The sounds I most associate with my father are that of him shaving.
The sandpaper sound as he ran his blade across his cheek.The splash of the water as he rinsed it. The tap tap tap of his razor on the side of the sink. Then repeated.
Like most kids, I would sit up on the counter and watch him work through this routine, dreaming of the time when I would grow up and get to do it too.
My first shaving experiences, somewhere in my mid teens, were infrequent. My mom and dad told me that if I shaved, my beard would come in faster and thicker, and so I shouldn’t. I didn’t understand the logic, I just know the summer of my 15th birthday, when I was Crew Member of the Month at McDonald’s, and had my picture hanging on the wall of the restaurant, I had one nasty peach fuzz moustache.
Eventually, my parents’ prediction would come true. My beard would come in thick and wiry, and the sound of sandpaper scraping would echo in my bathroom just as it does in my dad’s. Now, I have 2 boys sitting on the sink watching me shave. It’s Charlie, 5, who is most enamoured with what happens to my beard.
Some nights we cuddle on the couch and he runs his hands on my cheek telling me it’s smooth. Other nights he recoils at a cuddle telling me my cheeks are “wuff, Daddy!” So I take him upstairs, and show him the routine my dad once hypnotized me with, and the circle of life is complete.
Cue clean shaven face being shown to the world!
Lately my shaving routine has included the Philips Shaver 9000, a rechargeable shaver that reminds me of the one my parents bought me when I had shown to have a habit of ripping my face up and covering it with bits of tissue the ‘old fashioned way.’
I have a serious face when I use it because, frankly, shaving is serious. It’s a ritual. A rite of passage. And a daily routine that needs to be respected.
It’s sad the art of shaving is being shunned by the lumbersexuals wandering the streets these days. They don’t know what they’re missing. Even still, a recent survey of Canadian men found that half of us think a clean shaven face is the way to go. 7 in 10 link good grooming to career success, while nearly three quarters align it with a better social life.
So clean it up, men! It’s a ritual worth shaving.. err saving.
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