The Great Mustache Experiment Wrap Up
Sometimes I get all bogged down with work and doing other awesome-type stuff and I forget that I have a web site that does more than just link to other more interesting web sites. Though you wouldn't know it from looking at the past, I don't know, couple of years, it is possible, theoretically, to leave actual content on this site that doesn't pertain to broody relationship lamentations, pictures of robots and/or unicorns and/or robots riding unicorns, or stories about my awkwardness. Theoretically.
After finding this today, I suddenly realized that I never followed up on this idea which is a shame because it has a CLIMACTIC CONCLUSION of an ending.
Last July, I made a worldwide call for anyone willing to grow a burly mustache and then let me interview them about the power of the stache. Surprisingly, I got a good bit of response. As a whole, you people who read the web are pretty pumped about your ability to grow facial hair and you are not afraid to tell strangers from the internet all about it. At the end of the day, I didn't have to choose exactly who would be the best mustache candidate. One quite literally showed up at my door:
This is my friend David. Last summer David visited for a few days and showed up bearing the gift of a fully grown surprise stache which he kept for the entire length of the trip, giving me the chance to test drive the stashe for myself, see how it performed on the open road. And oh how it performed. For the four days Dave and I combed the streets of Chicago, heads were turned, eyebrows were raised, sly glances were exchanged between people on the street. When leaving the Signature Room one night, we actually heard some guy burst into full-on laughter and say to his buddy "Dude! Did you SEE that guy's mustache?!" The reaction was subtle, but significant and I think my roommate summed it up best: "It's like...I don't know...It's like it's alive or something. I just can't. stop. staring." The whole weekend felt like rolling with a D-list celebrity, specifically a D-list celebrity you might feel uncomfortable leaving your children around.
But mustaches on men under 40 are by nature creepy. That reaction is to be expected. What surprised me more than other people's reactions was my own. It's kind of an amazing thing when someone is willing to walk around looking like a sketchwad just because they know it will make you laugh. It's weirdly flattering and every time I looked over at that terrible, terrible tuft of hair, I kept thinking someone made THAT for me. Every time a stranger on the street reveled in the stashe's full comedic glory, I felt this surprising tiny swell of pride. Oh that? That little piece of hilarity was made to make me smile. In a bizarre way, it felt like getting a really personal birthday present.
This summer is 180 degrees different from last. I'm officially settled in a city I'm simply crazy for. My job is going fantastically well, I have a new boyfriend who kicks more ass than a team of highly trained ass-kicking ninjas, and I've got some amazing adventures planned, one of which involves making a pilgrimage to a 160-pound statue of Michael Jackson made entirely from white chocolate...seriously. I am happier than I have ever been and I attribute a big portion of that to the people who loved me enough to sacrifice their time, patience, and facial real estate in the name of making my life a little bit better. As silly as it is to say Dave, that stashe kind of meant the world to me.