Handlebar Moustache Survey by Bill of Chevy Chase, MD
- How long have you had a handlebar moustache, and what is your history with moustaches?
I started this moustache on my last day of high school in 1966. It took more than a while to get half-way decent, however it has served me well even acting as a logo for my first production company. I have had it in various lengths and thicknesses but this picture is pretty representative of how it is as of the past 10 years or so . . . but a tad more grey.
- What moved you to grow a handlebar moustache? Do any relatives or ancestors have handlebar moustaches?
I grew it because my grandmother had a picture of her grandfather, and he was sporting a great handlebar. After four years – towards my college graduation date, I was having lunch with my grandmother and she asked why I had “that moustache”? I took her into the den and showed her the photo of her grandfather and said, “that’s why!” She looked at me and started to laugh. Then she went to the photo – this a large, framed thing about 16″ X 20″ – and put her finger in her mouth, and easily smudged out the ends of the moustache. Apparently, his wife – my great, great grandmother, would not allow him to have the handlebar parts, so he put them in later after sitting for the photo.
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What are some of the reactions of others as you grew your handlebar moustache? What sort of reactions or comments did you get initially from your significant other?
My daughter, as a young girl, used to reach up when I leaned in to kiss her goodnight, and grab the ends and make a motorcycle sound as she pretended to twist the ends. Most people today only know me this way – and I frequently get a positive reaction and compliment from people on the street.
- What are some of the funny or strange comments others have made about your handlebar moustache over time?
Normally, it’s “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” type of things, but mostly it’s just a quick and pleasant comment. Nothing really funny or strange that I can think of over the past 40+ years.
- Has having a handlebar moustache had any effects on your personality/behavior, attitude, self-expression, sense of self?
Absolutely. It is me. I wanted it from the first time I could remember seeing that photo of my great grandfather, and set out to do it even if at first it was pure white and I had to use eyebrow pencil to be able to see the few hairs that were there. People often think of me as happy . . . smiling, because of it and the shape . . . but mostly, I just like it.
- What is it in your personality that drew you to growing a handlebar moustache?
It was unique and I had, I guess, a desire to be considered unique. Never gave it much thought.
- Have you been in any moustache contests or attended any such gatherings?
No however I am a member of the International Handlebar Club, headquartered in London, England.
- It takes courage to wear a handlebar moustache. What would you say to those who think you look odd, silly or stupid with it?
Other than my wife occasionally mentioning that I ought to shave it off – that has never been my experience.
- What waxes, styling aids or glues to you prefer and why?
Nothing now – I have a handful of good, expensive moustache brushes and I brush it in the morning or when I’m near them but nothing else. I used Pinaud at first [natural] and it helped to train it, but the fragrance under my nose all day drove me crazy. Now, almost all the hairs are one length – so taking care of it is nothing at all. Wash, dry and twist…then brush.
- What do you think a handlebar moustache does for a man?
I think it is a statement of individuality but if taken to extremes may well be like anything else – more a matter of taste than statement of independence.
- How attached are you to your handlebar moustache and what would it take for you to cut it off or remove the curls and not grow it back?
I think I can honestly say that there is nothing financial that would serve as a reason to shave off the ends – yet alone the entire moustache. If nothing else, it allowed my grandson to distinguish between me and his other grandfather . . .
- Have you accumulated any moustached merchandise, shirts, mugs or other stuff?
I have one moustache mug left and it’s from the 70’s. They don’t seem to make them any more – or at least I have been unable to find any. I have a few tee shirts with moustaches on them – mostly gag things and some refrigerator magnets shaped like handlebars.
My grandson – who is two years old – has three shirts that have handlebars and he wears them when I visit him.
- Can you recommend some other moustache web sites?
Not really, just the one for the International Handlebar Club.
- All about color: How closely does your moustache match the color of the hair on your head? How many colors are in your moustache? Do you like its color? Have you ever dyed it?
I would say there are four or five colors in my moustache and as many in my hair – as both go from once red to mostly shades of grey and/or light brown/blonde. Sorry the photo is from about 10 years ago when the color was more consistent. I only used some eyebrow pencil during the first couple of years when it was very white.
- What would you like to see on handlebarmoustachelife.com?
Just discovered you so can’t say.
- How has having a handlebar moustache affected your love life, dating, and does it interfere with kissing?
It has never been an issue in that there were never complaints but I have had to stop and sort of do a finger grooming after a prolonged “session”.
- What do you do for a living and what impact do you think your handlebar moustache has with customers, coworkers and superiors?
I am a strategic communications consultant and international development program manager. Frankly, I think that I fit the bill – per client perception – when I walk through the door. My world is one that requires creativity, knowledge, experience and some outside the box thinking – in other words, a handlebar moustache.
- Does your handlebar moustache give you any superpowers?
No but it does enable one to have accepted hands to nose activity, in public.
- Eating – neatly – can be a challenge with a larger moustache. Do you have any eating tips, or stories to share? Have you been tempted to remove the HB due to eating issues?
Never to remove it – but certain things are best eaten at home. Ribs come to mind as does corn on the cob and certain soups [thicker consistency]. I do one thing that I think might be unique, when I eat a biscuit [and I love them] and if there is anything on it other than butter [cream cheese, jelly, etc] I invert it before I put it in my mouth to avoid any contact with my stash.
- Have you ever styled your mustache in a comical manner or specifically for a Halloween costume?
- What is your preferred style for your handlebar moustache, and do you do a variety of styles?
A natural, soft look that I achieve by brushing. It was the desired look from day one – and when I finally was able to sport one properly, it has stayed that way whether longer or thicker or more “corporate” – but stylistically the same in what I consider a traditional look.
- Would you share your location and / or your age?
Chevy Chase, MD – 66