Sorry to say this is a true story.

Leah (preteen) and I were at a fast food restaurant, settling into a booth with our food for some mama-daughter time. Another customer walked in.

He had a large beard, down to his belly button. It was braided into a couple dozen small braids. Then the small braids were braided together into several medium braids. Then the medium braids were all caught together by the tails and bound with an elastic into a front-facing upside-down ponytail of sorts. Is that what you call it?

And there were beads.

I gulped and took a bite, looking away. In my peripheral vision, I saw Leah’s eyes widen as she noticed him.

I deliberately looked out the window. She looked down at her food.

I gave this muffled snort. She covered her mouth.

That’s when it happened.

Our eyes met.

We burst into laughter.

We couldn’t stop.

In a very strong parenting move, I finally stopped laughing long enough to whisper, “You know, we’re being very rude.” She nodded sagely, and then we start laughing again.

I just hope the fellow didn’t know we were laughing at his appearance. I don’t think he could have, but, well, I hope not anyway. I don’t normally laugh at anybody’s appearance. God made you the way He made you, you know?

And if the man did sense we were laughing at him:

I’m sorry. Truly, really, I am.

Word of warning: Don’t wear long, braided beards in front of me.

Blessings,  Voni

P.S. Sorry…no pictures. I’m not THAT rude.

P.S.S. But here’s a link to some pictures from the World Beard and Moustache Championships. Maybe the guy at the restaurant was in training?