I entered the cafe. No-one noticed. No-one showed their concern. No-one cared.
I cared though. My furry friend had gone, was no more. The friend who had awoken me every morning for the last month with a gentle hurrah. The friend who offered advice and installed in me self-belief. The friend who tickled me when I needed to smile. The friend known to many people as my moustache.
Okay, okay, maybe I’m over-reacting. “It’s just a ‘tache”, I hear you say. Yes, and no.
For all those who don’t know, I – along with some friends and many people around the world – was participating in Movember. A charity event in which you grow and maintain a moustache for the whole of November. But hey, I don’t need to tell you that. You already know.
What you may not know if you have not participated before (Ladies you are excused) is the surprising emotion incurred in the growth of the moustache. It becomes more than just a moustache. It becomes something you say goodnight to before you hit the hay. Something you greet with every such opportunity a mirror comes your way. It’s a project, and, more importantly it’s part of you. It’s your project. And now it’s gone.
“But you’ve got a beard normally!”. Yes, that’s correct, and quite frankly, with the weather growing colder and colder, it will be very much welcomed back. “But with a beard comes a moustache!”. No. It’s not the same. A beard is a beard. A moustache is a moustache. Sausage & Mash is Sausage & Mash. But a sausage is a sausage.
I always questioned why men of the elder variety bother to grow a ‘tache. Well, I suppose only they can answer that but I can say I have warmed to the idea of having a permanent ‘tache. I enjoyed meeting my friends and comparing our upper lip hair growth. Complimenting and congratulating each other, it gave us something to talk about that women could never understand. Real male-bonding. Much like I imagine when women get together and talk about periods.
There’s no doubt there’s something about the ‘Mo with gives the gentleman wearer a distinguished look. A certain sense of authority. Much like the beard, but a more controlled authority. A man with the beard would be filled with the wisdom. A man with the moustache would be filled with the knowledge.
So where do I and all my MO Bro’s go from here? I am sure many will voice that they are pleased to be rid of their growth. But will they? I suspect the ones who will be truly pleased to be rid will be the men who failed miserably to grow a ‘tache of stature and therefore looked shit. Fair enough. But those men who produced such splendid examples of handlebars, Chaplins and Poirots, will surely be secretly missing their extended show-piece of manhood. Mine was more of a Porn Star, and I am quite happy to say that I will miss it and although I took great satisfaction from making money for a fantastic cause, I also took satisfaction just from having my ‘tache.
As for the ladies’ reaction? Well ladies I think it’s fair to say that you were quite partial to a man with a mo’. Some will disagree. I feel again that women will be sectioned into those who openly like it and those who protest about the mo’s disgusting nature but secretly like it. In fact they’re the ones who fudd themselves off to moustachioed images when left unattended at home. Every loves a guilty pleasure. There is no shame.
As for my lady, well apart from laughing at me for the first three days, she grew to like my furry friend. And in the last week before the big shave, she admitted she will ‘Miss it’. I think it’s fair to say that the moustache can be put in the category marked ‘Treat’ and saved for such occasions as anniversaries and birthdays.
As I stood in the bathroom, razor in hand, I bid my friend farewell:
“I du- dunno- wha…”
“Shhh” My Tache hushed me.
With a wink he nodded at me to commence the ceremony. A minute later he was gone.
Now as I listen to ballads and go over a montage in my head of the past month myself and my moustache spent together, I am filled with sadness for the loss but also great happiness for all the fun times. Such a witty handsome character was that man in the mirror. Now all I see is man devoid of wisdom, authority and a place to store Guinness foam. But don’t worry men – and the women – for this is not forever.
He’ll be back.