Movember: An Unexpected Journey – Day 23

As I’m now looking down the barrel of my last week as a mosista, I thought it would a be good time to share my journey with the faux-mo, as it’s been more of a roller coaster than I ever would have imagined.

A select few photos of my Mo-journey

A select few photos of my Mo-journey

I’m going to admit it; on that first Saturday in November when I ripped open the packaging of one of many fake tache packets, slightly hungover, and stuck one on, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do this challenge. Which was scary; I’d been talking about it so much and been so excited to raise money for the Movember Foundation that I didn’t feel I would be able to duck out. That whole day the mo was so uncomfortable and itchy and, towards the end of the day, painful, that I was grumpy and snappy. I don’t think I even smiled; I likened it (in a slightly geeky way) to wearing a Horcrux. That evening, things got a little easier as I spent the evening at a family party; everyone was very supportive and (thanks to a couple of beverages) I even managed to forget the discomfort for a while.

But when I walked to work on the Monday morning, things got worse again. Now, when I put myself up for this, I knew that I would attract plenty of attention. I was even hoping to turn that attention into donations, living in a rose-tinted world where I raised £20 from the kindness of strangers before I even arrived at work. Not so much. People treated me like I was a freak. I expected the double takes, the chuckles, and the people who just pretended there was nothing unusual about me (see my previous post for a further explanation of all these types of people!), but I didn’t expect the outright staring, inappropriate comments and general rude behaviour. By the time I got home, I never wanted to leave the house again, and I certainly didn’t want to re-moustache up the next day.

Thinking back to that day now, I can’t even imagine feeling like that. I’m still wearing the mo, 23 days into my challenge. I’m actually sat in @ The Well as I type, wearing a full-on Dali moustache and drinking a delicious chocolate milkshake while my washing swirls around, and feeing totally comfortable.

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The physical difficulties of wearing the mo got better as I went along; after about a week and a half (and an unfortunate burning incident with some very extreme moustache glue), I actually started to forget that I was wearing the tache, and my upper lip has reacted remarkably well to the whole thing. The reception of the general public, however, did not improve. I’d like to make a special shout out to the following:

  • The middle-aged couple in a pub in Chichester who spent their entire evening staring at and whispering about me, actually abandoning their drinks at the bar to hide around the other side of the pub when I came up to buy a drink;
  • The girl in Stokes Croft who said ‘Well she must be gay’ to her boyfriend as I walked past. Not quietly, might I add. You don’t have to be a lesbian to wear a mo, just for the record;
  • The guy at work who shakes his head and tuts every time he sees me, asking me what my mother thinks of me wearing a moustache out in public. Um, firstly, my mum thinks it’s great (and a little bonkers) and secondly, I’m an adult…all that matters is what I think about wearing a moustache in public.

It’s really made me realise that while we have come a long way as a society, particularly in our attitudes towards gender and sexuality, we still have a very long way to go. Despite that, I’ve actually come to enjoy freaking those kind of people out a little bit, making a point of catching their eye when they’re staring or making a comment, and commenting back when necessary.

But it’s not all bad; I’d like to make a super huge shout out to all the people who have been amazing, as I definitely couldn’t have dealt with those difficult times without them:

  • All my friends who have spent time with me and my mo, helped me get through the negative experiences, and donated;
  • Everyone on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram who have put up with my tache’s excessive social media presence;
  • All of my colleagues at work who have made a point of talking to me about my challenge or who have donated, even when they didn’t know me;
  • Everyone who I’ve met out and about who has donated to me, chatted to me and given me a thumbs up, especially Jeff the Big Issue seller who shouts about how much he loves my tache at the top of his lungs, serenading me along Cheltenham Road pretty much every day on my commute;
  • And especially my lovely boyfriend, Jon, who has been more wonderful and supportive than I ever could have imagined. I think that probably not many men would be overjoyed about their girlfriend having a hairy face for a month, but he has taken it in his stride and tells me often how proud he is (and how crazy I am) that I’ve done it.

For my last week of moing, I’ve bought some excellent artist-inspired fake taches, to really end the month on a high.

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I can’t quite believe that this time next week will be my last day with my tache; we’ve come so far together that I’m going to be really sad when this is over. Mocember anyone? But even when I’m walking to work with a fresh face, not an errant hair in sight, fading into the crowd of morning commuters, my Movember legacy will stay with me; I’ll wave to the people who I’ve gotten to know via my tache, throw evils (yes, I am very mature) at the people who were nasty, and smile as I catch a glimpse of a memory of my moustachioed face in a reflection in a shop window.

If you do fancy sponsoring me or finding out more about the Movember Foundation, you can do so here:

http://uk.movember.com/mospace/10220065

Until next time x