While going through my normal Tuesday afternoon routine of looking at pictures of myself, I realized that it has been almost exactly one year since I began growing the beard. In fact, loyal followers of this blog know that regular updates on the progress of my unsightly (n. displeasing to the eye) beard were once a staple of the Journal. As I have grown more self-important, I shifted the focus to subjects that would make me sound like I knew something about international development, when, in fact, I do not. But, like the prodigal son, I will return to the low-brow self-criticism that was a hallmark of this blog one year ago.
Unfortunately, not much has changed. Below is a picture taken last December on a trip down the Mekong River in Vietnam. I’ve highlighted the problems I faced then:
As you can see from the picture above, I could have a rockin’ beard were it not for the bald spot right in the middle of my chin. I suppose that, by that logic, bald people assume that they could have a rockin’ mane were it not for the fact that their scalp contains a circular area upon which no hair grows. Sometimes life gives you lemons, so you make lemonade, except that lemonade has salmonella and you become sick. This is what happened when I grew my beard. I went to my father’s office yesterday to use the fax machine. His office manager, who I hadn’t seen in a few years, pointed to my face and said “What’s that?” “A beard,” I said. “It’s a bit misshapen, I know.” “Well, you know, it takes some time to grow. How long have you had it for?” she asked. “A year.” Awkward silence. Onto the next subject.