Now there’s really nothing to talk about. The Oregon gubernatorial election is finally over. We were trending red right up until they started counting Multnomah County–you know, where all the people live. Then the world turned rightside-up again and here we are, staring at John Kitzhaber’s creepy mustache for the next four years. Well, let’s face it, the next eight. Then he can take a seven-year sabbatical and run for governor again in 2025. He’ll only be 78 years old. I just realized he’s the same age as my dad. My dad doesn’t have a creepy mustache, though.
Not anymore, anyway. Do you know that when I was a young child, my father did have a creepy mustache? Of course you didn’t know that because I’ve never told you. (Of course, if you are related to me and, say, have the same dad I do, of course you knew that because you have pictures to prove it. But that’s neither here nor there. I’m telling a story, and you’re spoiling my folsky-yet-incoherent introduction.) When I was born, my father was in the military (not on purpose–they drafted him), so he had to keep his hair short and be clean-shaven. My father hated the military and he hated all the rules associated therewith, so as soon as he was discharged, he grew his hair long and also grew a mustache and beard. I’ve seen pictures of that era. He looked like a damn hippy. Actually, the most famous picture of him during that era had him wearing his sister’s wig, but that’s another story–one that I, unfortunately, don’t have all the details on. So just forget I said anything.
Anyway. Eventually my father shaved off his beard, but he kept his mustache. Not sure why. Probably just because it was the ’70s. (Shrug.) It was a big bushy red mustache. My father is a natural brunette like me–or was, before his hair turned gray and I started dying mine–but his facial hair, for some reason, was reddish. If you want to consult this chart, it most closely resembled the Jose Bove. So when I was a young girl, my dad had a mustache. UNTIL one fateful day, when I was, I dunno, five? he got called to serve as a counselor in the bishopric at church, and he had to shave it off.
Mormons have this thing about facial hair–or at least they have since, I dunno, that era of the damn hippy. We started out a bunch of beard-wearing polygamists–well, the men were; not much documentation of women wearing beards, much less taking spare wives, but that’s not my point–but in the twentieth century we were mainstreaming, so to set ourselves apart from the counterculture, we decided the righteous thing to do would be to have everyone shave. (Except for the womenfolk, who bleached. Ha ha. Well, they did!) Sure, some people still kept their facial hair, but men in leadership positions were almost always clean-shaven. They still are, actually. You can’t have a beard or mustache at BYU, unless you have a medical condition that prohibits you from shaving and have applied for a “beard card.” Or unless you are a woman, but again, that’s off my point. What is my point? Oh, yeah, I’m telling a story.
So my dad gets called to the bishopric and he has to shave off his mustache. As my mother told the story, it was Saturday night and they were talking and paying bills or some such thing, and my dad left the room at one point, and when he walked back in, the mustache was gone. She was very surprised. I think she knew he had to shave it, but she wasn’t expecting him to just do it right then. Anyway, the next morning he had to go to church early because that’s what bishopric guys do, so he left way before the rest of the family and none of the rest of us knew that he’d shaved off his mustache.
So we’re at church and they announce the new bishopric, and there’s my dad up on the stand behind the pulpit–or at least the cat they say is my dad. I’m not quite sure I believe it because my dad has a mustache, and this is some smooth-faced freak I’ve never met. Seriously, I couldn’t stand to look at him the whole time we were at church. He just looked WEIRD. I don’t remember when I started looking at him again, but the good news is that it didn’t really take me that long to get used to it (kids are resilient, you know), and my father has never worn a mustache since. Not because he thinks it’s unrighteous, but…actually, I have no idea why he’s never grown one again. I think my mother might have preferred him without the mustache, since she said he was always getting food in it and crap. And I have to say, he does look much better without one.
Generally, I prefer my men clean-shaven. It may be a cultural bias, but whatever. That’s me. I think most men look better without facial hair than with facial hair, but I acknowledge that there are certain men who do look better with a mustache. Arsenio Hall, for one. Um…I’m trying to think of another. Michael Gross–way better looking with the beard and mustache. Let’s see…goodness, who else? NOT Joaquin Phoenix. NOT Brad Pitt. But the list of NOTS is so long, I should probably not start. Plenty of people I know in real life but you have no idea who they are, so it doesn’t merit discussion in this venue. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I think whether or not a man wears a beard and/or mustache is between him and his wife (or husband, as the case may be). As for me and my house, I’ve threatened to divorce Sugar Daddy if he ever grows a mustache because, dude, NO. Just no. (Unless he develops a medical condition, in which case he can apply for a beard card. But I gotta tell you, I’m pretty stingy with those.)
What was the point of this story? Well, I’m still waiting for that to reveal itself. John Kitzhaber is the new (old) governor of Oregon, he’s got a creepy mustache, my dad used to have a creepy mustache but was never governor of Oregon–you see how everything is interrelated; I just can’t quite make sense out of it. I’ll have to get back to you on that. Meanwhile, I have to make a list for grocery shopping. That has nothing to do with mustaches, so I will bid you gentle readers adieu and let you get back to your regular scheduled programming.