Movember: Conclusions

Priority number one: solve problems at work and don’t get fired.

Priority number two, I decided earlier today, is to create a list of things I learned from my month of cultivating a handsome mustache and trying to get money for it.

Priority number three is to defend “Star Wars” against “Star Trek” fans in a public Facebook debate. Guess which one has preoccupied me the most.

I had to cut things short on the Facebook debate, much to my chagrin, but I must properly conclude Movember so I can move on with my life.

Also, fires are still raging at work. Data feeds are dangling in the wind. Dealerships are raising the drawbridge. Gorillas are dancing with sloths. Trust me, all of these metaphors work. So first, that…

Okay, work is done for the day. The work that pays me, I mean. The work of explaining the dramatic depth and epic scope of the “Star Wars” universe will probably never end.

Here is what happened with Movember. I spent all month growing a mustache. I had hoped I’d be more involved with the charity organization part of it, but with a death in the family and the craziness of the holidays, plus the ongoing task of building some structure in the life of a five-month old girl, this month really got away from me. I couldn’t find the time or mental energy to read up on LiveSTRONG or the Prostate Cancer Foundation. At some point during the third week, I just decided to accept that all the money I raised was going to good use and left it at that.

I also raised less money than I thought I would raise at the beginning of the month, but much more money than I thought I would end up with when the month end approached. I initially thought I could reach $500. But the fund raising efforts ceased entirely for a short time and never really got back on track, so I adjusted my forecast by the 20th of November to a mere $100. I ended up with $145 at the end of the last day, and that was quite a pleasant surprise. Half of it all came on the last day. Lesson for future marketing career: always send out that one last email blast.

And the mustache part of it. That is where most of the unintended learning happened. This is what I take away from a month of growing a mustache:

  • I, Bil Gaines, can not grow a super-stud handlebar mustache in just one month’s time. I barely cleared the “respectable businessman” line in 30 days.
  • Shaving every single day does not, in fact, suck monkey balls.  It takes less effort than I would have guessed, and frankly, it makes me feel more professional.  And that feels good.
  • Drinking more coffee does not make facial hair grow any faster.
  • I still have zero white hairs on my upper lip.  Bonus.
  • A mustache is not, in fact, a sufficient filter for soup or other liquids.
  • My daughter doesn’t give a crap what I look like, she loves me no matter what.  However, I suspect my wife loves me less with a mustache.
  • A mustache doesn’t blossom overnight; a mustache creeps up on you like a bastard.  Any comedic effect I can wring from a mustache on my face wears off well before there is even any decent growth.
  • Some people take me more seriously with a mustache, some people take me less seriously.  One thing is for sure: more people take me in some way.

Now that Movember is over, I have shaved that fucker right off my face.  I used to think that without facial hair, my face was far too plain and my chin was too insignificant to go out in public.  But after trying to maintain dignity in a month of growing a mustache for charity, now I think my clean-shaven face ain’t so bad.

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