I’ve never had a moustache. Unless you count the goatee I sported for a few years. Early on in that questionable experiment someone told me it looked like a gopher was trying to swallow my mouth. I decided to buy some grooming equipment after that.
And I grew a patchy beard one December while I was in University to protest exams. It didn’t have any effect. And for about a month I had a small soul patch. But I wasn’t cool enough to pull that off. Mostly I’ve been clean-shaven my whole life.
Not this month though. It’s Movember, the month devoted to all things facial hair to bring awareness, discussion and support to men’s physical and mental health issues.
My first experience with facial hair and men’s health was my Dad. The guy probably had sideburns when he was thirteen. But he ignored his health. Religiously. Over the course of his life he avoided the doctor whether he nearly sliced his thumb off or crushed his toes flat. He would have thought Movember was for ding-dongs. It caught up with him though. If he had lived longer, I think he would have changed his mind. I’d like to imagine him growing his beard with me this month. And that, I think, might be the real point of Movember.
Guys: it’s true we all respect the women’s health movement. We embrace the pink campaign with our dearest daughters and wives and aunts and mothers and sisters and grandmothers. And guys: it’s true we may feel too uncomfortable with vulnerability to really feel worthy of a month focused on us and our health. But that seems like a missed opportunity for solidarity and friendship with each other because let’s face it: we shouldn’t feel alone in this. Sometimes only another guy can really understand.
To be honest though, I’m not growing my beard this month for all men. Sorry. It’s just for one man this time actually. A really good man. A good man with cancer.
I don't know what else to say about that. The beard will have to speak for me because sometimes there are just no words.