Ask a fifth-year: I mustache you a question

Jacob Horn

Dear Jacob,

I am having an existential crisis! Should I shave my mustache or not? My fate is in your hands, Jacob Horn.


Hesitant Shaver

I don’t know how qualified I am to answer this question. I know, I know, I wasn’t really qualified to answer last week’s question about studying abroad since I never did actually study abroad, but this is important, damn it. This isn’t about some glorified vacation mislabeled as education. This is about facial hair.

If you’ve ever seen me, you know me to be clean-shaven. If you’ve ever seen me go a week without shaving, you might mistake me for a middle-schooler with a gland problem. A month’s worth of growth could be easily mistaken for a normal five o’clock shadow. Nowadays, when people ask me why I don’t grow facial hair I usually just tell them that the lower half of my face is albino.

I’m glad that we’re only addressing a minute faction of facial hair. There’s a power to the mustache, showing the world that you can grow facial hair, but also showing that you have the capacity to maintain it in a civilized manner.

My opinions on goatees and neck beards could fill volumes. My honors project entitled “David Thoreau: The Man, The Myth, The Neck Beard” was rejected simply because it would have taken one month to read the table of contents. My point being: For a man with little to no capacity to grow facial hair, I think about it way too much.

So, to address the question that you actually asked, we must examine the world of mustaches. As any mustache scholar will tell you, mustaches can be divided into two camps. The first is “Magnum P.I.”-era Tom Selleck while the other is the drastically different “Friends”-era Tom Selleck.

These are the only two mustaches worth your time and effort. If your mustache does not fall into one of these two categories, there is no hope for your mustache.

I would hope that anyone foolish enough to read this column would be well versed in the mustaches of Tom Selleck, but let me review for you just in case. The “Magnum P.I.”-era Selleck-stache encapsulates the ‘80s: loud, verbose and filled with regret.

There’s a devil-may-care attitude to it, like a crazy uncle who gets you firecrackers for Christmas. Why? Because he’s your crazy uncle, that’s why. Also, the mustache might have something to do with it. Where was I going with this? I don’t know, just stay with me on this.

In direct contrast, we have the “Friends”-era Tom Selleck mustache. A mellower mustache, it stands for the ‘90s: pure, distilled nostalgia. More refined than the “Magnum” mustache, it stands for stability, like the boring uncle you have.

Sure, one time he toured in a band, but those days are behind him. He’s more of a family man. His mustache is a relic of a bygone era, rife with history that will never be told. There’s a sadness to this mustache.

So, dear reader, you must ask yourself whether your mustache falls into one of these two categories. Each one has its perks and downfalls. Just know that you will have to live with this decision for the rest of your life — or however long it takes for you to grow a mustache. Whichever comes first.

Okay, now that all of that is out of the way, I can honestly say this: Shave the mustache, Sam. You look ridiculous.