What’s Up with the Whiskers?

So Jason raised the question in response to my last entry, when did the facial hair come about?  As you can see below, I was not sporting a goatee when Tawn and I first met in 2000.  For that matter, I was wearing glasses, too – something else that has changed in the past decade.

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So when Tawn and I met, I was clean cut.  This was not, however, always the case.  I’ve had a history of some facial hair going back into the early 90s.  An on-and-off sort of history, but a history nonetheless.  Below is a picture of me and some university friends (and my faculty advisor!) at the 1993 March on Washington for  Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights.

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Discussing this with Tawn last night, he pinpointed our short March 2001 trip to Paris as the first time I started growing a goatee.  Here’s me on top of Montmartre with the first signs of a goatee.

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The goatee, however, was not a permanent fixture in those years.  I would sometimes shave it off – something that Tawn, who was quite fond of the goatee, took to be an indication that I no longer loved him.  For a short while, I shaved off the moustache and had only the lower half of the goatee, a look that was not documented on film.

Reviewing older pictures, I’ve tried to determine when I finally made the goatee a permanent part of my look.  There’s this picture of me on the London Eye, which I think dates from March 2002.  No goatee.

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In September 2002 at our friends Colleen and Sean’s wedding at Lake Tahoe, I’m still clean shaven.  Or at least, I’m clean shaven again.  This must have been a very confusing period for Tawn.  “He loves me, he loves me not.  He loves me…”

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By January 2003, when we were in Thailand for a visit and flew to Manila for a friend’s wedding, the goatee seems to have become a regular fixture.  I don’t see any photos after that date with a clean chin.

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So that’s the story of the facial hair, Jason.  As for the glasses, I had lasik surgery in the summer of 2000.  Not for cosmetic reasons (I look better with glasses, I think) but because of the hassle of glasses, especially when playing sports.  Here’s a picture a few hours after surgery.

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Thankfully my friend Lilian gave me a place to stay and drove me to/from the surgery.