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Monday, April 22, 2024

Column: March sadness

It has been a sad week, as the first week of April is wont to be. Many of us lost something close to our hearts and even closer to our mouths. No, it was not through a prank gone wrong, but rarely have I felt so foolish. I’m speaking, ladies and gentlemen, of the epidemic felt on faces across the country: mustache removal.
Everyone goes through the five stages of grief in their own way. I cannot help all of us through each individual step. But the path to acceptance is often paved with shared stories and the best thing we can do for one another is offer our support. I would like to start laying my path with you today, and I hope you will help me on my journey.
I remember the day I started growing my mouth eyebrow like it was only a month ago. I was just a boy then, fresh faced and eager, but still I knew that day held weight. A great man once said, “With great mustache comes great opportunity,” and it has never been my wish to let Peter Griffin down. My manscaping days had just begun, and beneath my nose grew a garden of opportunity. It was my responsibility to groom it to perfection.
Our society has blossomed into a beautiful butterfly with the help of men with lip caterpillars. Albert Einstein and Alex Trebek made knowledge and learning something the cool kids did. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us dreaming shouldn’t always be so distant from reality. Tom Selleck brought sexy back before Justin Timberlake was even born. Ned Flanders and Charlie Chaplin have shown us mustaches are stage curtains; what lies behind them is magical and mysterious. I felt it was my turn to be like these great men –– to matter. It was my turn to put a hat on my lip and change the world.
I was no Tom Selleck. My Popsicle broom was more likely to sweep away women. My cookie duster only knew the answer to hiding crumbs, Trebek and Einstein I was not. MLK helped remove some abhorrent qualities from our country. I only had a soup strainer. Ned and Chaplin have entertained millions for decades. My lip tickler only provided endless laughter for my parents.
On April 1, as I stared into the mirror sobbing and moaning through Adele’s “Someone Like You,” I knew it was time to admit I had fallen short. My mustache was leaving me. I couldn’t be the man it needed me to be. My flavor saver and I just didn’t have what it took this time around. Don’t forget me, I begged, only yesterday was the time of our lives. Sometimes it lasts in love, sometimes I shave instead. But for me, it isn’t over.
Today, I mourn the loss of a dear friend. One I saw every morning, one that accompanied me in every picture, made brushing my teeth like shampooing a dog, turned sneezing and blowing my nose into paranoid schizophrenia. Overall, he was one that bonded me with men across generations and gave me some great memories.
It is not goodbye, though, more of a see you later. Jesus returned in three days, but resurrections have changed over the years. This return to glory will have to wait eleven months. But it is a welcome wait; it will give me time to prepare. I won’t let my next lip caterpillar go to waste. Next spring, my butterfly effect will change the world.
I hope sharing my story helped you as much as it helped me. Before I leave, I would like to share more about myself and how I envision our relationship developing as we go forward. Together, I believe we can get through this and accomplish many things.
If you couldn’t tell, this column is written by a guy, for guys, about guy things. That doesn’t mean this is a “No Girls Allowed” club, but don’t say I didn’t warn you when your boyfriend gets angry because you know things you shouldn’t. That’s your fault. Learn to keep a secret or two.

I’m kidding, a little bit. But seriously, don’t say anything. I’m starting to back myself into a corner here, so I’m just going to go. Ladies, good luck. Gentlemen, I’ll see you around.

If you would like to share your mustache story, start a mustache support group or complain about the last paragraph, you can contact NOLAN SHELDON at nosheldon@ucdavis.edu.

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