Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shave and a Hair Cut

I find myself really inconvenienced by shaving. Just this morning when I was in the shower looking at my stubbly legs, I made the conscious decision to put it off one more day, banking on the fact that I had a pair of black tights that were opaque enough – and clean – justifying my decision to be lazy. Instead, I sit here at my desk in a pair of crotchless fishnets and knee socks. Not only were my tights not clean, but also I can only assume I’ve worn these fishnets while skating – hence the ripped open crotch.

I’m working on this mind-numbing data entry project – something I don’t often do and therefore have little tolerance for – when I come across this item I’m copying and pasting that makes me laugh out loud. It’s from a screening tool designed to screen babies and children for possible delays: Does your child copy activities you do, like sweeping or shaving?

I suppose I lied yesterday when I said I’ve had a hard time getting out of bed ever since I can remember, because this question reminded me of a ritual I had with my dad before he went to work when I was real little. I would sit or stand on the vanity in my parents’ bathroom while my dad was getting ready. I was mesmerized by watching him shave. After a while, I got to participate, and this became the new ritual. He lathered up his face with shaving cream; he lathered up my face with shaving cream. I remember the sweet and medicine-like smell, the way the shaving cream looked like whipped cream on my face, only smoother, and the way over the course of a day the tiny dollop of shaving cream left on the nozzle faded from white and foamy to clear and bubbly.

Once we were lathered up, I’d watch my dad shave – upward strokes on the sides of his face, and downward strokes under his sideburns and beneath his nose, as he curled his upper lip over his top front teeth. It was my turn next. Using the same directional pattern, it took me a while to notice he was using the back side of the razor on my face, but I didn’t even care when I found out. I still enjoyed my shave.

Afterwards, we’d wipe our faces and put on English Leather.

This could have happened twice or it could have happened every day for a year – I’m no longer sure.

There certainly is a point where kids want to be like their parents, but that point is just that – a point. It’s very short lived. Not soon after, kids renounce their parents, want to do everything on their own, and want to be as different from them as possible – sometimes doing the exact opposite of their parents, even if they don’t really want to be doing whatever that opposite is, just to spite them.

My refusal to shave my legs in a timely manner is not spiteful and it’s not because I’m a hippie either – it’s just one more thing in the morning that’s going to make me late for work. Remembering this ritual, however, has made me realize that perhaps I move too fast and ignore the everyday, the seemingly mundane, that contains a lot of the beauty of life. Sure, shaving my legs is an over exaggeration, but maybe if I moved a little slower I’d be better prepared to remember happy things like the shaving ritual I had with my dad. And then there’s the added benefit of my not cutting myself (under my right butt cheek), like I always do. I think tomorrow I’ll set my alarm a little early and try not to rush so much. But, just in case, I'm also going to wash some tights tonight.


Kelly said...

My dad used the electric shaver with three blade circles on it. So I used the plastic lid! Foam sounds fun though...I love foam!

Harriet of Fire

Anonymous said...

My dad has always had a beard so I have no shaving story. However! Every single time I shave my legs, I remember my friend Becky telling me that it's better to take short strokes instead of long ones and her mom's a nurse so that's how she known. Whatever, I take long strokes now. My mom wouldn't let me use a real razor until I was like, 14.

ATP said...

I'm a plus sized derby newbie in Australia.
God how hard I laughed reading this as only 2 days ago(thurs)I attended my 2nd "raw meat" training session and had the exact same "can't be fucked" shaving experience! thank god for knee sox!!! Didn't feel so bad once I got there and noticed some one with hairy armpits, amazing what you can get away with amongst other women :)
Yet I find myself frantically shaving my legs the following night while my partners waiting for me, slap on a bit of heamostatic solution on the cuts, pull on some red tights and hey presto.... only to find myself a few hours later in the ladys loo at my local pub finding some strange looking (blood)spots on my tights...don't ya just love looking like an idiot in public ??

Anonymous said...

My dad used the electric shaver with three blade circles on it

crotchless tights