I was told Malian’s love beards, so I began growing one about six weeks before my next scheduled work term in Mali.
Seriously, I was pushing out this glorious red mane on my face, despite that my once red head hair is now seriously bleached out.
Our Bamako friend, Armee, our go to for everything, taxi driver, find us anything we need person, commented on my red beard when he saw me my first day back in Bamako. He was duly impressed with it’s growing mass, and especially the color. He said any Malian seeing my mane will be compelled to say “As-salaam Alakum” (Peace be upon you) to which I would reply “Wa ‘alaykum salaam”.
I made the comment that I like it, I’m happy he likes it, but Lynn hates it. (My wife was sitting in the back seat of the Taxi)
“If your Wife does not like it, then you should not have it.”, he said
He then told the true story how his visit to his mother after had a new beard forming. She refused visit Armee, and sent him home saying, “Don’t you come back until that thing is shaved off.” He had tried to grow a beard several times, each time his mother refuses to see him, or feed him, when he does.
My wife will put up with a beard, but every time I begin to grow one. She does not say much. I voluntarily shave it off about the eight week mark most times. I have only ever reached twelve weeks once. Lynn does not badger me about it at all, but I know how she feels.
This is how it is. If I get even a hint that the beard might be hindering the volume of kisses I can give, or receive, from her direction, that red beard is gone.
As Armee suggested, the Muslim folks love it (He is Muslim), but I should not have one, if Lynn is not impressed.
A few weeks later it came off.
The Mane was gone.
The Lion tamed…. sort of…. 😉