In the early days of our marriage, Mike was prone to stroking his face and saying aggravatingly, “Maybe I should grow a BEARD.” Conversely, I was known to say, “No, you are NOT growing a beard. It will be scratchy and weird and it is NOT HAPPENING.” Then he was off for a week to study for an exam a few years ago, and he stopped shaving (whether out of stress/laziness of as part of some sort of diabolical beard-growing plan, I’m still not sure) and he grew some sort of playoff beard that has just sort of been a part of his face ever since. And I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I LIKE it. I like it enough that now that he is threatening to shave it all off for Movember, I am feeling a little bereft, and also unsupportive.
For the uninitiated, Movember is a fundraising effort that men can participate in during the month of November, wherein they grow moustaches and raise money for prostate cancer research. Everyone starts off clean-shaven, so those with beards must first remove them and THEN grow their moustaches, presumably so everyone is on equal footing and no one starts the month with one they can already twirl at the edges like an old-timey super-villain. Mike works at an office of something like 450 people, only 70 or so of whom are men, and there is a grass roots movement going on right now to get all of the men to sign up for Movember. I am only receiving second-hand information here, but it certainly seems like there is peer pressure afoot here, and what can you say about that when it relates to what is unequivocally a good cause, except for the fact that growing up in the 80s prepared me to deal competently with the sort of peer pressure involved when someone offers you a joint you’re not interested in smoking, but sadly has left me ill prepared for what to do when your husband’s colleagues are trying to pressure him into growing what will certainly be a stupid-looking moustache.
I asked him if they get a sandwich board to wear during Movember, or a special t-shirt, or something that lights up, or anything that will say “Believe me, I don’t normally look like this, but you’ll thank me later when you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, which has become a very rare and 100% curable form of cancer!” It appears as though the answer is no, so I am just putting this out there in case you see him at some point next month, and think to yourself, “Lauren’s husband looks significantly more moustachioed than the last time I saw him!” and wonder whether the correct response is to giggle quietly to yourself or give him $5 (answer key: both options are acceptable). Once I have some more practical information, like a link to his fundraising page, I will provide it here, in case you would like to support prostate cancer research or have all of a sudden found yourself flush with money and have no idea what to do with it.