First World Problems: A Moustache Too Much


Jul 9, 2015


Article Icon - First World ProblemsFirst World Problems is a weekly advice column for India’s first world population. Write to Judy at contact@theswaddle.com (confidentially!) if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately,
or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind.


PROBLEM: My boss is a messy eater, and it’s really disgusting. Like, fully gross. He gets dal and drinks in his mustache and around his mouth and never wipes it away really well. He likes to have lunch meetings, which I hate because I can’t think of anything other than his eating habits and so come off really stupid, even when I’m prepared. His birthday is month after, and it’s a big deal in office. Can I gift him a nice hanky?

Oh, my sweet summer child. What do you know of mustaches and dal? For you know not how to spell ‘moustache’ right. Dal is not for elegant eaters, though moustache in dal is no laughing matter.

Alright, this is as far as I go with rhymes and Game of Thrones references. I don’t even watch Game of Thrones (I know, I know; save the panic attack for a real problem though). But coming back to your boss and the offending Moustache*, it seems to me that a hanky is not anywhere close to a solution because: (a) His eating habits have nothing to do with not having enough hankies to go around, and (b) If you were trying to drop a broad hint, he doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who’d get it. So here are some alternative solutions to this rather dicey situation:

  1. Gift him a plunger. If a hint is what you’re going for, why not go all out? This might even work out as a nice after-lunch ritual to get the Moustache cleaned up. (Picture it. You have to picture it.)
  2. Leave anonymous notes from his future-self warning him of impending doom if he doesn’t immediately fix his eating habits. Leave ominous notes everywhere: On his desk, the bathroom mirror, the car windshield. And here’s the icing on the cake—literally: Have the final note written on the birthday cake and, as soon as he’s seen it, feign ignorance and wail out loud: “Noooooo! This is not the cake we ordered! Why is this happeninggggg?” That should totally freak him out.
  3. Get a voodoo doll and rip off his moustache. This is slightly complicated, though, as those needles aren’t available on Ebay. Also, you will need one of his moustache hairs. (And the blood of a eunuch and the egg of a Hungarian Horntail, but… details.)
  4. Tell him directly that you’d rather have the meeting after lunch, as you enjoy food too much to do anything else while eating. (My favourite suggestion.)

 Oh, and just curious: Why is your boss’s birthday a big deal? Wait…. Do you work for Michael Scott? Oh, my god—are you Angela?

*I think it is only fitting to address the Moustache with a capital M since it is the central antagonist in this story.


PROBLEM: My son is turning three soon, and I’m planning his birthday party, with lots of games for moms and kids to play together. Is it fine to tell my friends  to not bring nannies with them? At the last kid’s birthday party I went to, all the mothers talked and drank in the corner, while the birthday girl, my son, and their little friends were tended to by nannies. It was fun, but it’s not the birthday party I want my little boy to have.

Why not? It’s your party and you’ll bar nannies if you want to. And if the South-Delhi-Moms-masquerading-as-Upper-East-Side-Moms have a problem, invite them over and screen The Nanny Diaries. While their kids are outside… being tended to by nannies. Oh, and while you’re at it, you have my permission to bar any talk of shoes, galas, air-kisses, and anyone addressing anyone as ‘dahling.’



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Written By Judy Balan

Judy Balan is a bestselling author and blogger popular for her quirky, often self-deprecatory humour. She is a self-proclaimed expert at American pop-culture with a sitcom/romcom quote for all of life’s situations. Judy believes that if she’s made you laugh, smile or even snort in the middle of a stressful day, her job here is done. Follow her at her website judybalan.com, on Twitter @judybalan, or on Facebook.


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