Invasion of the Beardy Snatchers

I've been growing my beard back out since Easter. Since I am not a particularly hairy person, it takes about two weeks to slip from the "oh, he must have forgotten to shave today" response to the camp of "ah, it's a beard he's angling for". Having a beard is nice, particularly because it means I don't have to shave. I know I shouldn't complain about shaving, especially since I have an electric razor which works, more or less, and there's no social taboo equivalent to non-shaved legs on women if I get some fuzz. However, anything that makes for excuse of sleeping in later, however infinitesimally, is gold in my book. It's already hard enough to get to work by 8.30. [I can't imagine what it'd be like to have a real job where tardiness isn't accepted. Hopefully, my current employer will keep me around for a bit longer.]

At any rate, Sunday was my two week mark and I'm looking like a quasi-bearded dude. My sister and her kids came over for dinner. The first thing O., a five-year old and my sister's oldest son, said to me, even before "Can we play Super Mario Galaxy" was "How come you don't look like Uncle Lovey?" I guess I look entirely different with the beard. Also, all three of my local nephews are frightened of touching my facial hair. I don't know what they suspect will happen if they do, but it must be pretty terrible.

Relatedly, it's really easy to make young boys a fan of you. Two words: video games. It's fun to have young nephews, not least because I still act pretty regularly as if I'm in kindergarten. I'm on their level, if you will. Though, I have a beard now, so I must be an adult, right?

I seem to find myself regularly requiring a trip to the post office. I frequently will take the second half of my lunch break and run over to the one local to my work. There's this really funny Chinese woman who works there. I share her ethnicity both because I'm a xenophobe and because the stories about her are much funnier if you imagine her dialogue with a thick accent. Her trademark, at least according to me, is the hard sell on stamps. Every time you buy a stamp, she's always pressuring you to buy more and giving dire predictions about how you'll run out. It's almost as if she works on commission or something. She also recognizes people regularly and will joke with them (apparently, there's a crew of us who show up at the post office the same time with regularity). To one, it's a joke about coming on her lunch break. To another, it's gentle jibes about his ebay business. The problem is, she obviously finds herself much funnier than we do.

At any rate, I was over there a couple days ago, mailing a job application. It's to the government, so of course there's no virtual option. I hand it over and let her know I'd like to send it first class. She looks at it and say, "Human Resources. You sure you don't want to send it first class? Show them you care? Show them you're really interested?" I tell no, first class is fine. She comes back with, "How about delivery confirmation? I would send it priority if I were you. Then they'll know you want the job."

After a couple more times of this, she finally accepted the fact that it I really didn't want it sent faster than regular mail and accepted my $1.35. I love the USPS. Say what you will about America's foreign policy or social services, but I will fight to the death anybody who says we don't do mail right. It makes me feel more patriotic than anything else. I'm not joking.