Men's Facial Hair: Let's Get Some Rules Established

Before You 'Mo, Here's What You Need to Know

Men's Facial Hair: Let's Get Some Rules Established

The golden rules for rocking Movember and making the most of your facial hair.  | Fashion | Mustache |

I love Movember.

November I can do without, but Movember can last all year long as far as I’m concerned.

Last Saturday night I went out for the evening and most of the men in the bar where we went were participating in Movember in some incarnation or another. A quick scan of the bar demonstrated several of the various male facial hair growth patterns: the 1970’s porn star ‘stache, the trimmed and tidy “work hard/party harder” short beard, the dirty Jesus, and the sparse “Cut me some slack/all my hair’s on my back” wanna-be beard.

And you know what?


I asked Google to help me explore my love of all things moustached and bearded, and it turns out there’s a name for my infatuation. I will henceforth identify as a proud pogonphile. At first I got really excited because I thought the word maybe had something to do with corn dog Pogo’s, because I LOVE THOSE ALSO. You can imagine how giddy I get when the carnival comes to town, what with all those hairy Carnie pogo vendors and such.

Probably the only beard style that I don’t love is the Amish style. But I do support button-free lifestyles, enjoy biblical names, and a good barn-raising, so I could probably get past my distaste for the religious fringe.  

But I think that if you are going to participate in Movember, you should go full speed – no holding back. You’re in or you’re out. (And don’t be out.) Please; no waffling when it comes to something as important and sexy as facial hair. 

Alright Ezekiel, ready for some other rules? 

You must be at least 25 years old. Nothing is as disturbing as watching a 19-year-old kid stroking a full length beard. You earn the right to facial hair through age, just as you do other things in life. It’s simple and sequential: driving, voting, drinking, beards.  That’s called “adult math.

Keep it clean. Your facial hair is not a crumb catcher; nor is it a soup strainer. If at any time your beard or moustache resembles the back seat of my minivan, it’s game over.

You should have some hair on your head. I don’t care if you’ve only got six of them and they’re less than an 1/8 of an inch long and three are attached with scotch tape, the rule stands: no hair on your head? No hair on your face.

Points will be given for talking like a lumberjack, fisherman, or other stereotypical bearded man. Note: Extra points awarded for impersonations of the super-sexy following: Grizzly Adams, Magnum P.I., Almanzo Wilder, or Friedrich Nietzsche.

Movember cannot be used as an excuse to refrain from personal upkeep. Just because you’re not shaving doesn’t give you a free pass. You must shower, brush and floss, and – this is key, fellas – put on new underwear every day. We’re fighting cancer here, not hygiene. In fact, why not spend the extra time you have now because you’re not shaving and re-invest it? Maybe cut those toenails?  

Never mind what home decorating shows are telling you – the carpet should match the drapes. Salt and pepper is okay; dignified, even. But if you’re coming in at 100% salt, you need to wait until you have the head to match. Colouring your hair and/or beard is not an option. I absolutely guarantee that if your partner walks into the bathroom and finds you huddled over the bathtub with Miss Clairol #344 Dark Beauty all up in your face, it’s going to be a long time until you experience one of the bonuses of having that beard in the first place.

I will be sad to see Movember end, especially since most men choose to opt out of the lifestyle once December rolls around.

But there is some consolation in the otherwise cold, hairless month.

Santa Claus.

 RELATED: ​Decembeaver: Would You?


Sleep, Now That You're a Parent: It Ain't Happening

Launching #YMCSleeps

Sleep, Now That You're a Parent: It Ain't Happening

How to get better quailty sleep |

What’s your standard response to the innocuous “How are you?”

I’m betting it’s “fine,” or “good,” or perhaps if we’re being honest, the more truthful “tired.” I’d also bet it’s probably never “amazingly well-rested and almost completely stress free!

Last spring, conducted a survey of over 1000 parents about sleep – the how’s, what’s, who’s, and why’s surrounding sleep now that we’re parents.

Not surprisingly, the overwhelming consensus is that we are a pretty tired crew. In fact, over a third of us are getting 6 hours or less sleep per night – well below the recommended 7-9 for most adults. The cumulative effect of diminished and poor sleep can wreak havoc on your health and well-being, and frankly, who the hell has time for havoc?

But the more surprising part came once we really started digging into your answers.

Over 54% identified as “extremely tried” and 5.4% said answered “bone crushingly exhausted.” In a phrase: not cool. 

When we looked at the reasons why we’re so tired, there were the responses we expected, like baby waking in night (12.6%), toddler won’t stay down (17.3%) and snoring partners (7.6%). But the bigger – and more upsetting number – came from this ultimate sleep stealer: STRESS. An incredible 27.3% or respondents report losing sleep to this joy-sucker.

It’s a vicious circle – you don’t sleep because you’re stressed, then you are less able to tolerate stress because you’re so tired.

I get it. My son (well out of the toddler years and still not a great sleeper) was a baby we affectionately nicknamed “Scream in a Diaper” solely for his sleep habits. He’s now 138 months old and I am still waiting for him to sleep through the night.

We know we can’t completely eradicate stress in our lives, and the truth is that some stress – the right kind – keeps us motivated and striving for better. But the bad stress – the kind we lose sleep over – well, it sucks. It sucks hard. For better or worse (mostly worse) stress is a by-product of the modern mom's condition.

