What do you think, Ratty?

Dearest Ratty,

I recently at the tender old age of the new 30 got my driver’s license. It has been an amazing and of course terrifying experience. There are things that I’m quite fond of: the high of the lane change and the “oh how very courteous” advanced green arrow are two that come to mind. On learning that I have just now acquired my license,  people congratulate me with a “good for you!” and then very quickly give me pointers on driving, pointers that you could easily adapt for how how to live your life:

“Just relax, don’t be uptight and don’t let yourself be bullied.”

“If someone tries to be aggressive with you,  just smile.”

“Going too slow is just as bad as going too fast”

and my personal favourite:

“Go wide.”

I know that you recently have grown a beard. Is there any advice on growing a beard that you have received or you could give, which you could adapt into pearls of wisdom on how to live your life?

Dear Mole,

I am, by my count, on the third beard of my thirty seven years. It has not been my experience that men offer other men grooming tips (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” being the obvious exception). The most help I’ve ever received vis-a-vis a beard is, “You look like shit”. A little helpful, I guess, but sort of broad.

Here are my own tips which, I hope, can be applied beyond the beard.

1) Moisturize!

2) You’re not a hipster, you’re (your name here).

3) If you’re not model handsome you should try and dress up a bit or someone might give you change (true story).

4) If you are the kind of man who still chews bubblegum and likes to blow big bubbles and let them pop against your face then you need to reconsider (bubble blowing or beards, your call).

5) If it’s not full don’t wait for it to get full. It won’t. Move on.

6) If someone touches it without permish touch them right back.

7) There’s going to be at least two weeks in there where you look awful. Don’t give up OR give up. Either decision is right.

8) Don’t get creative, it’s not a substitute for a personality.

9) Go wide.

10) You look like shit.

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