November Rain

And when your fears subside and shadows still remain, oh yeah
I know that you can love me when there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness we still can find a way
Nothin' lasts forever even cold November rain
-Guns N' Roses

This blog comes a little late. We were pretty busy moving, and once we moved, we were without internet at home for two weeks. So here goes the Movember Blog Post. In case you are unfamiliar with Movember slang, the mustache is fondly referred to as Mo.

What is Movember? provides the following explanation:

Movember (a portmanteau word from moustache and "November") is an annual, month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other male cancer and associated charities. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event, housed at The goal of Movember is to "change the face of men's health."

We first encountered Movember in 2009 when our friend Jonathon grew a very admirable Mo. As he is of Italian descent, his upper lip was covered in a voluptuous patch of dark hair. Jonathon's mustache won birdMAN's respect and awe. I think subconsciously men believe that a lush lip coiffure is sign of masculinity and maturity. So once in every man's life, he must ignore any vain notions of hanging onto youth. He must embrace his version of ultimate manhood, a rite of passage— to grow out the hair on his lip like his grandfather.

Once the mustache idea was planted, it festered like a disease. The following spring, we traveled throughout China for three weeks. During that time, birdMAN abstained from shaving. When we returned home, birdMAN shaved his chin saving the hair on his upper lip. Every time I looked at him, I couldn't help but burst into laughter. He bore no resemblance to Burt Reynolds, the king of seductive mustaches. Rather, as his sister pointed out, he looked more like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite. The humiliation was too much. That Mo only lasted about 10 hours.

In 2011, birdMAN made another attempt for a manly Mo, but caved and shaved after only 3 days of growth. Again humiliation overpowered the idea.

Fast forward to November 2012. Beijing has become our home. Ah, finally the best opportunity to display his dream 'stache. No teasing sisters or sister-in-laws curling their lips in disgust. No way-cooler-than-you college students wearing designer jeans and messy-but-cool hair dos to feel stupid around. No physical or hygienic standards to meet (people pick their noses in public here. Why would anyone care if someone grows a mustache?). Here nobody knows us.  And people that don't know us well are way too nice to say their true opinions.

Also, mustaches are rare. Chinese men don't seem to age, having smooth faces like children. Occasionally, a man may have a thin patch of hair growth, which looks more like he missed shaving the same spot for the previous four weeks. Mustaches thus belong to the realm of brawny men of the West- the descendants of Vikings, Spanish conquistadors, and Russian sailors.

November 2012 will go down in history as the month of the birdMAN Mo. Honestly, I much prefer my man clean-shaven. Now if he looked like Burt Reynolds…well, why muse over impossibilities? Thank goodness November ended.

Chinese word of the blog: 胡子 húzǐ
English translation: mustache