Last week, B-a-B blogged about the trend of post break-up beardos (aka: those that grew a beard after being dumped as a final f-you act or those that grew a beard after breaking some partner's heart). We put a call to action - we wanted to interview someone who fit this description - and the extremely talented Max Dana answered the call.
Max runs the popular blog 'Dissentertainer' - dedicated to uncovering the hidden treasures of music, film, art and the culture at large. More importantly, he sports one fine looking beard after experiencing some heartache (Note: I've known Max for years - and it's completely the girl's loss - he's a New York City gem).
Recently, we sat down over beers and discussed Max's hairy tale.... when his beard "became a man," the experience of growing an epic Civil War-style beard, how beards are "catnip for girls," and how Max balances both his mod & lumberjack facial hair styling....
BAB: How long were you dating and why did you choose to grow a beard after the relationship ended?
Max: We dated for about a year, but I didn't give birth to the beard until a few months after we broke up. It was actually more of an "accidental beard" and didn't initially have anything to do with my ex, but I don't love it any less for being unplanned or conceived out of wedlock.
BAB: Did the post break-up beard start as a mustache and grow into a beard - or did you decide to go all out? Was it a conscious decision?
Max: I grew the beard as a form of self-defense. At first it was just some light scruff that I was sporting after a particularly lazy Labor Day weekend. I was a few weeks away from my 30th birthday and facial hair seemed like a really grown-up thing that I had never tried, so I decided not to shave for the rest of the month.
A few days into the experiment, I let the ex-girlfriend in question take a shower at my apartment while I was at work because she had been sleeping at her office and needed to clean herself up before visiting apartments that night. I told her to be gone by the time I got home and to leave her set of keys behind, but of course she was there upon my return. Further, when I got back to the apt, she didn't want to leave. When I insisted that she leave she got a little crazy and a little violent (note to self: don't leave box cutters around the house), so I decided to take an evening stroll to the local police precinct.
She was gone by the time I got back, but the next morning I noticed that my underwear felt a little breezier than normal and discovered a gaping hole that had been slashed in the crotch. She had apparently used my time at the precinct - to not only cut up most of my clothes - but also to fold and hang them up perfectly so I would discover a little bit more of her "crazy" each and every morning. That was the day my beard became a man. I abandoned my plan to shave it and decided to wear it as a disguise instead.
BAB: Did your ex see you with a beard weeks or years later - did she have any comments (good or bad)?
Max: She may have seen a photo online because she was cyber stalking me for a good three months after that, but she never saw it in person. I'm sure she would have hated it because she would have understood the meaning behind it. It wasn't until I grew the beard that I also grew the balls to finally change my phone number and excommunicate her permanently from my consciousness.
BAB: How long have you rocked a beard since this relationship ended?
Max: I kept it for about a year, but eventually had to shave it off for a show. It's hard to maintain a consistent beard as an actor unless you have branded yourself as a beardo, but once in a while you get to really go for it. Last year I grew out an epic Civil War-style beard for a show based on a Faulkner novel. I felt like I got to know my beard in a new light.
BAB: Will you keep growing it? Why?
Max: My mod side and my lumberjack side are still fighting this one out, but shaving is a pain in the ass. Besides, beards are catnip for girls so I don't see myself going clean anytime soon.
BAB: What does your beard mean to you?
Max: My father sported a super manly beard when I was a kid, but shaved it off recently, so my beard sometimes feels like the passing of the torch. It makes me want to learn how to restore muscle cars and hunt with a bow and arrow.
Max the Beardo
Dapper Days (and proof point on why beards are catnip to us ladies - meow...)
Clean faced Max (prior to the break-up)