I don’t remember my Daddy ever teaching me how to shave. That doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t. I just don’t remember it.
But he’d revel in all the Daddy duties so maybe he did.
I remember him teaching me how to throw a baseball, ride my banana seat bike, swing a golf club and make my very first boneheaded wager with the neighborhood bookie down Tony’s barbershop.
But I have no recollection of him filling my palm with a foamy squirt of Noxzema and saying, “Now spread a thin layer over your face, take the razor in your right hand and let the blade glide over your cheek and down your neck. Oh! Here’s a tip: try not to sever your carotid artery!”
I think he didn’t teach me how to shave because he hated to shave and knew like every man I’d one day figure it out all on my own. It was the same way with the facts of life. He never gave me the sex talk assuming, again, I’d figure it out all on my own.
And I eventually did.
I think I was about 35.
Makes me wonder how different my life would have been if he’d done what I heard some doting dads do and just taken me to a cheap whore house when I was 16, stuffed $50 in my pocket and said he’d be back in the morning.
I thought of this the other day when my new Micro Touch One Safety Razor arrived and it had detailed instructions enlightening me on something I’ve done about every other day or so for the past 35 years.
It told me how to shave.
- Shave after you shower. The heat from the shower softens the beard and relaxes your skin.
- Prepare skin with a thick, moisturizing shaving cream, gel or lotion. Allow it to remain on your face for a few minutes to soften the bristles. This will allow the moisturizing agents to protect your skin.
There’s more. It said to hold the blade at a 45-degree angle and apply as little pressure as possible so the weight of the razor would do all the dirty work.
It was like my face had hired a janitor!
See, I’ve become increasingly disenchanted with my shaving options.
Understand, I’m not in the military and I don’t play professional baseball for the New York Yankees, two finicky organizations that frown on untidy facial hair.
No one goes through the day saying, “Boy, I hope when I see Chris his mug has a real pretty shine . . . maybe today he’ll let me feel his face!”
No, the people who see me hope I have something pleasant or funny to say and that maybe — cross your fingers — I’ll pay them the $20 I bummed Friday night.
So regular shaving’s never been that big a deal for me. I shave about once every three days.
And it’s always a chore. Rolling around on the floor to cut my own jagged toenails is the only grooming habit that’s more dreary.
Plus, shaving has become very expensive. A typical razor handle costs about $14 with a package of replacement blades about as much.
And they’re horrible, the blades especially. As I don’t shave every day, one rake of the razor clogs the space between the four blades up with stubble that becomes nearly impossible to rinse loose.
And think about that: four blades! Two you can ustify, but four? It’s like the razor industry’s been taken over by the Cold War guys who brought us Mutually Assured Destruction.
The typical razor today looks more like an Air Jordan Nike sells for $200. The flourishes that have nothing to do with performance, but everything to do with price gouging.
So it was time for me to shop around. You know what besides the simplicity of the single blade MicroTouch One sold me?
It was a promotional line about how this is the exact same type of razor men used in both World War I and II. That’s true.
And those were the conflicts that led to all the very best war movies.
It’s like I’m shaving next to General Patton!
So now for $42.96 I think I have the very last razor I’ll ever own. It came with 40 blades I can clean and wipe dry after every shave. No more clogging, no more banging my handle against the sink like an angry judge calling for order in the court.
Now if I can only think of something useful to do with my ratty old razor.
I wonder how those four blades would do on my toe nails.
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