I, Shawn P Greene, aka, FUDGE, finally groomed myself, after 9 months of letting my hair and beard grow. Some people have asked me “Why don’t you trim your beard?” or “You growing it out?”, and most of my replies have been similar to this statement “I’m waiting for Hockey season to end”, but REALLY, there is another reason.
Maybe I have more than 1 reason for growing out my follicles. Let’s start from the beginning of my desire to grow my hair. First, one thing that I did NOT inherit from my father, Robert Jr, was his thinning scalp, which he inherited from his father, Robert Sr. Both had the award winning comb-overs that are typical of men over 60. Unfortunate for my father, the thinning process began in his 20s. Fortunate for me, now in my mid-40s, I do not have that problem. So, for the mere fact that I can grow hair, and a lot of it, I’ve let it go on several occasions. My father actually let my hair grow for a while as a preschooler, just to fit in the 1970s culture. Most of my hair cuts into my pre-teens were decided by my mother, and at least the final result was approved by her. As I entered my teens I looked for an identity used my hairstyles as more of an extension of my personality.
In the late 1980s, while in high school, I’ve experimented with many different hair styles, from punk, to prep, to buzzed-jock, and from shag, to the skater, to the masterful mullet. I did it simply to amuse myself, and to say, I’ve done it. At the time, my school had only a handful of students experimenting with fashion, especially males. Some were more daring than others, often getting publically ridiculed. I really had no fear of anyone’s opinion and for those that resented that about me put me on their hate list. The majority who knew me complimented me, made fun of me just to be a jokester, or didn’t think much of it; they just knew me Shawn Greene, one of the different ones. I’m pretty sure I enjoyed the attention I got, no matter what form I received it.
After high school, I joined the Navy, where I got a mandatory buzz cut, as did all the other recruits. The next 6 years, I was a well groomed sailor, 4 years active and 2 years reserves. There was a period of rebellion when I grow out the top of my head just enough to slick back my hair for inspections, so I didn’t look too much like a square on the beaches of San Diego. After the 6 years of a proper look, I just stopped getting regular trips to the barber and started the mullet/shag looks again. During this time I lived in Florida, where I could pull off a stellar mullet and get away with it.
The 1990s came and went, and I still had a full head of hair. Not only that, but I had no signs of aging. I didn’t have any recognizable gray follicles or thinning/receding hairline. After working in a customer service environment most of my post military days, and needing to look half-way decent for the general public, I started working in a warehouse where most people didn’t care what you looked like, as long as you were productive. So, in the early-2000s, I grew out my hair for several years. At its longest, my hair grew to reach my lower back and my bangs were just as long. I fit the look of a typical head banger, which fit my music interests at the time. I began using a new nickname “FUDGE” as a stage name in the music industry. I finally parted with the look in the fall of 2004, while hosting an open mic night, by getting a buzz on-stage while someone was playing a guitar. I was always a sucker for publicity, which worked to get some people I work with to attend the open mic for the first time since its 3 year inception. I was now, back to my squeaky clean look that my mother approved of.
That lasted for a few years, when in the winter of 2010, I started a new trend – Growing my beard. Until that winter, I never really grew more than a goatee, or some small stubble as a beard. I never just flat out just stopped trimming the face. After 6 months that spring, I had an epic “Hockey” beard, as some put it. Every winter since then, I have started earlier and earlier to begin growing the beard, and every year, it gets scarier. It’s the summer of 2014, the LA Kings have won the Stanley Cup, and now, I back to the momma’s boy look. Of course, my fiancée is happy with it as well. She loves me no matter what I look like, but, the fresh look seems to stimulate her visual senses.
Truth be told, I really enjoy the fact I can still grow a healthy head of hair and, more recently, a wild “Duck Commander”-type face mask. I grow it because it can. I grow it because it’s different. I grow it to satisfy my need to be creative, unique, and just plan lazy. The funniest thing is, I have created a new character this past year, similar to a backwoods, rightwing, redneck named “Trash Nelson”. THAT is another story for another time. What is the next phase of follicles? Stay tuned.