# # The Necessary Year - Day 51: My Daughter the Beard

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog

The Necessary Year – Day 51: My Daughter the Beard


(this post is part of an aborted 1 year experiment in material abstinence I called The Necessary Year)


When I began TNY, one of my intentions was to avoid going places and doing things that cost money.

Early on, however, I realized that this would be easier written than done as I am not alone in this life.

Consequently, I ended up taking my daughter on a few trips to Seattle and various venues there that featured, among other things, entry fees.

I justified these trips in a variety of ways and thought little of it thereafter except for feeling I would be able to balance out such activities by also taking her to places and involving her in activities that didn’t cost any money at all.

Not too long after that, however, I went to see a film with her (Wall E). I really had to convince myself it was okay to go but, in the spirit of not inflicting TNY on the innocent, I decided that keeping up the tradition of seeing each new Pixar film at the theater with my daughter was an acceptable exception to the rule.

This last Friday evening, however, I ran into a friend of mine in a theater lobby who inquired, eyebrows narrowed: “What are you doing here?”
“Seeing The Dark Knight,” I replied in a rather offhand way.
“How can you do that?” she asked and I realized I was face to face with a reader of TNY.

Oh, shit.

“I’m with my daughter,” I replied truthfully. Then, as an intended humorous aside I added, “She’s my beard.”

The comment elicited the chuckle I was hoping for but the joke stuck in my mind along with the sense of being caught with one hand in the cookie jar (damn small town, anyway). If I really was justified in seeing the movie, why did I feel so guilty when caught doing so? Also, the aside that I was using my daughter as a beard came too quickly. Was it really just a joke or was there a grain of truth there?

For those not in the know, a “beard” is a colloquialism for using a person as cover; typically either having another man (the beard) escort your mistress to see you so that people will think she is with him, or a homosexual person pretending to go out with a person of the opposite sex (their beard) to feign heterosexuality. In this instance, it was a reference to using my daughter as my beard (an excuse) to go see summer blockbusters.

Now the truth is, my daughter did want to see Wall E, as she also wanted to see The Dark Knight and Hellboy 2. (I did mention Hellboy 2, didn’t I? *blush*) But I think I have to be honest about how she got the idea to see these films in the first place.

Was she already excited about seeing Wall E that day or could talking about doing so and then driving by the theater to see if it was out yet have been a bit of a nudge in that direction on my part?

How about viewing a borrowed copy of the Hellboy dvd with my daughter and then casually mentioning that the sequel was out in the theaters?

Finally, asking “You wanna go see The Dark Knight? Huh? Huh?!?!” Could that be construed as leading her to do something that I secretly wanted to do, myself?

*sigh* There’s no getting around it. I’ve been using my daughter as a movie beard.

In my defense I will tell you that I have been going through a lot of personal stress of late and something like a fantasy film can really help distract me from said stress. My daughter has also been affected by this stress and, as our conversation tends to veer towards rather than away from said stress, engaging in a non-verbal activity like a movie can be really helpful.

But I am flailing to justify my transgressions and I know it.

I cannot promise that I will not see another movie within TNY – but I do promise to cease engineering such deviations from the plan from now on.


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