I was surprised when Katie first suggested it to me while we were in bed.
Don't worry, this isn't going to be one of those sort of stories.
"You're off work for the week," she said. "Why not give shaving a miss, see how you end up looking by next weekend?"
"Are you sure? You don't normally like it if I go one day without shaving. You complain I get too spiky."
But she was happy for the experiment to proceed. I'm sure she was somehow expecting me to transform into Dave Grohl by the end of it all. Boy, was she storing up a whole heap of disappointment.
Growing a beard, I have found, really isn't much an achievement. If anything, it represents the lack of achievement. You don't need specific skills or equipment, just a little time and patience. It helps if you don't mind looking like a pillock, too. This is particularly the case at the moment; after a whole week I've gone past stubble but I'm not at 'frontiersman' stage yet. In fact, Katie suggested I was 'rocking the vagrant look' the other day.
It came to a head on Wednesday evening, when a night out Katie had planned with her work colleagues turned into a 'plus partners' event. What should I do? Make myself presentable or preserve my proto-beard? I was surprised how difficult a decision this was. In the end I went unshaven. Liberally sprinkling quotes around from 'Das Boot' helped, I think.
Surprisingly, however, I've started to get a little attached to the face fuzz. For one thing, it's quite pleasant not having to faff about with the razor every morning. And now I've got past the bristly phase, it gives me something to toy with when pretending to look intelligent. When asked a question, I can stroke my beard meaningfully before answering.
It's a little like being a pipesmoker but without the health concerns.
But it will have to go. It's been fun. Apart from inferring that I looked like a gentleman traveller, Katie seemed quite keen on the whole idea. But I don't think I'm ready for the commitment to the cause that being a bearded one entails. Yes, it's less work in the mornings. But people might expect the bearded me to be sensible, steady and wise.
And that's never going to happen.
Ladies and gentlemen, say goodbye to the Official Fatboyfat Almost-But-Not-Quite-Beard of 2009.