When a man decides to grow a mustache, it is, to say the least, a serious decision. You put your reputation as a somewhat mediocre thirty-something on the line.
And, there is a very real chance that you will lose everything you’ve ever worked to achieve; a 500 square foot apartment with a drop-down ceiling, a collection of pretty cool headbands, and of course, the Pyrex collection you’ve built over several years of serious investment.
People may mock you. They may throw vegetables at you. They may even assume that you perform in adult films as a profession.
But you persevere. You stick to your guns and your mustache wax, put your head down, and buck up. THAT’S what Movember is really about.
Unless, of course, you are one of the following: professional bowler; airline pilot; artisanal deli OR butcher shop employee; saxophone player; billiards equipment sales manager; mattress sales manager; Starbucks barista; professional fisherman (has to be on the circuit); corn or edamame farmer; laundromat owner; limo driver; craft beer maker; or odontologist.
In those cases, I believe mustaches are very much still considered normal.
Suffice it to say, the man who takes that kind of risk and chooses to do it anyway, to go forth, reputation and respect at stake, cards on the table, soul naked and stripped down to the bare bones and mustache, is a pretty special person indeed.
And I am a special person. People tell me that all the time.
Actually, none of that is true. To be honest, it took very little effort — physically or mentally, to grow a mustache for the Movember month-long fundraiser.
I found that as long as you own it, you take care of it, and don’t mind a weird look or two every hour of each day, you almost forget it’s even there.
I truly enjoyed my experience, and I’m glad I did it. I’m a little older. A little wiser. And a little bit more awesomer than I was before.
I even made some big bucks to support men’s health and hopefully I motivated a few people (wink wink) in my life to get off their butts and move their bodies around — even if just for a minute or two every day. Probably not, though.
So here is a brief summary of all the important lessons I learned about the growing, maintaining, and wearing of superior and magnificent mustache:
Having A Mustache Forces You to Take Thousands of Selfies
Every man has his limit when it comes to the number of selfies he can take of himself over the course of a month, Turns out, mine is quite high. The thicker the mustache grew, the bigger my infatuation with myself became.
I selfied all the time; morning, day, and night. In the shower. On the couch. Driving the car at fast speeds with minimal attention to the road. While enjoying the company of friends and family. One time while hang gliding. At dinner. Over drinks. And of course, automated time released selfies during nap time.
A few turned into a few dozen. Hundreds into thousands. Now, there’s no telling how many pictures I took of myself.
In correlation to the increase in selfies, I also learned that it’s much more fun to stare at myself in mirrors and large office windows. It’s like I’m meeting another me, who is not quite me, but rather, a slight variation of the self I know.
The mustache is cool. And that beautiful man in the mirror can take as much time as he needs to look at himself, for as long as he pleases, and without having to explain a gosh darn thing.
Mustache Grooming is NOT as Dangerous as You Might Think
Grooming is dangerous, has been for thousands of years. Any time a mammalian species becomes conscious and decides that it wants to shape or rid itself completely of certain particular body hairs there will be risk involved. Period.
We’re talking cuts, nicks, burns — all the bad stuff.
Luckily, mustache grooming isn’t considered one of the more dangerous genres of the grooming family.
For instance, it is well known that the grooming techniques for the human nether regions are responsible for the majority of grooming-related injuries.
Following that, in order of most dangerous, are the kneecaps, ears, and the nose.
Never underestimate the nose, whether you be male or female. Take your time. Really make sure you’re not just swinging the tiny scissors around in there. Stay focused, don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or during the process. And when it’s time to strike — strike true.
The biggest concern with the mustache is the lip area. Once overgrown, it’s quite common to neglect this section of the mustache. But, per our cultural instinct, it’s considered proper form to trim the mustache above the lip line. Otherwise, you risk looking like a fool.
When You Have a Mustache, You Always Have Something to Talk About
It’s true. Most people are more than happy to point out that you’re growing a mustache. They like to smile a little while they point it out.
