Yes it's for a good cause -- but that's no excuse. Heidi Scrimgeour pleads for an end to hairy madness
When uttered by the man you love, there is one sentence that is guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of a woman.
One minute I was brushing my teeth alongside my husband on a crisp, cold autumn morning and the next, his sudden, heartfelt expression of intention had shattered my reverie, making my blood run cold.
"I think I'm going to grow a moustache for Movember," he said, stroking his not-insubstantial beard and gazing thoughtfully into the long-neglected shaving mirror.
When I finally recovered from almost asphyxiating on my toothpaste, I nearly fell to my knees to offer up a prayer of thanks because this meant the beard was to be no more. Hallelujah!
Instead I sank to the floor and begged him to reconsider the ill-advised hairy-upper-lip look.
I'm not the only wife who loses her husband beneath a forest of facial hair every year in November, either. 'Movember' has become something of an annual tradition among the males in our social circle.
Movember is a month-long charity event (www.movember.com) aimed at raising funds for prostate cancer and testicular cancer, which is a cause I wholeheartedly support.
Participants are known as Mo Bros. They must be clean-shaven when they register and throughout November they will grow their 'mo', raising money through sponsorship.
More than 45,000 men in Ireland have signed up to grow their own mo, and my husband and all his mates are plotting extravagant facial hair 'features' that have us wives running for the hills. It's a genius idea. It's just that there are scores of other acts of charitable sacrifice for which I would happily lend my support, financial and otherwise.
It's worth noting that my husband is an illegal participant, having begun with a beard worthy of the wild man of Borneo. Given that he's evidently not playing by the rules, I am offering to pay an undisclosed sum direct to charity in return for the removal of the offending facial obfuscation.
But he is thus far resistant to my pleas so I have resorted to writing an open letter to my husband and the male species, outlining why Movember is no laughing matter for us overlooked mo-wives.
Dear husband, and Mo Bros of the world...
1. You look ridiculous.
We fancy you a bit less. Why? Let my friend Tiffany explain: "My husband looks like he belongs in a police line-up when he sports a moustache." Alas, I think this may only act as a form of encouragement to some Mo Bros.
So I quizzed another pal for her feelings on the matter: "I don't hate Movember," she said, smirking. "I think it's fun to see everyone looking like idiots." Still not convinced as to the damage your mo could wreak upon your relationships, Mo Bros? Well, read on.
2. Kiss goodbye to kisses
When my husband announced his intentions, I uttered mournfully: "See you in December, then." There is just no way I'm getting up close and personal with a furry face.
My friend Rachel said this, when I noted her husband's absence of facial furnishing and asked how she managed to persuade him to remain clean-shaven amid all this Movember madness: "Easy. My husband can't have facial hair because he's a diver and it breaks the seal on his dive mask, which could cause him to drown. He also can't have it because it means he gets none, if you know what I mean."
3. Altruism it is not
Surely growing a moustache defies the very definition of a sponsored event in that you're not actually doing anything. Quite the reverse, in fact. Where's the altruism in that? Why couldn't you commit to picking up your pants from the bedroom floor every day for the month of November.
4. You're rebels with a cause
I have a sneaking suspicion that you enjoy the fact that your growing a mo winds us right up. We get it. So we're just going to rise right above it and let you believe that we are entirely indifferent to it.
If you will not cease and desist I hereby issue an advance warning that the fairer sex may institute, as an act of charity, the month of Furbruary, upon which we shall refuse to shave our legs for the entire month of February.
Yours moderately less affectionately,
One mournful mo-wife.