Thursday, August 23, 2007

Personal Growth

Peace Corps brochures often advertise the profound personal developments volunteers undergo during their service abroad. One the slogans on their recruitment posters reads, “Sure, I made in a difference in their lives, but not half as much as they made in mine.” It’s too early to assess how much personal growth I’ll undergo here, but in recent months I’ve noticed another type of growth—increased chest hair.

I haven’t asked the doctor about this, but is this normal? Do most 31-year-olds suddenly experience dramatic increases in chest hair? Or might this be a sign of bad things to come? How come I continue to lose hair on my head, but am now growing it on my chest. Good or bad, if anything, this is completely unfair.

What causes this? I know joining the marines or something is supposed to “put hair on a man’s chest,” but come on, this is Peace Corps. Is there something in the diet here that causes the sudden increase? Is there a chest hair fairy that flies around at night sprinkling stray black hairs on sleeping men, or perhaps, plucking them from their head and attaching them to their chest? I hope not. I’ve got enough problems with bats and mosquitoes flying into my room. The last thing I need are chest hair fairies.

I have by no means become apelike, but I was content with my previous coverage. I spent no listless nights worrying about the state of my chest hair. Actually, even in those trying days of puberty I never spent any time thinking about my chest hair. And now suddenly, there it is. At this rate, I have no idea where this hair growth might lead. I could become one of those sweaty guys, shirt unbuttoned to my navel, a glossy chest of matted hair and gold chains, leering disgustingly at passing women.

Sure I made a difference in their lives, but seriously, look what a did for me? C’mon, look at all the chest hair! Hey, baby. Where you going? What’s your sign? Come give daddy a kiss.”

I really don’t want to become that guy. But hell, I’ve got plenty of razors, so if it starts to affect my personality dramatically I can always shave off the offending hair. Of course, that could alter me as well, turning me into some creepy guy at the gym, standing over the bench press, patting my biceps and leering about the room. Plus I’d probably have to start tanning and get a nipple ring and... well it just doesn’t bode well. I hope the unexplained chest hair growth stops soon. I really don’t want this kind of personal development. This experience is supposed to create POSITVE change in a person.


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