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Help, I'm becoming just like my dad


Man Scape

A journalist for 20 years and a man for longer, Richard Hughes would never, ever use canned shaving foam.

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Hair growing from where it didn't used to? You're becoming your father.

Hair growing from where it didn't used to? You're becoming your father. Photo: iStock

Are you turning into your old man? I know I am. Some aspects of the transformation aren't too bad, like the dark brown tones, the just above-average height and the non-migrating hairline, but there's a couple of things I'm still not happy with.

My father as I remember him was, like many middle-aged men, somewhat set in his ways.

The morning routine of breakfast, coffee, cigarette and (though he never used the phrase) the three shushes was rarely altered. The newspapers and the radio, reading the post, shouting at the kids – it all had to be done in the right order.  

Christmases in our house would see dad get the same gifts - a mug of shaving soap, some Old Spice deodorant, socks and that was it. Every year.  It never changed. He always had the same short back and sides. No long hair or moustaches - even in the 70s.  Familiar. In a nice way, but still a bit same-ish. Nothing could knock him from his routines.

Embracing routine

I've found myself in a nice routine recently and, rather than fight it, I've been embracing it. Maybe it's an age thing, but I like it. I like getting up early, reading the paper, eating breakfast, shaving, showering. Different day, same order, same routine.

I'm not sure if I'm getting set in my ways in a bad way -  if I'm turning into some rigid old man who can't abide change - or if I'm a grown man who just knows what he likes. Either way, the fact that I not only look more like my father with each day but am starting to act like him too is something I maybe need to think about.

Whether they're from nature or nurture is hard to know, but I like to think the old man bequeathed me more generally positive traits than negative ones. There's one thing, however, that I'm not happy with - the small, tufty copse that's been sprouting in my nose holes.

A sprouting problem

I'd not been plagued with an excess of nose hair when I was younger and my nostrils were as smooth as can be. But these days I'm a victim to their sinister and ceaseless drive to prevent me from breathing properly.

Dad was a martyr to it, too. He used to pluck them out with a pair of rusty tweezers. But they came back. Again and again. And I vaguely remember as a really young boy that another, even older relative, had what looked like a pair of small mammals nesting in each nasal orifice. I was, I recall, quite scared. Fascinated – who wouldn't be – but nonetheless frightened.

Genes are good when they make us smartish, tallish, darkish or handsome-ish, but in this instance I want a recount.  I want those wiry, gingery, terribly tickly hairs gone.

They serve a purpose, I'm sure. According to Wikipedia (screw doctors, it's my source for all medical matters these days) they help warm the air going in and keep the dirt out. What's more, Wiki quotes an actual medical survey from a few years back which found that the more hair you have up your nose, the less likely you were to get hayfever.

So unlike my nipples, the hairs are there for a reason – but surely they can be kept under control. And why do they sprout so vigorously now I've entered early middle age?

Hirsute yourself

A while ago I tried waxing. You can do it yourself – believe me, it's to be avoided – or you can get the professionals to help. They use special lollipop-shaped buds of wax which, when warmed and stuck up a nostril and yanked out again will, cause a) a yelp, and b) a hairless nose for some time to come. But it hurts like anything. Though probably not as much pulling then out one at a time with pincers. Ouch.

Otherwise you can try nail scissors, though I often worry that I'm going to slice off something important. Or there's clippers. There are many on the market, some better than others.

The other day I was sent a great little number from Phillips that trims them back to nothing. I give the nostrils a going-over every so often and, for now at least, I couldn't be happier. It also tidies up my hairy ears and bushy eyebrows, another dubious legacy of the Old Man.

They're about $30 and if you know someone similarly afflicted they'd make a great Father's Day gift.

What did you inherit from your father? Did DNA lumber you with some embarrassing feature that becomes more prominent with every passing day?  

11 comments so far

  • His hairy legs .... which have been a blight on his daughter ... mum was hairless except for a luxurious head of auburn hair ... wouldn't trade him for the world though ... Happy Dad's Day, Dad!

    Hairy Scary
    Date and time
    September 02, 2014, 8:50AM
    • From birth I inherited my dad's enormous ears. Nicknamed Dumbo for about a year before I encouraged my nickname to be changed to something more acceptable to me. But what I started to notice in my 30s was that I have Dad's same stupid hyena laugh complete with bouncing shoulders. The first time I noticed it I was shocked. Weirdly I saw my son do it the other day too.

      a don
      Date and time
      September 02, 2014, 9:41AM
      • my father is long gone and I am nearly 70.
        but I 'see' him every morning in the mirror.
        and I 'hear' him many times during the day.
        I wear my clothes to the last thread.
        I don't suffer fools easily, even less so as I age.
        and I write scathing letters to the press about politics and the decay of daily life that never get published.
        this fruit has definitely not dropped far from the tree.
        the only really big difference is I never vote Liberal.
        I still miss the old codger!

        Date and time
        September 02, 2014, 9:44AM
        • What you want is a bullet nose hair trimmer. Dovo amongst others manufacture them and they are awesome. Its essentially a pen shaped device with a rotating blade (the blade is behind a circle of prongs so that you can't cut yourself). You simply insert the bladed end, rotate the hand a few times and everything is good to go. No batteries, no fuss, they are made of stainless steel so they should last forever. Good value and a great result.

          Date and time
          September 02, 2014, 10:15AM
          • No, no I won't become like him, I'll never join him...even if the dark side is more seductive.

            Date and time
            September 02, 2014, 10:44AM
            • C'mon Luke- the Salad Bar on the Death Star Rocks- the rebel alliance canteen sucks.

              Date and time
              September 02, 2014, 12:41PM
          • I've always said you can tell when you're getting old because your farts smell like dad's used too.

            Date and time
            September 02, 2014, 11:54AM
            • That's disgusting and 100% true. My dad died 2 years ago and I loved him muchly and miss him so and every smelly fart or stupid dad thing I do or say brings a smile to my face. I could do without those wiry hairs starting to grow out of my eyebrows though. They really suck!

              Date and time
              September 02, 2014, 2:10PM
          • My brother inherited much of my long dead father including his personality and particularly his speech. The voice, tone and manner are exactly the same. Even what he talks about are similar geeky subjects that my father was into. It so like talking to my father it is spooky. Strangely enough, if you ever point this out to my brother he takes great offense. He can's see it.

            Date and time
            September 02, 2014, 1:26PM
            • Man up. Man Scape I pull 'em out with my thumb and forefinger.
              Also, I always loved my father's dad jokes, and my daughters claim they love mine as well. It's not all bad.

              Date and time
              September 02, 2014, 1:53PM

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