Even when forced to leave the house, the author, as a heterosexual, middle aged male, is not expected to make much of a fashion statement and this writer is always happy to satisfy low expectations. Looking at his closet, the author sees some evidence of past fashion trends, but it is paleological in nature, requiring excavation and interpretation in order to make a coherent style narrative. There are some Hawaiian shirts, for example, left over from when wearing a Hawaiian shirt everywhere was the rage, or possibly left over from when the author lived in Hawaii. A pair of cowboy boots lingers over from some country-western epoch of style. An item called the "hoodie," was popularized by youth about fifteen years ago, although they had existed since mid last century. No hoodies were owned by this writer for thirty or so years, but now several hang off his closet pegs like gutless, primary-colored ghosts.
The subject of personal grooming, however, is much more important for the male. This is because we only look at our faces in the mirror. Many single men do not even own a full length mirror, whereas women, both single and married, consider it a necessity. We men just contemplate our faces as we shave, completely oblivious to our garment choices and body evolution; for example a t-shirt emblazoned with barbecue sauce stains matched up with souvenir Shamu boxer shorts, pulled tight over the belly of beer and the office-chair trained glutes. We don't even see these fashion and figure flaws. We rinse out our razors and think we look great.
So the only aspect of style in which men can blunder horribly, and be aware of it, is head and facial hair. Horrible blundering gets done anyway; the comb-over, the Grizzly Adams beard, an untrimmed festoon of nose hairs. This writer some time back made the decision to go minimalist in the head hair department. He opted for none, facial or cranial. It's tough to criticize that look. There are no bad hair days when every day's a no-hair day, and one's shampoo habit can be considered kicked for good.
It's an ageless look, too. Hair, gray or thinning, is the first thing women look at when they try to determine a man's age bracket, and the shaved scalp is, at first glance, tough to place on the spectrum of maturity. The author has observed women far too young for him looking at him speculatively, before they realize, with a flash of horror, He's old enough to be my grandfather!
Which is not true. The author is barely old enough to be their father's older brother.
That happy period ended a month ago, when the author's Significant Other, after much wheedling, negotiation, and the rejection of several generous counter-offers involving dinners and vacations, persuaded him to grow a mustache. She wouldn't even let him grow the mustache-goatee combination which, although clearly ugly, is at least currently fashionable. Nope, she insisted on the straight cop stache, the Magnum, PI horror that infested the lip of every police officer in America in the last quarter of the last century, and a sizable percentage of men not in law enforcement as well, including this writer.
So it's a look he's already had. That's one reason it bores him. Another is that when some people see him, they start throwing their drugs in the bushes. The author was certain the mustache would come in shot through with gray, and had wisely left himself that out to shave it off, but the miserable patch of fur betrayed him by growing back the same off-gold he remembered it being when it had last been spotted in '97.
The mustache requires care. True, no electrical instruments are required; no blow-dryers, hair flatteners or hair frizzers are necessary, but it needs to be trimmed with scissors constantly, lest the bristly affectation blossom into something unkissable. This bit of sub-nasal fur needs to be eyeballed with a straight-edge every few days or the edges flare out asymmetrically. It may not seem like much of a problem to those of you who are daily slaves to lather, rinse, repeat, condition, rinse, dry, gel, style and being vaguely unhappy with the result afterwards anyway, but it's complicated to a man whose sole grooming task previously was remembering not to shave off his eyebrows.
These grooming chores mean looking in this full-length mirror constantly, so the author gets a regular eyeful of his entire physiognomy. So it does make him look fat, or at least it makes him look at his fat.
It's got to go. Tough to think of a fatal accident for just your mustache, though. This writer is open to suggestions.