Sandwiched between two bearded colleagues -- one named Ben, the other, Brandon -- I'm eating a strawberry ice cream cone. While usually my brainspace would be occupied with thoughts on how unremarkable strawberry ice cream is, I am instead anxious about and conscious of the cold stuff that's weeped into the bristles of my upper lip, and thoroughly aware that I look like a Cuban revolutionary.
Such is life with a beard.
As a woman who, on a regular day, happens to be non-hirsute, I eat tall, condiment-heavy sandwiches with abandon, and with little regard for leakage. A clean face is a simple tongue flick or back-of-the-hand wipe away. It is a condition I was lucky enough to be born into, which is why I felt inclined to don a fake beard and get munchin' -- to live a moment in someone else's face, and better understand the bearded experience.