six-years old. One of the other kids and I, Billie, went exploring in the forest. Billie, a year my senior was told to look after me.
We encountered a strange man. All I remember is that he had dirty shorts and a beard. Strange, uncomfortable movements. It wasn't right. We weren't supposed to talk to strangers. I pulled Billie away from the man. Billie and I knew something was wrong so we ran back to our families.
What ensued was angry mayhem. Police were called, our fathers and the men folk scoured the forest. We went home early and never, ever went back to that national park.
I can't remember why, but there is something about men with beards I've never liked.
Maybe this is why.