A day in the life of a mustacheoid gentleman

joe kunitz

As many of my readers may know, I struggle to grow facial hair.  Shaving is not an ordinary part of my day, it is usually an event every 7 to 10 days; I still get excited each time my boyish face requires a shave after the scraggly hair has grown beyond its rational bounds.  I yearn for the facial hair of great men, and I have finally found the way to attain it, through trickery and deception.

As Halloween approached, I was struck with a solution to my problem, a fake mustache.  But where does one go to purchase such an item? What’s it made of? How does it stay attached to my upper lip? If I wear it long enough will it actually grow onto my face and become a real mustache?  I was filled with questions but coming up short on answers, so I went to the person who I believed may know the answer to some of these quandaries, my mom.

The topic did not even phase her, I have left my house in strange enough outfits and borrowed her clothes enough times now that it takes far more than a discussion about false facial hair to make her even bat an eye.  We discussed how real I wanted the mustache to be, and why I actually wanted it.  She didn’t know where I could get one but said she would keep her eyes peeled.

I put the mustache on the back-burner, I had bigger and more homework-like fish to fry.  While attending to an essay one gray Sunday, my mom called me.  She was shopping for her own costume and she had come upon a bin of mustaches.  I didn’t think she was serious when she asked what color I wanted, but I obliged anyway.

To my surprise, she came home with a tiny case containing a beautiful, thick chestnut mustache, a bottle of adhesive, and a bottle of adhesive remover.  With a bit of trimming around the edges to get rid of excess mesh and shape it to my face better, it was almost like the real thing.

I put it on; it felt so natural, so right.  My upper lip was no longer lonely and cold, it disappeared underneath a bushy mass of mustachioed goodness, along with my shame for not being able to grow facial hair.  Now I was man; I was rugged and burly and ever so mature.  It was ready for its  Benilde-St. Margaret’s debut.

As I entered the building, I was met by giggles and stares, looks of wonder and confusion; it was funderful.  Students I didn’t even know would approach me in the halls and compliment me on my way cool stache;  teachers I had never had were admiring it.  I was frequently asked why I was wearing the mustache; the only response I gave was, well, it just feels like a mustache day.

One of the days I wore it, there was a choir festival involving several other schools held right here at Benilde-St.Margaret’s.  As I was strolling through the basement hallway, some students from one of the other schools seemed very taken with my new facial accessory.  I received several “Woah, nice stache,” or “nice, diggin’ the mustache.”  Once I was past them and almost into my classroom, I heard them asking each other, “Was that thing real?” “No way, that thing was sweet,” and “Man, that kid looked like he was 35.”

While I welcome these sorts of compliments, but I feel obligated to point out that no matter what I do at this point, there is no amount of facial hair that could make me look older than 19, tops.

Throughout the day, whenever I felt I needed a break from all the staring and cat-calling, I would seek refuge in the company of Ben Sauer, local manly man and aficionado of all things burly.  Ben’s dashing handlebar mustache was actually real, much to my jealousy, and was much loved by the entire community.  Ben and I would stand together and stroke our respective mustaches in a contemplative repose.

Unfortunately for all of us, Ben recently chose to shave his mustache and sport a hairless look.  I was extremely disappointed.  It seems a waste to me to allow such thick and lustrous facial hair to be needlessly trimmed day in and day out.  For now, I will just try to pressure Ben into re-growing his fantastic mustache, making vicious jokes until he finally caves.

“I just got tired of it,” said Sauer, “I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed as being “that guy.”  I don’t know, I might grow it back later in the year, but for now I really just need a break.”  I understand his reasoning, but I still miss it.

But I digress.  I am now a contented young man, this fake mustache may be the best thing to happen to me this year, and I plan to enjoy it to its fullest.  It shall remain with me so I can wear it whenever I wake up in the morning with the distinct feeling that it is a mustache day.