Last week I strolled into a business proposal with the confidence of a Wild West gunslinger. I’d done my homework; I knew these sales documents front and back. Despite not yet meeting face-to-face, I was very familiar with the prospects via the phone. The most important part of sales is selling yourself, and I’d made sure that this group and I were fucking boys.
I strolled in like Ari Gold coming to bring down the house. Shook the hands and kissed the babies. Even gave the dog some love. As we sat at the table I prepared to get down to business. But I saw the question coming. I saw the shadow of doubt crossing the faces in front of me. One of them decided to take the initiative to address the potentially young elephant in the room.
“How old ar….”
I always try to kindly cut them off to acknowledge that I’m aware of the situation.
“25 in April, ma’am.”
Your boy has a fucking baby face.
Having a face that’s almost always smooth to the touch has always carried its share of drawbacks. Getting carded until age 40 is an absolute reality. And we aren’t talking just at the bars and liquor stores. Tobacco, lotto tickets, hell, I even found myself ready to whip out my ID to go see The Hateful Eight a few weeks ago.
There’s nothing like seeing your buddies bearding out hard during Movember while your face sits bare as a babies ass. It’s cold in the winter, even in Texas, a little facial hair could go a long way for my personal warmth. Seeing all the solid facial hair that surrounds me hurts from time to time. To quote Drake, “Jealousy in the air tonight I can tell.” All that jealousy in the air is from me.
My college baseball team mercifully had a shave rule during my tenure. Tuesdays and Fridays every week, clean shaven, no excuses. Except my junior year. That year, coach lifted the ban, and the team was rife with quality facial hair. Beards, sweet staches, Latin-themed chin straps. You name it, we had it. But for me? My face is like a majority of West Texas; a barren wasteland, with occasional ugly shrubbery. I had a creeper stache that stuck on my lip like an anorexic caterpillar.
Ok, admittedly it’s pretty sweet to not have to sweat shaving every morning, or having that feeling of looking like a homeless guy after a couple days of forgetting. Shaving sucks and having to do it as little as possible is kinda sweet. I’ve also always been told, “Oh, but you’ll look sooo young when you’re 40.” If I’m still giving fucks about anything when I’m 40, then yeah that’s cool.
Most of what I’ve discussed is just envious whining. Not proud of it, but I’m a whiner. It’s not the end of the world that I can’t turn into James Harden in November. What is a legitimate obstacle, however, is the issue of looking young when trying to break into the adult world. Older people hate younger people like Donald Trump hates a conflicting opinion. It doesn’t help to earn the respect of older clients or coworkers when you look like you just got out of high school.
One just has to work to overcome a crippling case of baby face. Dress sharp and know your shit. Most of all, when it comes to your baby face, just accept it. Short of facial hair plugs or a 4 pack-a-day smoking & tanning habit, you’re not looking any older anytime soon. Your peers will notice it, but as long as you don’t carry yourself like you’re still a child they won’t treat you like one.
For now, I urge my fellow baby faces to persevere. I know I’ll do my best to curb the beard-envy and tolerate the repeated carding. I’ll savor when I’m rushing in the morning knowing that at least I don’t have to fit shaving into my schedule. And when someone makes a crack about me not being over the drinking age, or a prospective client glances uncertainly upon my youthful appearance, I’ll remember that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And on the inside I’m a grown ass man.
We are baby faces. And we can overcome..
Image via Shutterstock