The Opaque Mustache, Please Pass the Remington

Wendy Schmidt

It was there all the time, right under my nose, ready to welcome my menopause woes. I took one look in the mirror as the morning light hit my upper lip. There it was: peach fuzz, my whiskers in waiting, my five o’clock shadow, my testosterone teaser.

All the creative cursing in the world couldn’t help me now.

“What the hell is this? Damn, another nasty surprise. Mother F****** menopause!”

Words that usually took the edge off didn’t make a dent. I had grown this mini-monster overnight. There were fine little feathers blowing softly in the breeze, like the kind one might see on newborn birds. But my last eggs had canceled their fallopian rent long ago and I had no regrets. I didn’t miss those miserable cramps or monthly tampon runs to the open 24 hours, pharmacy. My moods had evened out too, no more bipolar premenstrual, mid-menstrual, post menstrual ups and downs and over and outs. Womanly curves had changed a bit. There was a little more upfront and a little less back up. No surprises there.

What I never expected was facial hair. Does this mean my body is changing its mind and has designs towards more masculine lines? What to do? I was used to shaving legs and underarms, two things that had surprisingly started to decrease after the change. Had these hairs lost their way and found the first port in this menopause storm, namely my upper lip?

“Now listen,” I said to the mirror. “This is not happening! Do you hear me little stubs? You are not landing on my lip permanently. I got through the flash fires and lack of desire and I can get through you!”

It’s then I took out the heavy hitters, razor, wax and additional curse words. I was ready to make war. I suddenly felt like my father was looking back at me from the bathroom vanity. He had been a navy man in World War II, clean shaven with only a hint of a dark shadow. “Oh, you look just like him,” Aunt Pearl had said at my wedding. “You’re the spitting image of your father at this age.”

These words now filled my mind. Father had always been able to grow a full, heavy beard whenever he dared to do so around hunting season.

“This is silly, really quite ridiculous. I can’t take myself seriously!” I said, then suddenly saw myself waxing the ends of a handlebar mustache. Old television cartoons began to run through my head. Boris and Snidely and Dastardly Dick, I had my pick of villains. Perhaps grandpa’s old mustache cup might now be put to practical use. Will I be plucking eyebrows and lip brows? Will I need to buy a box of Miss Clairol so as to match my current hair color? After all, the rug runner should match the drapes. Or should I simply scream so loud, so long that the tiny hairs might fall out from shock and stress?

If I had been the Godfather, who, by the way, had a very nice mustache. I’d have forced my maker to swim with the fishes because this smacked of disloyalty. Never go against the family face, Fredo. It’s not fair! First, all the mess of menstruation and now facial hairs! Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!

As I’m desperately digging through the drawer for blades and shaving cream, a small poem comes to mind:

Older is wiser, and so it is said. 

But, peaches and cream, I long for instead. 

AMEN and please pass the Lady Remington.

The End.


About Wendy Schmidt

Wendy Schmidt has been writing short stories, essays and poetry for the last ten years. Pieces have been published in Verse Wisconsin, Chicago Literati, City Lake Poets, Literary Hatchet, Moon Magazine, Rebelle Society and a number of other poetry and fiction anthologies. You can read one of her stories, The Curse Now Lifted, in the award winning Anthology, Shifts. She has also had her first children’s chapter book published, The Fairy Tree. You’ll find her on any given day sitting at her antique library table, cat in lap, working on her novel or poetry.

5 thoughts on “The Opaque Mustache, Please Pass the Remington”

  1. Gary Busha says:

    Nice piece. A fun read. Thanks, Wendy.

    1. Gigi says:

      Brilliant! I couldn’t stop laughing. Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to purchase face wax………

  2. Lisa Nolan says:

    Too funny! Too true! (Menopause, oh menopause, why me?) Loved your piece! Mustache and all!

  3. Cristina Norcross says:

    Thank you for bringing humor and authenticity to the experience of menopause. Too often, we hide or don’t talk about the annoying symptoms of Peri-menopause and Menopause. A great read – very genuine. Many women will relate to this.

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