Shaving, whether it be facial hair or leg hair, is not one of my favorite things to do.
If I am shaving my legs it means that I am feeling particularly good regarding my cycling abilities--or that I don't feel too much like a poseur. But not shaving my legs does not mean the opposite--that I am not confident in my current cycling prowess. It may just mean that I don't care about the leg hair or that it is too cold and rainy to care.
But with regard to facial hair, the amount of facial hair I have can definitely let one have some insight into my current disposition or what has been going on in my life.
Clean shaven face: I have either recently had a job interview or an important family event. I figure that being clean shaven makes me appear especially lawyerly when combined with the handmade custom tailored suit my Dad had made for me as a graduation gift from law school. Actually, I look damn good in that particular suit. There are sometimes circumstances for which I will remove all facial hair off when there is some event that we are going to--such as for an evening out at some uber-expensive restaurant or something else where it would be best for me to wear something more than a t-shirt and jeans. I do this to make my wife happy and to look like I actually might in some way deserve to be near my wife when she is dressed to the nines. It is a stretch, but I figure I should do what I can to mitigate the damage.
Goatee: I don't have any life altering functions near at hand and I am in a comfortable space at home and work. A goatee for me is the norm. If I am rocking one it means that 9 times out of 10 everything is fine, no major blips in my life. I like the way it looks on my face, it hides some pudge and elongates my face. My facial hair is thickest around this area and I like the look even if it is outdated, current, or fashion forward. Basically, I don't care if you like it, I do. Oh, and I always combine the goatee with a moustache. They go hand in hand on my face, never one without the other.
Full beard. Untrimmed. Watch out. I have occasionally tried to trim a beard so that there is an even line under my chin going from ear to ear, but usually this is not the case, and I haven't done that in years. I figure if I am going to grow a beard I am going all the way, otherwise I will just to a goatee. A full untrimmed beard usually starts because I am distracted by other things and just don't care to trim any facial hair. During law school a beard always seemed to start growing about the time I would be getting my outlines together and then would grow until finals ended about a month or more later. For some reason I felt more dedicated and singleminded with the beard. With the beard I was making a statement to myself and to others that went something like this: "Beware, if I don't give a crap about how I look, what makes you think I just won't slap you up side the head for interrupting my studying for the hell that is Securities Regulation." My grasp of going through a routine in preparation for finals improved during the second half of law school, but still I rocked the beard. It gave me an edge. I liked it. Even if it was freaking ugly. And it was ugly, very ugly.
A full beard may also mean that I am feeling like I just don't give a crap, or that I am feeling sorry for myself, down on my luck, or whatever you want to call it. I am currently in one such phase right now. I admit it, and don't like it. And yes, I am rocking the beard right now. I have thought that maybe all I need to do to change my mental disposition is to shave off the beard. I will look clean cut and so maybe the change in my external appearance will affect the inner outlook. Maybe.
But a full beard may also mean that it is cyclocross time. For some reason I feel like growing the full beard for cross is acceptable, even admirable. What could be cooler than frothy saliva/mucus/spittle hanging on to an unkempt beard during a cyclocross race? Not much really in my book. People just sort of stay out of the way of that guy. And if that guy is me, so much the better. So while I would like to experiment with shaving off the beard to see if a more clean cut appearance leads to a happier me, I would like to have it for the edge it gives me mentally out on the cyclocross course. Shaved legs and beard, yeah makes perfect sense to me for cross. So maybe I will wait on shaving, that is unless anyone wants to interview me for a job at a firm around town. I would shave whatever for a good gig right now...hmmm, maybe not whatever, but definitely my face.
Bottom line is, if I am sporting an untrimmed face full of hair and I am looking more ugly than usual, don't push your luck. I am focused or distracted on something or another, and whatever it is has me cranky.
P.S. and if for some reason I seemingly say simply "Beard" around you, it means that you are taking way too long doing whatever you are doing, as in I am growing a beard while I am waiting. Speed up, man, or get out of the way. I picked that up about 15 years ago, and I still say it occasionally. No one ever know what the heck I am talking about though, yet I persist.