I know you will doubt this claim but I have seen Big Foot. In fact, each morning I see the great Sasquatch when I look into the mirror. It does not matter that I have just shaven the day prior. As a man with sensitive skin and an unbelievably thick beard, each and every morning, I awaken to the refection of a hairy beast staring back at me. I have searched long and far for the answer to a close shave and have heard all the rumors. Many of these rumors state that, in spite of a trend toward razors loaded with a plethora of blades, the answer was to go archaic; to go to the old fashioned safety blade your grandfather used to scrape across his beard every morn.
Now, despite my hairy mug, I am not seven foot tall and I have no desire to join the NFL. Nor, would I be willing to stand onstage and tryout for American Idol, so; obviously, I have no fetish for pain. In fact, I avoid it at all costs. Further, the name safety blade is a bit of a misnomer, as the blade brushes straight across the skin. Most men who have used them will tell you that nicks and cuts are a given as you relearn the craft of shaving. So, in an effort to avoid even the lightest slice to my vulnerable skin, I took the cowardly route and spent an entire week practicing holding my Mach 3 by the end of the handle and applying no direct pressure. Finally, I received my German made Merkur from Amazon and took dangerous blade to virgin face. Much to my surprise, not one cut ensued. Not a single nick or even the slightest bit of redness by the time I was done. Was my shave closer than those multi-blade, multi-dollar counterparts could deliver? Not yet, but it was just as close and I do not doubt that, with even more practice, the quest to conquer my inner Sasquatch will improve. Even if the shave it delivers is only as good as the rest, at five blades for a dollar, I doubt I will ever return to my Mach 3 or the soon to be released Mach 17.
One has to wonder why, with a perfectly good alternative available, the massive shift to more and more blades by today’s culture. Additionally, it does not stop with our morning shaving routine. All the luxuries and great breakthroughs of yesteryear are now considered obsolete, as are those few of us who appreciate them. Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra, once men of great style, have been all but forgotten. And, as we near December 12 and what would be Frank’s ninety third birthday, his music, which once was once used as aphrodisiac by unscrupulous bachelors everywhere, has been replaced by Viagra and ecstasy.
I have tried to comprehend the music industry that the kids now listen to and, near as I can tell, Dino and Sammy have been replaced by m&m’s and a fifty cent piece? Can fifty cents even buy anything of value these days? But when I examine the loss of all things classic, what strikes me most is the lack of peace and quiet and the complete disregard for human interaction.
Now, I am not a man against all things space age. In fact, I never use a pen when I write and have touched finger to type writer few times in my life. All my words spill forth as I hunt and peck onto the key board of my Microsoft Word, the spell check running into overdrive. Further, I can text well enough but can not understand the lack of commas, periods, and all other forms of punctuation in most forms of communication, nowadays.
I have even mastered the cell phone; though, it is in this act that my greatest fear has reared its ugly head. This terror is not the 2 am wake up call but the 2 pm Monday call, which would come straight in the middle of my weekly lunch date. Granted my partner in this date is fully unaware of her involvement in these rendezvous. In fact, she thinks she is just a waitress at the restaurant (not even my waitress but another customers’) and I have yet to decide if her awareness of our unbridled passion is really crucial to our current relationship. The smiles and the light small talk is enough at this point but, still, is the unwelcome call in the middle of said engagement truly urgent enough to break up the magic of my imaginary love life?
It gets worse; at no point is anyone “unavailable”. Attempt to take a shower and see if you aren’t greeted by a multitude of texts and voicemails asking “why aren’t you answering your phone?” Now, I am blessed with a boss who has no desire to interrupt my every waking moment. In fact, she is quite expert enough to go days without bothering me (excuse me while I wipe the brown from my nose). I have also managed to train my people well enough to go hours without calling me. Still, the idea of being unreachable in today’s society is unheard of and I think this is a sad thing, indeed.
What would be the harm in slowing down? What danger could possibly be held in waiting for someone to call you back? Would society cease to exist if your friends had to wait until tonight to tell you all their incessant gripes about the day? Would Armageddon occur if we had to wait until we spoke to someone face to face? Could it really be so bad, if we had to remember the manners and etiquette we once used to convey respect and dignity upon one another. What would life be like if people nodded or said hello as you passed them in a store, rather than publicly slinging vulgarities into their phone with a person too busy or unwilling to be there in person with them?
I don’t know the answer to all these questions but, as I look into the mirror and spy my classically shown face, and think on those little niceties which have been lost to yesteryear, I realize the only drawback to the old-time ways is that they took more time and a bit more care and, honestly, is that such a bad thing after all?
© Copyright 2008 by T. James Musler