In the first week of our new life together I think I’ve learned more from my mustache than he’s learned from me, which is kind of like the way a guy who volunteers as a Big Brother just to bask in the glow of his own frequently expressed superiority might describe the experience to every girl he meets at a bar. But unlike this imagined a-hole who does good only for the sharing of his good deeds anecdotally*, I really have learned a lot.
I’ve learned that it’s not always good to smile at young children, in fact, sometimes it will anger parents for no apparent reason. On a similar note I’ve learned there are some things you just can’t wear with a ‘stache, Harry Potter t-shirts, vintage Boyscout uniforms or anything that’s semi-formal. I’ve even learned that respect doesn’t always have to be bought or earned by doing something embarrassing, sometimes it can be demanded with a sharp-eyed stare.
I’ve also learned what it’s like to be a minority. People with mustaches are subjected to profiling and stereotypification at alarming rates. Just because I have a Fu Manchu it doesn’t mean I will wax prophetic on the career of Lynyrd Skynyrd, yell at possibly gay strangers or help you tie your American flag bandana. When you think about it, since I haven’t always been one, you could say I understand the difference of being a minority more acutely than anyone who was born a minority.
More than any of the aforesaid, having a mustache can offer a deeper insight into our existence. Everything around us, from our instant iPhone answers to our microwavable breakfasts serves as a reminder that the clock is ticking and the only way to beat it is by saving a second every place you can. When you have a mustache all that changes. Not because mustaches carry an intrinsic zen-like benefit, but because a mustache can be removed in the blink of a razor’s eye. This instant life-change on the edge of every day’s horizon reminds us that everything is temporary. It reminds us that time, just like the fur atop our lip, is our own creation, and only means as much as we let it.
*I have a theory that this is behind 90% of all charitable work that get’s done. I’d say 100% but I’m an optimist.