Mundane Doesn't Describe It

For the slackatudinally challenged.

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Location: United States

I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. Mark Twain, Hard work doesn't harm anyone, but I do not want to take any chances. - Unknown, I am retired and have tried to do as little as possible - slowly. Me.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My Father’s Shaving Mug.

I can remember when I was a little kid I would watch my father shave. It was like a ritual to him. He would always start off with a bath cloth and get the water in the sink as hot as he could stand it. Once this was done he would put the washcloth on his face and just let it sit for awhile and then repeat a couple of times. I would ask him why he wanted something so hot on his face and he told me it was to soften his beard. After he was satisfied with the softness of his beard he would get his shaving mug and brush. Most young people today don’t know what a shaving mug and brush are, but back then you had what looked like a thick coffee cup and at the bottom was a round cake of soap. You would add hot water to your brush and start the lather. He would then take his shaving brush and work up the lather up to the consistency of whipped cream. Then he would take his brush and start at his side burns and work his way across his face and down to his neck. Once this was done he would get his razor. Hi razor wasn’t one these modern three and four blade safety razors there are now. Nope this one you had a little screw mechanism at the bottom of the handle and the top opened up. Then you dropped in a new razor into the receptacle. These were the old two edge razors and if you didn’t have any experience with using them, you face could become nothing but cuts and blood. Well I would watch my father and be amazed at how fast and efficient he was at shaving. The ritual would continue with him always starting at the left side of his neck and then working up to his cheeks and finally his upper lip. It would end with him washing his face off with fresh water and then putting after-shave on. I don’t know the brand he used, but I remembering I loved the smell of that after-shave.

I used to marvel at the ease he could do this and kept wishing for the day that I would be able to go through this ritual. I felt it was just a step closer to growing up and becoming a man. So as any kid who wanted to be like his father and to be grown up, one day when no one was at home, I got my fathers razor and shaving mug out. I got the towels and wash clothes and prepared myself for my first step into manhood. I did everything just as I had seen my father do so many times before. I prepared my face with the hot clothes and waited. Then I made the lather in his mug and got the razor. My first stroke of the razor should have told me that I was going to need a lot of experience to get it right. Just with the first pull of the razor blood starting tricking down my neck. I dabbed at it with the wash cloth and keep on going. To cut a long story short by the time I got through it looked like Custers last stand there was so much blood. It didn’t help that I was going through a bad case of acne at the time either.

When my Father finally got home he didn’t chastise me or make fun of my shaving experience, but told me next time to let him know and he would show me how it was done. I was eight years old at that time and even with the bloody face, I kept thinking to myself I’m a man today. Needless to say that first experience was enough to last me for a long time. Plus once my brother and sisters saw the results, they razzed me unmercifully. So I didn’t try again for a long time.

As with many things my father’s razor was lost or thrown away, but I have managed to keep his shaving mug and his shaving brush. I can look at both of them and it brings back good memories of watching my Father shave and my first shaving experience. Sometimes I wonder at how such little, inconsequential things can bring back such a wealth of memories and how glad I am that I have my Fathers mug and brush.

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