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Saturday, March 09, 2013


My father had a full beard since before my life began. I never saw him without it and on ancient photos like this one, taken before he had a beard, it is difficult to believe that it is actually him.

The next one was taken when I was about three years old and this is how I will always remember my Pa.

Ilze is the oldest and tallest in the photo, showing off her doll in the back; a First Love if I remember correctly. I am the podgy one on the right in the denim safaripak, behind the stuffed animal. The others are various cousins, some of who I haven’t had contact with in many years.

Anyway, this post is dedicated to my father, who would have celebrated his 64th birthday today.


I've been growing my very own beard for more than two weeks now. I have no idea why I chose this specific time in my life to do it. Maybe I'm trying to compensate for rapidly losing the hair on my pate. Possibly I want to look a little manlier while concealing my weak little chin? I may simply be tired of shaving.

Perhaps I want to look like my father.

I'm afraid I can’t manage a full beard like his and I have chosen the circle beard, or goatee with moustache, because I find facial hair torturous. I tried before to grow a beard and always failed to see it through. For some reason I have extremely coarse and irritating facial hair. It’s been like that since puberty; way back then I had to shave every morning to stay neat for my excellent but somewhat pedantic high school.

The phrase “cactus face” could not describe the current agony more accurately. The sharp, curly hairs pepper my skin like thousands of minute lances. Must be some evolutionary throwback to when we were all boojums and covered in protective, wiry hair.

To add to the annoyance, none of the sticky drops of perspiration that form on my upper lip are able to evaporate. Instead, they join hands to form rivulets of sweat that run down to my chin and drip down the front of my shirt. I got two painful pimples from the constant moistness but fortunately the beard hid them.

Anyhow, I haven't given in just yet and I'm determined to grow a decent beard.

Thankfully, for the last day or so it hasn't been that unbearable. If I rinse my beard with cool water once or twice daily and properly dry it, at least the problem with perspiration is taken care of. I also try to regularly comb the hair into submission but I am afraid these spikes have a will of their own and they basically grow in whatever direction they choose. Maybe they'll become more manageable when my beard is longer.


Happy birthday, Pa. I still love you and I really hope to make you proud someday.

Written by I