My father had a fantastic beard when I was born. He kept it for years, always handsomely groomed. I remember its scratchy texture against my childhood skin. It was like a character in our lives that no one really talked about but that we could depend on just to be there. And then one day, he shaved it off. He said that it was time, and he hasn’t looked back since.
On the other hand, I have never been able to grow facial hair. This flaw, while not fatal, is a source of contention whenever my wife brings up the college gotee I tried to sport. It was one of the most hideous accessories I could have tried on, and I kept it for months because my wife said that she liked it (she later confessed that she wanted to see how long I would keep it). Admitting defeat, I shaved it off in my 3rd year of College and I have never made another attempt.
Two weeks ago, I was given an opportunity to grow a mustache to raise money for teachers in need of supplies and resources. While this is incredibly counterintuitive, here is the idea: If one person (me) makes a fool out of himself for a month, others will take pity on him and shower the projects of his choice with money. It with a project called mustaches for kids, which has to be one of the most ridiculous phrases that I have ever had to explain.
Within the rules for this program is probably the best support system for mustaches ever devised:
For the duration of four to five weeks, sweet Mustaches will be grown for the world to behold. Within that time, there will be weekly MUSTACHE CHECKPOINT DAYS. These events are not mandatory–we do, after all, believe in the honor system–but they are a great opportunity to meet and encourage your brothers-in-stache during the growing period. Representatives of Mustaches for Kids will be available at each checkpoint to discuss any and all Mustache issues.
Today is my first Mustache checkpoint day, and I definitely have a mustache issue. Mine won’t grow. It is stuck at half stubble. The rest of my face has grown twice what my upper lip has. I look like a 7th grader who doesn’t know that it is uncool to leave those hairs untidy. In fact, I probably look exactly like I did in 7th grade before I got my first mach 3 in the mail with a tester amount of shaving cream.
So, at this point I would like to direct the issue to my mustache:
Why? Why will you not grow? Why do you haunt my upper lip as if you alone are in control of my appearance. Why do you make it so I have to walk around self-conscious of my mouth at all hours of the day? Why do I subconsciously play with you only to find that my follicles hurt after a few minutes? Is it not enough that I waited years to attempt such a feat? Is it not enough that I watched my father grow a full beard without trouble? You are taunting me now. You are going out of your way to stick out but not grow. I think that each of your mocking hair angles is preposterous. You are a disgrace. I am only giving you another 3 weeks, and if you don’t shape up in that time I will shave you off and never think twice about it.
For verification, here is the mustache now:
If you would like to take part in giving this weak attempt at facial hair some meaning, would you please go to our Donor’s choose page and give some money to the deserving teachers there. Otherwise, all of this humiliation and self-doubt will be for naught.
- Mustaches for Kids Kicks Off Today (chicagoist.com)