I would venture a guess that anyone reading this post has had one of those conversations you wish you hadn’t. I’ve had several in my life but as a backstory to the growth on my face, I’d like to explain a bit about that conversation and why I have grown a Mo every November since 2010.
I was working at Citicard in Jacksonville, Florida back in 2006 when my dad called me on the phone and informed me that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. There I was, in the middle of my workday, and I was being told that there was an immediate health concern affecting someone I was close to. As is the case with most of these types of conversations, there were some words spoken that caused lumps in the throat. Things such as “I’m proud of you”, “I’m not sure how bad it will actually get”, and “I love you and want you to know that”.
Fast forward a few years to 2010. I’m doing my daily checks of the websites I’ve grown to love and I come across THIS POST about growing a moustache to fund the fight against men’s cancer. Up to this point all I’d ever seen was the pink breast cancer supporters everywhere. Now my grandmother had passed away from breast cancer and I’d heard plenty of folks talk about women’s cancers but men’s cancers had never really gotten their time in the limelight from what I could remember. I was intrigued by the concept of men banding together and doing something to bring a dialogue about men’s cancer to the forefront so I committed to growing a “Mo” as a show of support. I’ve always been proud to rock a full beard, as long as the dress code at whichever job I was at would allow it. Growing only a Mo was a bit outside my comfort zone. To be honest, judging by the looks I usually get throughout this month every year, it’s a bit outside of PLENTY of peoples’ comfort zones. The responses I get range from “Uh, dude what is up with that THING on your face” to “Haven’t you made it past puberty yet?” and “Hey kids, quickly run to the car while Mommy pepper sprays this man”.
My first two years, I partnered up with a coworker friend (who can sprout a full beard down to his knees within about 24 hours; yeah I’m a bit jealous) and we raised money as teammates. We were successful for those first two years; in 2010 our team raised $395 and in 2011 our team raised $785. This third year was a bit different. His family was affected by Hurricane Sandy and he’s gone back to New Jersey to assist in rebuilding the first floor of his father’s home along the coast. He didn’t want to have to maintain the Mo and keep track of funds raised, etc etc. No worries on my end; I joined up with the Art Of Manliness team and have (as of this point) contributed $155 this year, due to a handful of contributors who know me and probably get a real kick out of seeing my upper lip caterpillar every November.
Considering how cruddy the last couple months have been for quite a few of the people I know, I haven’t really been bombarding people with requests for $$$ this year. As there have been so many fundraisers for various causes since early October, I didn’t want to really press the issue. I will say, however, that this will not be my last year of supporting this worthy cause. Honestly, all I have to do is field some strange looks from people who don’t know why I look like a cop from TJ Hooker or CHIPS.
The best (and worst) part of this month is how I’m seen with a Mo.
ON A SIDENOTE: My dad was successful in beating prostate cancer and is still around rocking his own year-round Mo. By the way, he looks GREAT with a Mo. He looks a lot more like Tom Selleck than I do.
ANOTHER SIDENOTE: If you want to donate to me specifically, head over to http://mobro.co/crzydjm . If you would just like to make a donation and don’t care who gets credit for it, just head over to http://us.movember.com/donate/ and help fund the fight against mens cancers like prostate and testicular cancer. Thanks, and I hope you’ll begin talking to me again on December 1st. 🙂