I started growing a mustache (and beard) almost immediately upon my arrival as a freshman at Wesleyan University in the fall of 1970. It was my (mild-mannered) declaration of independence from home and high school. I believe that I have shaved my upper lip just three times in the past forty-something years, and each of those times the mustache reappeared relatively quickly, usually at the insistence of my wife.
© 2003 Steven E. Cutts
a Studio C recording in October 2006
When I was seventeen, I dreamed of growing hair upon my upper lip; I’d get a mustache going there.
The other guys would envy me with jealousy, and I’d get all the girls!
Finally on my own, no rule to tell me “No,” I put my razor down – I just let it grow:
My emblem of virility’s ability, like Sampson and his curls.
“What a great mustache!” I was hoping folks would say; my girlfriend called it “fuzzy” and “absurd.”
But that first mustache lived to see another day; I ditched the girl and vowed to grow an even better great mustache!
It did not disappear; it kind of grew on me. Not just that boyhood dream – not just some novelty
A fashion statement in it hairy self and a herald of the times.
For a while I waxed the ends – handle bars all sticking out. Sometimes a Fu Manchu – little hairs all turning south.
Then other times a goatee would emerge as a mustache redefined.
My great mustache -- it kept hanging round, growing fuller bit by bit.
My great mustache -- instead of going underground, It persevered and gradually matured into a great mustache.
The few times that I’ve dated to go without my masquerade,
I’ve shaved it off and checked it out and always been dismayed.
I admit the color’s changed as time has rolled along. For a while I tried to say that it was going blonde,
But there are truths so obvious and transparent hair color can’t disguise!
Oh, my gray mustache -- it has been a life-long friend, my silver fur accessory.
I think my gray mustache will probably be here ‘til the end --
Not exactly womb to tomb, but still it’s been a great mustache.