Goatees are the Nickelback of facial hair. They get more hate than they truly deserve. And I’ve had about enough.

I take stands now.

Hipsters brought the beard back. And there’s Movember for the moustache. But the goatee is the forgotten middle child, unarmed and naked, left to fight the desperate wolves in the woods of our culture. Until now.

First, let me start with a little history. The goatee, or “face-vag” as its detractors call it, started back when men with glorious cheeks wanted to honor God by displaying their baby-soft face-flesh while also sporting some hair to demonstrate their untamed manliness. So they would shave their cheeks, leaving their chin and lip unmolested and parade through the market square in their robes of satin, followed by women with extraordinarily high shoulder pads. The goateed man would then take the woman with the highest shoulder pads to a traditional dance called a “prom” which is short for “promise of sex.” They did this because in the Bible it states: “And lo, those with shaven cheeks of the smoothest skin, and bristles where man meets woman in passion and conversation, shalt be smilt upon by the Almighty and be given the keys to the hallow-ed Mustang to take the hotties to prom.”

So why didn’t Jesus rock a goat? Because he was a hipster who didn’t have time for women with shoulder pads.

In the Dark Ages, men sported goatees and clean cheeks to show that they were lesion-free. The Brits came up with a nursery rhyme that reflects this custom:

Look at the way the young man lives!

The young man lives!

The young man lives!

Look at the way the young man lives!

Without sores and shit all over his face!


Look at the man with the love-ly cheeks!

The love-ly cheeks!

The love-ly cheeks!

Look at the man with the love-ly cheeks!

I’ll bet he lives for a few more weeks

or at least a fortnight!


While the west was being won, men grew bountiful goatees to hide their adorable smiles. They knew that global warming was hundreds of years away and life was simple, sweet, and excellent.

In the 1990’s real men grew goatees because they were real men. And denim reigned and goatees go with denim like shoulder pads go with prom. However, many experts opine that the goatee boom during this decade was a misguided backlash against the androgyny of the 80’s. Men were just tired of being smooth everywhere. And while we still loved David Bowie and wanted to sleep with him, the men of the 90’s no longer wanted to be him. There was a new scruffy-faced bandit stealing all of our hearts: Kurt Cobain.

Which brings me to my personal story. I grew a goatee because that was all the hair that surfaced on my face after weeks of not shaving. Even then, the moustache didn’t connect to the chin hairs. But I kept at it. Despite the people giving me the sideways eye. Despite all the dateless nights. Despite the growing army of haters who gathered under my balcony every night with their candles and hand-drawn signs and sloganeering! I kept on it until that one glorious day when the first bristles between lip and chin met in an explosion of diplomacy and manhood.

Now I let that motherfucker grow. To be truly unruly.

Every now and then I threaten to shave it and my kids scream in literal terror. They act as though I’m threatening to kill a beloved family pet. And I chuckle in my whiskered wisdom:

“Oh no kids, I would never shave this! Heavens no! Not even after your mother leaves me for a hairless 18 year-old!”

Then we all have a good laugh.




  1. momus keeps threatening to shave his beard (and his head for that matter). Over my dead body. I love that beard!

    • jeffandjill

      01/06/2015 at 1:30 pm

      Call his bluff. He won’t do it. If my kids said “go ahead, shave!” I still wouldn’t. At this point, it would be the equivalent of shaving my eyebrows.

  2. Whiskered wisdom….LMAO!!

  3. My husband has a goatee and has for years. He shaved it off once when my oldest was about two, and the kid freaked. No mention has been made of his removal of it since (although at 12 I think the reaction from my oldest would be less dramatic).

    • jeffandjill

      01/16/2015 at 8:50 am

      Our kids won’t even let Jill put her hair in a ponytail. They know it’s a gateway transformation that will lead to disguises and childless identities, apparently.

  4. You rock on with your bristly self. And let that motherfucker grow.

    • jeffandjill

      01/16/2015 at 10:14 am

      Thanks. It’s growing down my throat though. I might have to put conditioner on it or something.

  5. I am loving your blog!

    My husband did shave his goatee once. When I was away on a business trip for 3 days. And we had a 6 month old who believed me to be his everything and was upset that I was gone. (Hubster’s a pretty smart guy).

    I got a phone call in the late afternoon – about 8 hours after I had left. All I could hear was laughter (hubby’s) and terrorized screaming (baby’s) and baby’s very upset older sister telling Daddy it was not funny and to “put your hair back on your face.” While the oldest child just kept saying “Dad, you look weird.” Good times. Good. Times. Kinda wish Daddy had video’d that day.

    • jeffandjill

      01/16/2015 at 4:27 pm

      That’s hilarious. I ask the kids every now and then “Should I shave this?” And the youngest screams. Just screams at the question. So now I’m in a facial-hair prison. There’s nothing I want to do more than shave!

      Thanks for loving the blog! It loves you back, I swear!

  6. Some very wise bloggers pointed me to your site. I cried real tears reading this. I don’t know if you intended the nursery rhyme about face lesions to be sung to the tune of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush,” but that’s what I did. Out loud. My husband gave me hard side eye for it, but he’s got a hipster beard. So, whatever. (This was hilarious.)

    • jeffandjill

      01/17/2015 at 9:31 am

      Ha! Thanks for reading. I had no idea what tune to sing that plague-song to. Maybe I’ll get some studio time and make an album. Or just screech it into my iPhone and post it on YouTube.

  7. I’ll be doing some heavy sloganeering if you SHAVE it!
    You MUST keep the Goatee!

    • jeffandjill

      05/27/2015 at 12:22 pm

      Well, I went full beard since posting this and realize that I have always been a bearded-American.

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