It attracts stares and arouses suspicion. Kids snicker and point at it. Mothers clutch their children and run when they see it coming.
It’s my mustache. And it’s not a pretty sight.
It started out as an office challenge for “Movember“—a charitable movement promoting prostate and testicular cancer awareness. The other guys in the office were on board, so I figured, what the heck.
At first I didn’t understand why mustaches were chosen as a way to promote awareness of a disease that affects the opposite end of one’s person. But I think I’ve figured it out:
A mustache makes you look like an A-hole. (At least in my case.)
There have been many famous mustaches over the years, from the iconic (Ambrose Burnside, Groucho Marx, Rollie Fingers) to the sexy (Burt Reynolds, Tom Selleck, Lando Calrissian) to the infamous (Stalin, Hitler, Geraldo Rivera). My own grandfather and father even had mustaches at one time. Pap-pap really looked good with a ‘stache. It gave him an air of sophistication, and people said he looked like Clark Gable. Dad, on the other hand…not so much. With his curly, salt-and-pepper perm (not joking), he looked like Alex Trebek, circa 1987.
That’s not to say mine’s any better. If my projections are correct, by the end of the month I’ll be a dead ringer for Ron Burgundy.
It’s sad, really. Mustaches used to be so cool. They symbolized masculinity, virility. Raw manliness. Not anymore. Nowadays they just make you look creepy.
(Sorry, Dr. Phil.)
What’s funny is I used to be envious of guys with mustaches. Back when I was 12, I was the “singer” in a heavy metal “band” known as Prisoner, and our bassist, my good friend Jay, had that particular swarthy gene that enabled him to grow a thick, full ‘stache before he was even permitted to see a PG-13 movie. It really made him look like an authentic rocker. I, on the other hand, wouldn’t be able to grow facial hair until college. And by then mustaches had pretty much lost their mystique.
So far the only person who actually thinks my mustache looks good is my mom, which is not surprising, since she also liked my long hair.
(See Exhibit A)
My wife’s certainly not crazy about it. She says it makes me look like a 1970s adult film star, “or so [she’s] heard.”
As for my children, they haven’t said much about it. My daughter has been acting a little strange around me lately, though. Maybe she’s trying to tell me something. (See Exhibit B)
Outside of my house, I haven’t heard too many comments other than the occasional jab from a fellow female employee. But I know people are talking. I can sense them judging me as I walk past. It’s palpable. I’ve actually considered wearing a sign around to explain what I’m doing.
But then I’d just look stupid.
For those of you who sport a mustache as part of your normal, everyday look, either because you like it or because it’s a part of your culture, please don’t take any of this the wrong way. To each his own, as they say. If you want to rock the Robert Goulet look…hey, who am I to judge you?
I’ll let everyone else do that.
As for me, I can’t wait to shave this ridiculous, itchy, unflattering thing from my face so that I can once again go back to being my normal, unremarkable self. Then again, if it gets just one person to be proactive about cancer prevention, I guess one month of looking like this isn’t all that bad.
(Yes it is.)