My dad taught me how to shave when I was in grade eight. I remember standing next to him in his bedroom en suite bathroom while he showed me how to apply shaving cream and then run a razor across the skin of my face. I’m a scaredy-cat, so I can picture myself trepidatiously shaving for the first time.
My dad has always had to walk a fine line between insulting me and entertaining himself by making fun of my sensitivities. I’m sure that he was thinking about the ridiculousness of watching his shaky son cut the downy hairs from his face while refraining from making me cry by saying something funny when he was showing me how to shave.
Anyway, for the rest of grade school, I kept myself clean shaven and fairly well put together. I started wearing collared shirts in grade eleven and really haven’t stopped since. Working at a dry cleaners in high school helped me keep my clothes clean and pressed. Then I left high school and went away.
I haven’t been the same since. I now hate shaving. It’s just an annoyance, and it just gets worse the longer I put it off. Like dishes. I shave only reluctantly.
I’ve noticed something interesting about me shaving, however: it’s an indication to how well the rest of my life is going. Generally speaking, things are going pretty well for me if I’m clean shaven. If not, I’m probably dealing with something ridiculous and am trying not to make myself cry by making fun of myself.
The last two weeks have been rather unproductive. In fact, I honestly can’t tell you how I’ve passed the time. I may have gotten one thing done each day, but, then, that’s not a truth so much as a best-guess. Things have to change because things are about to get busier.
So, today, in an attempt to motivate myself, I shaved:
Now, my theory about shaving’s connection to motivation may not be so far-fetched. I remember reading about prisoners during WWII, people in concentration camps, the Cold War, or prisoners in the Gulag who could tell that a man was about to die — because he had given up hope — when he had stopped shaving.
These days it’s hard to know if a man has a beard as a fashion statement or because he’s lazy. I’ve definitely seen some beards that are far more work to keep than shaving it off would be. In my case, at least, I’m keeping a beard because I’m lazy and I’m not motivated enough to get rid of it. Thankfully, or luckily, it doesn’t look too bad when I keep a beard. Or, I’ve just gotten used to the way I look when I don’t shave.
Whatever the case, it must be slightly true that shaving is motivating because I made a time-lapse video of me shaving, set it to music, uploaded it to YouTube, and included it in this post. Plus, I wrote this post and bought a couple of books today.
I have a lot to do before my dad comes to visit in a week, so I had better shave every day this upcoming week. Fuck, that sounds like a lot of work.