Now that my beard has come in I find myself stroking my face while sitting in meetings or at bars with friends. It's a handy prop for looking thoughtful when you're in fact thinking about nothing. The urge to pull at your beard comes on fast, and you find yourself doing it without even thinking. And then when it's time for the beard to come off, you find that the beard-stroking habit doesn't go away as easily. For months you'll sit there tugging at your cheeks like some kind of dental patient shot up with Novocain.