27 Nov 2014


Letter B

According to psychiatrists most of our problems stem from our childhood (poor parents) In my case it is the profound aversion against beards.

Shortly after the war when I was about 6 years old,  I lived with my mother and father, in his father's big house, together with his sister, husband and her two daughters and my father's youngest brother. Fortunately the house had 5 bedrooms on the second floor and 3 on the first. We all lived there together because all of them had lost their apartments in the bombing of Frankfurt and there were no possibility to find a home all houses were destroyed.

My grandfather had  Multiple sclerosis and I only knew him laying in his bed in the "Master's" room which had once been his office and was very big. Each Sunday morning my cousins and I were dressed up in our best clothes for an audience with my Grandpa.

From left to right, little Monika, me and my other cousin

For the 3 of us it was a horror moment. This man scared us terribly. Unfortunately I can't find any picture of him,

picture from the web

but I think he must have looked a little like this when he was in better health. When we had to line up in front of his bed we saw an old man with cavernous, piercing eyes and a long grey beard which made me, the little girl,  think of sauerkraut. I was fascinated by this hairy thing and sometimes discovered some food still hanging in the hairs. One by one we had to go near  him and then he would ask us how we had spent the week or something like that, I don't really remember. My little cousin Monika (who later married the Brita Filter inventor) started to scream  and run away and was always carried back by my very angry aunt who didn't hesitate to hit her. I think this marked me the most.

Nobody ever talked about my grandpa, he must have been a very odd person. I once asked my father how his father was in general with his children and all I got for an answer was : "he was a proper man" ! That explained that my father had never learned how different fathers could be and I only learned the difference when I married, and Mr. G. became a father ! I had never lived that !

Therefore when I see a man with a beard or even with a moustache, or is not properly shaved, it brings back bad memories.

I always found George Clooney a handsome man, but with a beard ?? and Brad Pitt whom I don't like even shaved looks even worse, not to talk about Prince William !

Without and with beard and the 3 generations !

And then my son started with a beard ! Lucky for me not for too long, I always thought he didn't feel well when he wore a beard. But ever since he became a father too, he is also wearing a beard and I avoid to take pictures of him I don't even do it on purpose ! It's just in me this allergy against beards.

I was lucky that when I was 20, beards were not in fashion at all ! I would have stayed a nun ! It then started again with the Hippies in the 70th.

My worst nightmare is seeing my grandson like this ! But when he is old enough to wear a beard, I will see him only from heaven (or hell) ! That's an advantage when you are an "old" grandma !

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday


A Lady's Life said...

I love beards lol
I think men look handsome with beards Of course not all of them can grow a nice one. I dont like them very long though.
Nice soft short beards .

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gattina .. a sad story - but obviously family life that has influenced you for life ... I can't say I'm fond of them - but some men look good with them .. cheers Hilary

Andrew said...

I don't have experience with bearded men, but I think I would like to. I think your son looks ok with a beard but I can't imagine Mr G would suit a beard.

Betty said...

I don't care for beards. To me they seem unsanitary. Just like you said...there would be food caught in your grandfather's beard. I wouldn't like that either.

Terra said...

Interesting story about how you came to dislike beards; being marched in to see the stern grandpa once a week would have been frightening.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as we celebrate here in the US.

Jen said...

I like a man with a trimmed, well-kept beard.

I'm sure it must be the memories that influence your dislike. Just the aftermath of the war would have been enough. Then you had to get all dressed up for a man who couldn't even be bothered to comb his beard and wasn't concerned with your emotions.

storybeader said...

my father and brother have a beard. And I think my brother's son also has a beard now. I'm used to the men in my life with beards... Sounds like a disturbing childhood, no matter what the grandfather looked like! {:-D

Jenny said...

I'm not a big fan of beards.

Some memories of a not very nice ex-husband with one.

The funny thing is, when I first read your heading I thought it read 'BEAD ALLERGY' and I was quite puzzled!

Thanks for a neat link (and a smile) for the letter B.


Esther Joy said...

Enjoyed your post! I like some beards, but DO NOT like untrimmed scraggly ones!