I am currently growing this moustache thing, and to tell the truth I am constantly amazed at how much I am enjoying it. What started as an experiment in not shaving, has turned into somewhat of an obsession. I am pleased to say that this one is at least an healthy obsession. The moustache is in many ways the ultimate expression of masculinity. "I am man enough to sprout hairs on my face and these are robust enough to become a facial statement". I am however, always surprised when a male approaches me and compliments me on my 'tache. This is usually followed by a remark on his inability to grow one himself. A moment of masculine bonding then travels between us, before we go on our merry ways.
I find this all very enjoyable and yet mystifying. You see, I have never been a 'manly man'. The rugby club, boys nights etc, are not something I have ever really done or indeed felt comfortable in. I feel oddly that this moustache has given me entry to a club that had its doors always firmly closed to me.
This is of course, is all just a sad reflection on my inner psyche and no doubt long held desire to be at one with my gender compatriots. Apparently, even though I have spent most of my adult years preferring the company of women and generally not forming long term males buddies. I have awoken some sort of inner desire to be accepted into 'Club Masculine'.
I am conscious as I write this, that it all has the air of homoeroticism about it. Indeed, let's face it, while the humble moustache is the essence of masculinity, it is also one of the many shades of the gay community. Possibly we can blame Freddie Mercury and the Village People for a lot of this, but the handle bar moustache is synonymous with the rougher edge of what it means to be gay.
For the record, I am not gay, despite what some of my friends may insist. I do enjoy the mixed metaphor however, that comes with my new facial adornment. Only earlier this month, I was asked if I was 'family'. I naively said yes, thinking I was being asked if I was friends with a gay colleague outside of work. I only suddenly realised the true nature of the question later in the conversation. Too late to correct my earlier statement, I blundered through the rest of the conversation not finding a way to change my status. To cry 'wait, I am not gay' would seem a little over the top, maybe homophobic or at the least 'he doth protest too much'. It's not every day you get to come out I guess.
Last weekend I was in Melbourne and it would be fair to say the 'tache was well received there. The e-gates did refuse to process me, which I suspect was because of my moustache. However, I am not going to hold that against them. From the moment I cleared customs, I had several comments. My bus driver, took one look at me and complimented me on it. Howard Jones took a second look and complimented, as did has band members who were quite interested in what I did with it. The occasional smile, from a pretty woman, also, did not go unoticed. The moustache, it would seem, fits in well there among the cool and slightly offbeat in Melbourne. What can I say? Maybe I have found my city....
So lastly, to the care of the 'tache. The moustache aware man about town cannot just take his pride and joy for granted. The moustache requires attention, nay demands it! Trimming stray hairs, shaping while allowing it to grow to a magnificent width. The there is the wax. The wax generally available in New Zealand and Australia is not really that good. I have taken to the inter-web and am now on my second consignment of 'Bounder' by Mr Wax of London. A bees wax and Jamaican rum preparation. It is firm of hold and easy to apply. Without it my moustache is uncontrollable. With Bounder, I can go out into the world, confident that it will stay in place all day.
At this point, sounding somewhat like a feminine hygiene product advert. I will end this post.
The Moustache - Audio Version