News and Tribune

Columns

October 25, 2013

DODD: There is no ‘sure thing’

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — I turned 58 years old last week and shaved my mustache for just the second time since I can remember. It was an odd coincidence but it turned out OK as I had many people tell me I looked younger without the facial hair. In fact, my wife was the only real negative opinion. But, to be fair she had warned me a couple of decades ago that she never wanted me to shave it again.

The last time I shaved my mustache I was Elizabeth Taylor!

This past week I made a dumb bet. I took the Denver Broncos and two points against the Indianapolis Colts. I figured it was a sure thing. As is generally the case with all “sure thing” bets my sure thing wasn’t all that sure. In fact, I have a long sordid history of losing bets on sure things. The dumb part was to wager my mustache on the outcome of the game.

Let’s face the facts — nobody really takes a bet when they are pretty sure they are going to lose. That would be just plain nuts. So, somewhere in the twisted mind of a gambler they are always planning on winning any bet in which they engage.

I don’t bet much money anymore. I occasionally accompany my mom to Churchill Downs or on a rare day the betting parlor in Clarksville. Betting parlor sounds kind of shady. When I hear the word “parlor” I think of the old western movies where parlor usually referred to a house of ill repute. Any other reference to the word “parlor” hasn’t been in practical use since the 1800s. I am willing to bet that you haven’t used the word “parlor” in a long time in a sentence. I mean, it’s not really a bet since I am not going to put up anything to lose but I bet you haven’t said the word much since the 1800s.

Immediately after I shook on the wager in which my stakes was my mustache, I had to call Kim. Of course, I knew she would be a bit irritated at me for putting the facial hair on the line. I am betting there isn't a happily married man out there anywhere who doesn’t enjoy irritating their wife every now and then. It's just a happily married guy kind of thing to do. 

Marriage and happiness are certainly all about the compromise. Most people I know who criticize me for compromising with my wife haven’t been happily married for 27 consecutive years. The fact is that I have been happily married for so long now that I honestly cannot remember the last time I was unhappily married.

I am willing to bet that Kim can remember when that was. If there is one thing a man must remember to be happily married for 27 consecutive years it’s that a woman remembers everything forever. If you think I am wrong and you are happily married just ask her for the time, the date, the place, and the person involved in the situation where there was unhappiness in your marriage.

I bet you are going to tell me I am right and be sorry that you took the challenge.

Still after giving out all of this advice I put the mustache on the line absolutely knowing she would not be happy. It’s really about as brave as I get these days in rebellion. Even with the 27-year happily married streak a man has to be a man every now and then. You know how some people with dentures keep them in a glass jar by the bed. That’s where she keeps something else I used to have. I am pretty sure the old expression “grow a pair” was first uttered by a divorced guy to his happily married friend.

Anyway just for fun I let her talk to the guy who was the instigator that enticed me to put up my mustache. She, of course, told him that I wasn't allowed to wager it and the bet was off.

I showed up Monday clean-shaven at work. It was just after turning 58. I did get a lot of comments about how I looked younger which was certainly gratifying just after feeling like I was getting too close for comfort to the age of 60.

Here’s the irony of life for me. It seemed like the more I told Kim about the looking younger comments I got the more irritated she seemed to be at my telling her about them. In happily married man land we like to refer to that as a win-win situation.

This discussion brings me back to the last time I actually did shave my mustache. I was on a committee for the Fund for the Arts back in my corporate world days. In a moment that to this day I still can't explain or understand I agreed to dress up as Elizabeth Taylor for the annual fundraising drive (it was an Oscar Party theme and I carried a fake Oscar around the office all day and gave a fake acceptance speech). I went to Actor's Theater and picked out an unbelievably Elizabethen formal dress and accompanying over-the-top jewelry. On the day of the fundraiser the head make-up artist showed up at the office and did my hair (a wig), make-up, and accessories.

I have to admit that I was not the young, vivacious Taylor but rather the middle aged fat Elvis version of Elizabeth. When I walked into the company owner’s office he actually didn’t know who I was. It was a successful day as many people donated $5 to take their picture with me in drag.

Kim only had one problem when I came home. She had never seen me without the lip cover. When I went to kiss her she was kind of weirded out. She told me I looked just like my mother. Apparently she has never had a desire to kiss my mom on the mouth.

So I kind of promised her back then to never shave it again. And I kept that promise until this past week when Peyton Manning let both her and me down. I have not attempted to kiss her all week. I bet it will be a long time before I shave it again.

 I do keep the jar by the bed just to remind me what it was like back in my younger rebel days before I was happily married. In another bit of irony, the mustache will grow back.

 

Lindon Dodd is a freelance writer who can be reached at lindon.dodd@hotmail.com



 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
LOCAL MAGAZINES
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.