As any man knows when we were but young lads we dreamed of the days we could be manly enough to shave, or at least have some form of facial hair. For me it was the mustache. Many funny descriptive names have been given to this once highly coveted facial hair of my youth. By the time I was 18 I had my well-groomed caterpillar mounted over my upper lips for the men to see and now I was part of their ranks. Of course I guess like many other men my story didn’t really start there. It started several years earlier when visiting my grandparents.
My grandfather was a clean shaven man that never needed to say a word to be understood. His face said is all. Weathered lines from a rough life of working outside doing many different kinds of work had taken its toll but he swore that every day he would be presentable to the world as he would get out his shaving kit and begin the ritual. A red and white dish (I suspected the red was to cover the blood sprinkles) that contained a round soap disk and a brush. But the thing that shook me to the core was the implement next to it. A thin folding piece of metal in ivory handles. His shaver of choice was a straight razor. I would watch in awe as he lathered up his face then gave the strap on the wall a few strokes with the razor before removing the offending whiskers. To make matters even more interesting he was sworn to make sure all the men in the family knew how to use this evil blade of death. When I was 14 he decided it was my turn to learn the art of shaving my face. I wasn’t scared, I was terrified. I will never forget the warm lather being brushed on and his hand guiding mine as she showed me how to hold and move the blade. I feel lucky I survived.
Now oddly after I used a few conventional razors later I actually missed the straight razor and got one and for a time used it. I actually got really good and lost my fear but still had a healthy respect of the blade. Over time like men do I experimented with different looks. From clean shaven to mustache, goatee, and beards were the normal progression of some people. I finally have come to a place where I like the goatee the best for me. It fits my face without covering it all under a wild bush of hair. Shaving is still my least favorite event of the week but it’s that or look like a remake of Grizzly Adams for those who remember the show.
Guys just find what you like and that your lady enjoys. Remember that it’s all in the facial hair, first impressions and all that jazz. Let your face speak for you.