Sometimes you don’t think things through. You allow yourself to be oblivious to consequences and thus you can’t be completely surprised when confronted with them. Other times you meticulously plot and pour over details in order to reach a desired end. I am proud to say I practiced the later, and well before February became March, I was ready.
Last Thursday, Mustache March Eve, I returned home from the Fly Fishing Film Tour in Sacramento late, but I knew I had an obligation. To say that I got home too late would be a statement lacking in candor, so I plugged in the beard trimmer and went to work carving out a mustache five weeks in the making.
When I was finished I realized just how out of control the ‘stache had become. When you have a months’ worth of facial hair growth, you look at the thing as a whole and only part it out when the rest is actually removed.
Later I noticed more food traffic. Sometimes I went minutes with culinary debris decorating my mustache.
I texted a picture to my mom, to which she responded, “No comment.” She may have been appalled, but she wasn’t completely surprised. Two years ago I brought back a style from the 60s, the 1860s. I ended up being completely misunderstood. I had no idea a neck beard would be received so poorly. After all, I was clean shaven…above the jawline.
Anyway, there are a few of us at work who have chosen to rock the ‘stache for the next month, and I figured I’d find more of the same when Eric and I went to Los Angeles for the Arizona basketball game at UCLA. We arrived at the hotel, checked in, and hitched a ride to campus with a friend. There was a University of Arizona Alumni event at a local eatery and while there were plenty of red Wildcat shirts, there was not another mustache to be found. Not one. I felt a little out of place, but surely I could count on UCLA students to know about Mustache March. Right? In contemporary society it’s not too much to expect college-aged kids to fully commit to going a month without shaving a three inch portion of their faces is it? What’s more ubiquitous than college kids trying anything once?
Apparently MM is either too obscene, or not worth the time for UCLA students. Eric and I walked through campus and in front of the student section in Pauley Pavilion and didn’t find one. Not one committed follower of MM. There were some older gentlemen with sophisticated touch of grey ‘staches, or ones completely bleached by age, but no one under the age of maybe 40. When I shook hands with Jay Bilas, I swear he looked me in the mustache when he said hello. Or maybe that was me starting to feel insecure.
We talked to former UCLA greats and I chatted with a few journalists I knew from my days as the mens basketball beat writer for the UA paper. They both recognized me, but it threw them a bit. To break up the trip home, we stopped in Bakersfield for an NBA D-League game between Bakersfield and LA. I figured there’d be at least one mustachioed man in the crowd thanks to the western roots of Bakersfield, but again, no.
Thankfully I can count on my friends who are with me this month, celebrating an obscure and underrated exhibition of hair growth ability. I can say without a doubt, that when March becomes April, I will not have trimmed the facial hair that is already curling over my lip – and be proud.
It’s not too late to join, and if you need some motivation, don’t mind being single for another four weeks or have an understanding spouse, go to mustachemarch.com.
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