Read Time3 Minute, 29 Second

Originally published February 11, 2012

I can’t remember how old I was when I first shaved, but I know it was before I started high school (the early ’60s).  I had a lot of “peach fuzz” on my cheeks and neck – certainly nothing resembling a beard – but I wanted to reach that particular milestone in life  – and definitely, before any of my friends.

But first – my dad’s razor.

No, it wasn’t electric – it was the kind of razor that had a single, 2-sided blade.  Dad kept it in the medicine cabinet, which was behind our small bathroom mirror.  We didn’t have a bathroom vanity or even a counter – just a sink, mirror, tub, and toilet.  And we only had one bathroom – for eight people!

The razor blades were not stainless steel – they were “bluish-black” colored steel – with no frills such as Teflon.

Dad had a shaving mug – which sort of resembled a coffee mug that had a bar of soap in it.  He also had a little brush that he would wet under the tap and then put into the cup and create a soapy lather.

I remember many a time, sitting on the edge of the bathtub, and watching my dad as he shaved.  It was evident that there was a very sophisticated technique involved – and my dad would make all kinds of weird “faces,” as he stretched his mouth, cheek, and neck to complete the shave.

He would then take a hand towel and wipe off the small amount of shaving cream left on his face.

A few times, my dad would “nick” himself while shaving – usually accompanied by a few swear words – but I never saw him cry or even whine about it.  He would tear off a piece of toilet paper and place it directly on the wound.

I would follow my dad to the kitchen table where he would then have his breakfast and then head out the door to work – often, with the blood-stained piece of toilet paper still stuck to his face.

So when I closed the bathroom door that day – to shave for the first time – I was pretty confident that I had the shaving thing down pat.

The only thing that I had to worry about was using my dad’s shaving stuff without him or my mom ever knowing – they would never understand.  And I wasn’t going to ask permission either.  I was at least 12 years old – almost a teenager – and old enough to know that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission!

I had little time to worry about developing my shaving technique – we only had one bathroom – for a family of eight.  And I just knew that I would have to be in and out in a reasonable amount of time, or snoopy minds would come crashing through the bathroom door!

I decided to skip the shaving mug and just slathered my face with regular bar soap.  After I got my face all soapy, I pulled my dad’s razor from the cabinet and stared into the mirror. “It’s easy,” I thought to myself.  I would make a bunch of silly faces while gracefully gliding the razor over my soon-to-be-peach-fuzz-less face.

I don’t remember how many pieces of toilet paper I had to use to cover the numerous cuts – but I know that there was a lot of blood all over the sink and floor.  And when I finally walked out of the bathroom, there was my mom!

My mom never had what I would call a typical scream – it sounded like wailing banshees.

My two older sisters had it so easy – all they had to worry about was growing boobs big enough to fit in a training bra!  And if they didn’t grow fast enough – they could always use toilet paper to stuff them!

I can’t remember when I had my next shave, but I’m pretty sure it was around the time that I got interested in girls (probably Grade 8).  But that’s another story, and you’re already yawning.

Dedicated to Rob Kroeker, my barber

Hugs,

Danny

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About Post Author

Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).
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