Mo than I bargained for: The tale of my month of mustache


photo credit: Stéfan via photopin cc
photo credit: Stéfan via photopin cc

I have visions of Magnum P.I. in my head when this mustache is complete.

Reality is probably closer to Cheech Marin, I realize. See, I’m growing out the Mo. The mustache. I do get nostalgic for the 70s, but this isn’t some generational regression to what once was cool.

It’s part of Movember, a movement among men to leave, as someone at work put it, a lip ferret on our face for the entire month of November.

Why? Fashion. And suaveness. October’s for pink; November’s for lip hair. athletes can sport pink cleats. Runners can paint their hair pink for 5Ks. Everyone can put on their pink ribbons and pink shirts and pink suspenders, to promote breast cancer awareness.

Men can let their lips grow fuzzy to promote overall men’s health.

I don’t expect people to stop me in my tracks at Whole Foods to talk about prostate cancer. For them to roll their windows down on Interstate 485 to give me thumbs up in the name of diabetes and obesity prevention.

Maybe it’s NASCAR

Or to raise tons of money so that I can do something extraordinary for someone extraordinary like Susan B. Komen or Robin Roberts or Andrew, the kid on my 11-12 team battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

They’ll probably look at me and think I’m from East L.A.

Or that I’m a NASCAR fan. Or I lost a bet. But that’s OK. Marie has already said I should shave it on Nov. 11, her birthday, but I explained to her that all guys at my office are doing this, to make a statement.

Growing a mustache in November rates somewhere on the impact scale behind sending a chain letter and above voting Libertarian.

But I’ll know.

I’ll know when it gets itchy,  I should check my blood pressure, and maybe not pick up a huge bag of sunflower seeds. I’ll know the next time my ‘stache gets all foamy from a Coke Zero, that I should fill up my water bottle a few times during the day, too.

I’ll know that when I run the next step of my Couch to 5K, and my upper lip sweats more than my head, that I’m that much closer to that 5K.

Dad’s story

Not bad for a guy at age 40 built more like a linebacker and bulldog than a wide receiver and greyhound. I’ll know that every time the girls bristle at my kisses, that I’m going to get all my screenings as soon as my health insurance kicks in, the same way my dad did.

His story didn’t have a happy ending, through no fault of his own.

Leukemia doesn’t specialize. It just attacks. You can’t go into it with fear, though. There will be things like leukemia I can’t do anything about. But for those, I can? Better fear the ‘stache.

oates mustaches.jpg




  1. Hubby shaved off his ‘stache so he could grow it again…he’s thinking “trucker” style (mostly b/c he knows I cringe, not at the ‘stache, but the type of ‘stache)! Good luck!

    1. I tried trucker style once, but nothing grows from the tip of my mouth to my chin, so it just looked like the mange. I wouldn’t have been approved to drive a golf cart, let alone an 18-wheeler, with that get-up. Glad to see he’s in on the act too!

  2. Oh! And if you get a cold, buy some cloth hankies. There’s nothing sexy or suave about a red snotty-nosed guy with goop AND little bits of tissue in his stache! Did I paint an adequate picture?

    1. Yeah, that’s adequate. At least the ‘stache will keep such particles off my pizza if it comes to that.

  3. Chris Carter says:

    Well now every time I see a man with a mustache, I will think of prostrate cancer or obesity or heart disease…and ask him if he has had his annual check up. I will forge ahead with your cause, Sir Hairy Lip!! But i dare not ask my hubby to do the same (ouch with the man hair)…he just got his check up and ‘penetration’, and even a colonoscopy for good measure. All violations done and accounted for! (He knows to never complain, until he squeezes a human from his nether region.) 🙂

    1. So long as you don’t *administer* the prostate cancer screening …

  4. I have never heard of men doing this. Now I am going to have to notice all the “staches.”

    1. For some of us, it’s just an excuse to not shave, but after just seven days, I’ll have to say it’s made a difference in how I eat, especially. The reminder is always right there, under my nose.

  5. Rosey says:

    All for the cause…and look at all the latent benefits that go with…lol! The potential slogans to plaster on shirts for this cause are numerous, you know. 🙂

    Love the post!

    Sorry about the Leukemia and precious loss resulting, in your family. I lost one of my favorite aunts to the same, and my once favorite person (my gram) to another kind. I’d grow a mustache if I could (and I know that wouldn’t be pretty), to battle those beasts.

    1. Yes, it was an interesting month! Thanks, Rosey. And next November, I’ll grow the ‘stache also in honor of your aunt and gram. It won’t be pretty, but it’ll be heart-felt.

  6. Tracie says:

    As it serves as a reminder for you, and even a reason to write this post that might be a reminder for other people, it is a very worthy thing.

    Even though I don’t really like mustaches.

    1. Yes, but it’s getting itchy. Will I end up having to brush this thing eventually?

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