Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

September 15, 2010

First Shave

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Getting ready for school, I was combing my hair.  As I looked in the mirror, my eyes dropped to notice something on my chin!

“I’ve got one,” I gleefully said to myself.  “There’s another one!”  I was so excited.  Two short whiskers were there!  “I need to shave,” I said to my reflection in the mirror.  “How can I ever go to school needing a shave?”

Yes, that was the day.  Old enough to start shaving.  Well, from my perspective!  Who would have ever noticed those two whiskers —  unless I pointed them out!  And that I was ready to do!

Home from school — chores completed — and bath time!  I don’t know that I was ever so excited about bath time!  The excitement was from knowing that I would get to shave that night! 

I am sure that I stayed longer in the bathroom than usual.  I had not told any of the family what I planned to do.  I probably feared my parents would say no, or my father would want to help, or some other parental knowledge that I did not feel I needed.  I can do this on my own.  No help needed!

I had seen men get a shave at the barbershop.  The man would lay back in the chair and a hot cloth was placed over his face.  This was to soften the whiskers.  Then the lather was brushed on after the cloth was removed.  The barber would take his straight razor, sharpen it on the leather strap hanging from the chair, and proceed with  skill to shave his customer.

My grandfather used a straight razor, but my father was more “modern.”  He used a “safety razor.”  These had removable blades.  I did not know how many shaves a blade was good for, but certainly it would still handle my two whiskers!

I filled the sink with warm water — that was the way I had seen my father do it.  I carefully took the shaving mug off the shelf.  I reached for the shaving brush, dipped it in the water, and  began to brush around in the shaving soap in the mug.  Soon I had created some lather.  I began to brush it all over my cheeks, chin, and neck.  After all, I wanted to be “clean shaven.”

With a sense of manly satisfaction, I began to pull that razor across my chin. “Ouch!” “Oh, that hurt!”  I seem to cut too deep — or was it this terrible blade?  Soon I had removed the lather, and I suppose any new sprouting whiskers.  When I could see my clean skin, I had small little areas of bleeding.  I had nicked myself numerous times.  I did what seem to be natural — and would become a pattern for years.  I took small pieces of bath tissue and stuck them to those bleeding areas.

Now I looked like a clown.  I knew I could not let the family see me this way.  It would have instantly communicated that I had tried to shave — or that I was truly clowning around.  This was not funny; this was a serious time in my life.

I am not sure about the rest of the story or how I covered this up.  Perhaps I spent the night in the bath tub!  I really don’t remember.  But I did go to school the next day with great satisfaction about my manhood!

Of course, those little specks of blood were all over my face!  Now, I was really in style.  I had acne!

First time for many things in life arrive unexpectedly.  We assume we are prepared, but not always.  I would have probably fared better if I had allowed my father to “supervise.”  My problem too often has been that I let my pride be a hindrance to aid that is offered.  We do seem to have an instinctive nature that “we can handle it.” 

I fear I have had that attitude at times toward God.  “Thank you, God, but I think I can handle it on my own.”  It didn’t take long to know that I really needed God to help.  I seek to be wiser these days and submit to His help beforehand!  After all, that is what the Heavenly Father desires!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”  (Psalm 32:8)  “Show me the way I should go . . . .”  (Psalm 143:8)



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