When it comes to No-Shave November, I’m saying: No mas. And I don’t even speak Spanish.
Perhaps you’ve heard about NSN. If not, it is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to raise money and awareness about cancer.
“No-Shave November is a unique way to raise cancer awareness. The goal is to grow awareness by embracing our hair – which many cancer patients lose – and letting it grow wild,” the organization says on its website. “Then, donate the money you normally spend on hair removal for a month to cancer research.”
The website goes on to suggest growing a beard and/or a mustache, letting your legs get hairy or skipping a waxing appointment.
The latter two seem to be aimed at the ladies. At least I think they are. But the only people I ever hear talking about No-Shave November are guys — some of whom can’t even really grow a decent beard. One thing, however, is for sure: They are more than glad for an excuse to quit shaving.
I don’t like shaving every day either. But I can’t get excited about NSN. It’s my mom’s fault.
Let’s climb into the way-back machine and visit early June in 1979 — the last day of sixth grade, to be specific. On this historic day, Mom said: “No 12-year-old son of mine is going to have a mustache. Shave that thing off.”
Or words to that effect.
Except for Mrs. Holm, my sixth-grade teacher, I don’t think anyone else even noticed. But I thought it was cool even though lathering up and putting my dad’s single-blade razor to those wisps of whiskers meant I shaved daily by the time I hit high school.
By then, I could have grown a beard that would have made the ZZ Top guys proud. And I wanted to grow one because it was something few, if any, of my friends could have done at the time.
Mom, however, laid down the law again: “No son of mine is going to have a beard while he is in high school.”
Or words to that effect.
So I waited. Until college. At dear, old Morningside College in the fall of 1985, one of the first things I did was make sure I was bearded before coming home for the first time as a freshman. Most of the fun in this was how I anticipated Mom would react. I just knew she would hate it.
If she did, though, she cleverly employed some reverse psychology, telling me how nice the beard looked and that I should keep it, which I did for most of the next 20 years.
But I also remember her saying I’d shave off the whiskers for good once they turned gray. This is precisely what happened.
So I’m probably going to take a pass on No-Shave November. For starters, I spend so little on hair removal that whatever I saved for a month wouldn’t make much of a donation for cancer research. And I’d hate to think how my eyebrows, ears and nose — all of the places where unwanted hair now grows at an alarming rate — would look after a month of no grooming.
What all of this ultimately proves could have been summarized in five words instead of 550: Mom really does know best.
When it comes to my facial hair: No mas.