A month ago my husband shaved. Except he didn’t shave that line of hair that grows on the upper lip. You know, the place where a mustache grows. A mustache! (to fully understand my shock, see this exclamation point and this post about exclamation points) The last time he had a mustache was in 1999 when he was a teacher at a junior high school and got tired of being asked for his hallway pass. A little facial hair lifted him out of the preteen category.
I don’t like mustaches. Didn’t like them in 1999 and still don’t, in 2015.
Our youngest daughter also doesn’t like mustaches. When she saw her dad’s face, she screamed, “NOOOOOO!” Then she pulled him over to a family photo in which he did not have a mustache. “That,” she said, “is a handsome daddy. That,” she waved dismissively at this piece of fur over his mouth, “is not.”
Now, we aren’t anti-facial hair. I find my husband’s scruffy beard (including a bit of scruff over the upper lip) or goatee (again including hair above the lip) attractive, sexy, rugged. But when the mustache hangs out there all by itself? When it starts to curl over and onto the lip? Even when it is trimmed but sits there all smug and isolated and caterpillar-ish?
But. Right now mustaches seem to be trendy on t-shirts and on socks and backpacks and hipsters. You can walk down the street and feel like you are walking through man-face-hair. It presses in from all sides – greeting cards and beer mugs and cat memes and fingernails, even cookies. Forgive me for not wanting to eat man-face-hair. What’s next? Chin hair cupcakes?
So, okay, the mustache is trendy. This means men will be sporting mustaches. But what kind of men? That is my question. And what kind of women are married to them?
Old men (married to old women).
Trendy men (married to trendy women).
Those two cohorts can get away with the mustache. They can even rock it.
Therein lies my two arguments against my particular husband’s mustache.
We aren’t old. My husband is thirty-nine and I am thirty-seven. I know to some (like our teens) that seems ancient, but we aren’t so old yet. At least not so old that we need to start advertising it with our facial hair. I still pluck, he should still shave.
We aren’t trendy. We are ultra-casual, live in Africa, and have limited shopping opportunities and little disposable income. However, we feel we have made significant improvements since our college days when frump and flannel was the style and zero was the amount of our clothing and hair cut budget. We have started to wear clothes that fit right and I sometimes add jewelry or makeup. Light years forward, people, seriously.
But. Said progress has by no means thrust us into the trendy camp. We didn’t even know what a hipster was until we returned to the United States for a visit and by then the trend had nearly already moved on.
I think the mustache trend has something to do with a natural desire of men to be playful with their facial hair. No problem. I sometimes paint a blue streak in my blond curls. It is washable and that’s what I’m counting on with this mustache on my husband’s face.
This time around, he wanted to try something new.
He can keep it as long as eventually (soon) he either takes it off or adds more chin hair. Or if we wake up one morning and are suddenly ‘cool.’ Just what our teens are praying for, I’m sure.
*Update: My husband has now added a little tuft of hair beneath his lower lip which helps immensely. It takes pressure off the ‘stache.
*Second update: Since my husband says his definition of beauty is however closely a woman resembles me, I am redefining my idea of handsome to, sigh, include mustaches. Let it be known far and wide that no one can rock it like my man.