We want to help.

And so YMC is launching #YMCSleeps, a new Sleep Project to help us all get some quality rest, and hopefully reduce some of our massive stress load while we’re at it. There are no easy answers, but YMC has a great team of experts: Moms who have been there, done (and still doing) that, medical professionals, sleep experts, organizational gurus, and humorists who, while they may not get you an extra hour of snoozing, can offer a laugh at our tired condition.

The #YMCSleeps project will tackle not only sleep issues as they relate to tired and stressed parents, but tired kids too – because quality sleep is not a once-and-done project; it’s an ongoing and ever-changing endeavor – and it’s one we can help you with.

Follow along on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, where we'll be sharing sleep stories and advice using the #YMCSleeps hashtag.

So here’s to more – and better– sleep!


Do you have a sleep story or question regarding sleep/stress you’d like our experts to tackle? I’d love to hear from you!

Email me at [email protected] 

#YMCSleeps is tackling sleep issues as they relate to tired and stressed parents, and tired kids too – because quality sleep is not a once-and-done project; it’s an ongoing and ever changing endeavor

Follow on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, where we'll be sharing sleep stories and advice using the #YMCSleeps hashtag.

 So here’s to more – and better– sleep!


Read This & You Can Quit Doing Laundry Forever

Come down from Laundry Mountain

Read This & You Can Quit Doing Laundry Forever

Laundry Tip: How to Never Do Laundry Again |

Freakin' laundry.

I hate laundry with the passion of a woman who's been scorned, is drunk on Shiraz, and has access to your private cell phone number. I hate it the way dogs hate cats, snow hates sunshine, and fundamental conservatives hate women.

I HATE IT AND EVERYTHING IT STANDS FOR. If it were a person, I'd punch it in its dirty, rotten face.

Laundry is the worst household chore because it never ends, and there are too many steps to its completion. Gather, sort, load, remove, load, remove, fold, put awa....NOPE. I'm a "once and done" kinda gal and laundry does not qualify under this parameter.  

One of the things I love about humid Ontario summers is wearing wet clothes right from the washing machine. You get a custom “to your body” fit and built-in cooling-mechanism. Plus, no drying or folding! And it's eco-friendly. We are saving the planet and our sanity!  

But summer has turned and run, and my family's laundry pile qualifies as one of Canada's highest summits. I am so done with this bullshit, but I couldn't see how to solve this problem. Maybe I need to harness the power that is the diabolical brain of a elementary school child, and so in efforts to reduce our laundry load, I turned to my 11 year-old son for help. He doesn’t like parting with his worked-in (read: filthy) clothing for washing, and I’m sick of having philosophical discussions about “But what is dirt, anyway?” with an ornery 6th grader while playing tug-of-war with a disgusting crusty pair of tiny blue jeans.

As it turns out, if I follow his recommendations, I won’t need to do almost any laundry ever again. This should cut down on my household workload by almost 37% after you account for my daughter’s 432 Aeropostale t-shirts. So, if clothing or linens do not meet his “dirt” qualifications, I’m not washing them.

However, he can’t really tell me what dirt is, but he can tell me what it isn’t.

It is not dirt if: 

It’s not dirt if it came from your own body.
I’m not giving specifics here. Let’s just say if it came from an opening somewhere on your body, it apparently doesn’t count as dirt because “You said our bodies are beautiful, Mom.”
It’s not dirt if it makes a mark smaller than a quarter.
In essence, you can wear a shirt with 138 patches of mud on it, so long as their individual size does not exceed that of a .25 piece.
It’s not dirt if it’s fresher than 24 hours.
"Fresh" and "dirt" cannot co-exist in his dimension. Time makes dirt and one full day is required for proper formation. 
It’s not dirt if it was garnered in the act of performing a task requested by an adult.
Chore dirt displays lack of agency and is therefore exempt from punishment by washing.
It’s not dirt if it is food-derived.
BBQ sauce, eggs yolk, jam, or roast beef juices are not dirt, but rather delicious snacks for later.
It’s not dirt if someone else put it there.
Sidewalk chalk up and down your back that you are not aware of because your sister was trying to make you look like a skunk because you never wash your clothes is exempt. It is also a good example of what I refer to as “the laundry wormhole.”
It’s not dirt if you can’t see it from the front.
All dirt on the back of your clothing is exempt. If you can't see it, how can it matter? This kid could give Schrodinger a run for his money. 
It’s not dirt if it doesn’t smell bad.
See #3 - “freshness” criteria. If it smells good, say, like hot dogs, that adds to the allure. 
It’s not dirt if there is an inkling of creativity involved.
Markers, paint, glitter, 6 pompons and a Popsicle stick inadvertently glued to a sleeve must remain intact to preserve artistic integrity and to prevent accusations of censorship.

There may have been more qualifications, but if there were I didn’t hear them. The smell of his laundry basket was too much for me to take, and I had to leave the room. If you have any ideas, leave them in the comments.

These rules can be extended beyond laundry as well, and work equally well when applied to bathing or hair washing. And while I look forward to the day my son becomes a fully independent and responsible member of adult society, someone please point me towards this post if I ever consider eating dinner at his house.

 RELATED: The Fun Game That Will Get Your Kids To Put Away Their Clothes