So, it’s become clear to you that there’s no way to avoid it: you’ve registered on the Movember website. Your future living under the ‘stache is now written in stone–and coming up on ya. Perhaps you’ve been a clean-shaven gentleman all your life; perhaps you thrust yourself proudly into your goatee years. Or maybe you sported a beard so thick in the past few years that not even light could escape it.
Regardless of your recent follicular history, the decision has been made—you’re venturing forward into the single most decisive facial statement a man can make. But what of your delicate sensibilities? You’re full of questions, comments, concerns. Who’ll be there when the first hairs start to sprout? Who’ll come over to pick the pieces of napkin out of your Velcro-like lip stubble? Who’ll applaud when you first realize you’re able to sip boilings liquids without flinching?
Until Nov 30th, however, you need to know what awaits you. It is with the greatest sense of masculine care that I hereby present to you: The Six Stages of Growth.
Stage the First: Cautious Optimism
You’re shaved, you’re excited, and, by gum, you’re ready. Maybe you had a hot towel shave or maybe you let a Bick double blade disposable do the talking. However you reaped your facial crops, you’re now ready to sew the seeds of mandom. Grab your cardigan. Get your fine slacks out. Then put them on. Now step outside. You want to shout to the world: “I’m a man, consarnit! My prostate and I are in this together!” And you’re right to shout. After all, it’s 4 A.M. How else would your neighbours hear you?
Stage the Second: Shame
The honeymoon period is over, and people are beginning to ask questions. Your girlfriend finds your lip too abrasive, and you’re beginning to run into people you haven’t seen since high school. You’ve got sales to close and international conferences to attend, yet people are expecting you with your well-recognized chinstrap. When you look in the mirror, you don’t even recognize what you see. Instead, you turn away in disgust. Why, you ask yourself, have you thrown away a face that, while not exceedingly handsome, you’d grown accustomed to, like a dog grows accustomed to the taste of its own feces? You realize that, yes, these are indeed dark times.
Please, continue soldiering on! Believe me, before long, your shame will subside, your spine will straighten, and you’ll be proceeding to:
Stage the Third: Defensiveness
Stand tall! No one’s going to come between you and your facial hair! Even if that were physically possible, you still wouldn’t have it! Don’t let anyone tell you that your moustache is outdated, outlandish, or out-of-style. Defend your prostate. Defend other men’s prostates–violently if necessary. But do it with the absolute certainty that what you’re doing is right. Dare others to turn their nose down at you. Write manifestos letting society know what you’re prepared to do to those who disparage the moustache, then leave those manifestos between the shelves at the library, on bus-stop benches, and under your tip at the restaurants you frequent. In this author’s opinion, a pseudonym may prove useful.
If people are cowering before your burgeoning mo, then it’s time to proceed to:
This can be a terrifying stage for many. You may think that looking like you forgot to wipe your mouth after eating a beef taco is unattractive.
You’re right. It is.
It’s also well worth your time to buck up and deal with it.
Why? Four words:
Stage Five: The Sanchez
Over the mountain there lay a shining light. And its name was Sanchez.
By now, your mo will be developing its own shape, luster and character. Do not be surprised when both women and men respond to you differently, as, if you’ve made it this far, you’ll have developed the facial qualities, vocal cadence, and odour of a Latin lothario.
At this point, you’re no longer growing a moustache…you have a moustache. Enjoy being here. And enjoy the choices that come along with it. Do you grow it further? Do you keep it neatly trimmed? Hell, you could even bleach it blonde, if you really wanted to. That’s the point. No one can say anything anymore. You’re officially a better man. And there’s only one place left to go:
Stage Six: Moustacheland
In Moustacheland, you can lean against a post at the supermarket all day, and people will not call the police. The police will call you for advice.