Some will even try to win you over with flattery by telling you how handsome you look. I'll tell you right now, flattery just plain works.
I once met a bro in a bar who also had a mustache and was so excited about mine that he flat out demanded that we take a selfie together. You see, mustaches bring people together. It’s an organic part of our human nature, instinct, a bonding device written in code deep within our genetic composition.
It’s also a bit like having a baby. People ask for updates as the process moves along and the mustache grows.
How long has it been?
It’s three weeks, now
It looks good
One issue I should have known about is the effect a mustache has on women. Now, I’m happily taken, my fiance and I are preparing for that final step into wedded bliss in only a few short weeks.
So clearly I’m off the market. But ladies don’t care about that. They only care about the mustache. And once that puppy started growing in I had to avoid them at all costs, mostly by physically running away from.
It’s not their fault, I know. But it gets annoying when you spend all day literally running away from women. It’s tiring.
When You Have A Mustache, You Feel Emotions Deeper Than Regular People
When you have a mustache you become one with the universe almost immediately. It’s natural, organic, and faster than taking drugs or practicing meditation for years to attain this state.
For centuries, men and women have lost themselves in the woods, purposefully, in the quest to find the answers to life’s most difficult questions.
But you don’t need to do that. You just need to grow a mustache and most, if not all, of the complicated stuff, is revealed. I promise.
You also have a wider and more mature range of facial expressions. That’s why many successful actors and television personalities choose to grow awesome mustaches; Burt Reynolds, Tom Selleck, Geraldo Rivera; Hulk Hogan; Charlie Chaplin; Eddie Murphy; Dr. Phil; Herman Beeftink; and of course, Wilford Brimley.
Speaking of my own range, I can quickly go from happy to mildly annoyed, all the way to “darn it I forgot my salad dressing today”, in less than forty-seven seconds. And that’s just truth.
Life Gets A Little Bit Sadder, A Little Bit Less Thrilling When Your Mustache Is Gone
There are many unintended consequences of shaving a mustache that I was not aware of until it was too late. You see, I couldn’t keep my mustache. Although, I grew to love it, and nurture it, as if it were a part of me forever, I had to say goodbye.
But once I did, the number of selfies I took scaled down tremendously.
It’s not the same anymore. I went from having thousands of available facial expressions to basically just one awkward one where I look like my traumatic thirteen-year-old self who didn’t even know how to smile or express emotion.
Now I’m just a normal human; there’s nothing special or particularly interesting about me. My confidence is gone. Shot.
I fall down a lot because my muscles actually shrunk and I can’t support my frail, weak body like I used to. Nightmares of people pointing and making fun of me are basically played on repeat at night, and that’s IF I actually fall asleep.
I also picked up the bad habit of shrieking whenever I come across myself in a mirror. At first my brain doesn’t know who it is, it’s like a stranger invaded my body. And then before I can stop it, a high-pitched shriek is emitted for a period of 6-13 seconds. It’s embarrassing, especially at work.
I know this won’t last forever, this cloud of sadness, of loss. I’m suffering from what they call post-mustache stupidity.
There are support groups I can attend, meditations I can listen to, and therapists willing to lend an ear for an exorbitant fee. And I’ll get there, I know I will. But it can be tough.
This Isn’t Goodbye to the Mustache, It’s See You Soon
It was Wyclef Jean, the philosopher hip-hop artist, who wrote the song, “I’ll be Gone ‘Til Movember.”
It’s about a man’s mustache, and it’s hit home pretty hard. To quote some of the lyrics:
Yo, tell my girl, yo, I'll be gone 'til Movember
January, February, March, April, May
I see you cryin', but girl, I can't stay
I'll be gone 'til Movember, I'll be gone 'til Movember
So let’s not say goodbye to my mustache. Rather, I’ll see you soon. Until next time. Until the next stache. Until the stache — awakens.
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