The humor of the joke is more ironic in my case, since I have no girlfriend, Mom is no longer around and my friends, if not outright liars, are either too polite to say anything or are actually okay with the beard.
In general, friend opinions tend to run from “it makes you look older” to “it makes you look distinguished” (which, I think, is just a nicer way of saying the first thing). Family opinions range from “eww” to “ow”, as if I was wearing barbed wire on my face. Sheesh.
For my part, I usually grow a beard when I am just tired of shaving or bored. In an odd switch, in the past, I started a beard around Thanksgiving and shaved it off on my birthday (late May), creating a “younger” me. This time, the beard should be just about fully grown by the time my birthday rolls around, so I guess I’ll look my age. Or older.
One thing to make clear, though. I grow a beard, not this weird stubble thing that seems to be everywhere right now. I still don’t get it, but that’s the times. Ten years ago, stubble would have been looked at as sloppy and unkempt, now it’s fashionable.
Good thing, if there’s one thing I’m never, it’s fashionable.