AMY KIRK: The mustache trend
Although my husband isn't aware of it, his decision to grow out his mustache again is just in time to be a part of the current mustache trend. I've seen a variety of merchandise featuring mustaches: Sunglasses with attached mustaches, necklaces, rings, cookie cutters and silkscreened mustache T-shirts.
When my husband and I met, his mustache was his trademark and the source of much ribbing during our courtship.
According to old family photos, it's apparent that big mustaches have always been a part of his family's history. Pictures of his great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather show them sporting big mustaches. My husband admired their mustaches as well as the 'staches on actor Sam Elliott and cowboy humorist Baxter Black.
A while back, I received an email from Baxter about a column I'd written regarding married ranch couples. Mr. Black personally addressed my husband in his salutation, and that has led my husband to have a premonition that meeting the famous columnist is in our future. In preparation for our photo opportunity with Baxter Black -- whenever that might be -- my husband began growing out his whiskers this spring. The photo he wants to have taken would be me flanked by mustache-wearing Baxter Black and my husband on each side -- IF it happens.
As a woman on the receiving lips of walrus-style whiskers and noticer of whisker issues, I'm sharing my observations for any men considering participation in the mustache trend in hopes of helping prevent mustache embarrassing moments:
Do not accept a mug of foamy tap beer without a napkin or hankie.
Do not eat thickly buttered toast or corn on the cob without a napkin or hankie.
Do not drink a cup of coffee without a napkin or hankie.
In fact, just pack around a hankie or grab a napkin/paper towel if unplanned eating or drinking opportunities arise.
If you're a self-conscious guy, always check the alignment of the mustache in the mirror first thing in the morning. This is when mustaches are most likely to appear unruly or crooked.
Check the rearview mirror prior to exiting the vehicle to ensure neatness and cleanliness before mingling with people.
As a backup if mirrors aren't available, establish a habit of subconsciously shaping the mustache with the index finger and thumb.
If you don't have a miniature mustache comb, a toothbrush makes a fine mustache brush. Just don't be lazy and use toothbrushes that someone you live with currently brushes their teeth with.
Periodically groom the 'stache with your tiny comb or mustache toothbrush to avoid embarrassing mustache disarrangement or having unsightly unidentifiable objects in it.
Remove pull tabs on cans before sipping to avoid whisker-pulling/catching.
If you're the father of a baby that recognizes you with a mustache, should you decide to shave it off, expect your infant to be scared of you the first time he or she sees you whiskerless.
Avoid downpours. Heavy rains will cause major drippage from a mustache.
When eating messy foods, swipe the 'stache frequently between bites. May these help potential trend-followers establish a good-looking mustache; but the most important tip is never, EVER tell your wife you let the dog kiss or lick your mustache clean.
-- Amy Kirk and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth-generation cow/calf operation near Pringle. She blogs at ranchwifeslant.areavoices.com.