Monday, August 1, 2011

Five O' Clock Shadow: Get the Look!

My father has been obsessed with electric razors for some time. I cannot figure out how millions of American men can buy shavers and have no problem and Dad has had seven or eight in the last five years…and none of them work. (According to him.)

So a couple of weeks ago he told me his (cheap) Remington (that I bought him last year) wasn’t working and could I please have it fixed. There were several reasons for procrastination. One, it would probably cost almost as much to fix the thing as it would to buy a new one. Two, I’ve been fairly busy (and stressed) with home maintenance issues…and dental issues and other Dad issues (don’t get me started on the subject of pants), and fixing a “back up” razor is not at the top of my list. Three, and this really puts me in a bad light (and I apologize in advance but if you don’t have an elderly father in assisted living don’t judge me too harshly okay?), but I was hoping he’d just forget about it. (Sometimes at 94 they do…but apparently not my dad.)

Then Saturday morning he called and woke me up from a sound sleep. (Yes, I was sleeping in, but my neighbor and I had enjoyed a Girls’ Night Out and got home very late the night before.) He telephoned to tell me that his primary razor had bit the dust. (Why he couldn’t have waited until at least 8:30…I’ve no idea.)

I decided to go grocery shopping before I went to see him Saturday afternoon so I could pick up a new razor for him. Fortunately Target carries Braun products (his razor of choice), and while I didn’t want to spend too much money (he’d just break it relatively quickly, after all) I did want to get him a nice one. So I settled on mid-price at $129. (“Mid-price” used to be forty bucks…but I digress.)

It took me ten minutes just to get the plastic box off the cardboard box. (WHY??? Why do you need a machete to open packages these days?????) Then I got the parts of the razor out. It had a very substantial-looking charger…that according to the advertising on the package charged, cleaned and “refreshed” the shaver. (?) I thought it looked a little complicated…until I started reading the instructions and realized it was a lot complicated. MIT Graduate-nuclear physicist-rocket scientist-type complicated. It was so complicated I had to turn off the TV in order to understand what I was reading. And the additional realization came over me that a 94-year-old man could not possibly deal with the International Space Station-level of technology this stupid electric shaver required.

I took it back today.

The lady in customer service was very nice. She gave me a gift card with the refund and I trotted back to the personal care appliance aisle to get another one. A simpler one.

I had glanced at the three shelves full of razors on Saturday, but narrowed the search quickly so I didn’t really look at what was available in depth. Oh. My. Gosh. I was looking for a razor. With a cord. That charged via the cord. PERIOD.

Who knew there could be such variety of implements designed and manufactured with the purpose of scraping the facial hair off a man’s head? Er…face. Er...both. They had models with charging stands. (That was dismissed out of hand. See above.) They had floating heads. Triple heads. Heads that had little vacuums that sucked the shavings into little compartments for easy disposal. They had trimmers and clippers and buzzers and bells and whistles. One had so many attachments...I swear it had a nose hair trimmer, a goatee shaper, a sideburn swiper, a mustache flicker, a chest hair swather, an earlobe fondler and something that would shine shoes and wax a car. (It also got Dish Network…but I already have cable.)

And there was one that was made especially for stubble.

Excuse me??? You buy a razor so you can have stubble? Isn’t that kind of counter-productive?

Back in the day you either had a beard and/or mustache or you were clean shaven. A guy who ran around with a five o’ clock shadow was either one of those lazy types who wore tank-style tee shirts, had a pot belly and drank Lucky Lager for breakfast or they were criminals. (Or both.) If a man had such a heavy beard that he started getting stubble mid-day he’d just shave again. I remember all those Aqua Velva commercials where the sultry blonde would smooth her long-fingered-highly-manicured hand along a fellow’s jaw line and purr. (Seriously, they purred.) Shoot they even have commercials like that today.

But the world has changed. Men have changed. Apparently men’s looks have changed. They now want bald heads and bristly faces. (And there are shavers for both.)

I don’t understand anything anymore.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with ya! Blair has an electric, and a straight edge. The electric has a few different attachments, and a charging stand, which we mostly understand. I paid quite a bit to get this for him, and now I use it on my....well, anyway, I use it behind his back:)