"I'm not like other girls," Rose warned me in one of our first online communications, "A lot of things about me are kind of more guy-like than girl. I don't mean physically."

Glad for that, I discovered that she meant more with regards to interests and sex drive, at least according to her. She liked taking computers apart, was a sports fan, and was also an aspiring glassblower. We spoke for a good bit, then went out on a first date.

Whoa, she had a beard. That was not a feature in her profile photos. I'm not talking Santa Claus here, but it was thicker than a typical woman's facial hair. It was a fair-colored patch that extended from her chin to right below her nose. She resembled my father, in fact.

"Hey," she said, giving me a hug, "How've you been?"

Our online conversations had gone well, but, as superficial as it sounds, I didn't want to kiss her or do anything physical with her at all. I mean, she had more facial hair than I did, for crying out loud. Still, I didn't want to end things before they had begun, and maybe it wasn't a bad idea to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe there was a rational explanation, although I couldn't figure one out, for the life of me.

So we had dinner, then drinks, and then I wound the evening down. As we walked down the sidewalk, she said, "I'd like to see you again."

"You're a lot of fun," I said, stalling, "Definitely keep in touch."

"Would you like to get together again?" she asked, making it harder for me to avoid. Thing was, I didn't know. She was fun. But she had a beard.

I replied, "Yeah, we can hang out."

That wasn't the answer it seemed like she wanted. She asked, "Well, is everything okay?"


"Is it this?" she rubbed her hairy face up and down.

"Yeah... well, I mean, it's... it's a little, well, it's sort of..."

She let me flounder around for a few more seconds before she said, "It's not my fault. It's a curse. And it'll only get thicker as time goes on."

"Can you shave it?"

"All razors break upon it."


So we're still friends. Acquaintances. Occasionally in touch. Seldom in touch. Less and less in touch. Thomas