I honestly don’t remember getting much advice from my father while growing up, so I guess what advice he did offer, I may have taken to heart. One thing I do recall him telling me, at about age 14, had to do with shaving. It was time to do something about the dark hair sprouting above my upper lip, and so my dad gave me his old electric razor to use to shave it off. And with it came the advice to employ this Norelco Triple Header for as long as possible: “Once you start using a safety razor and shaving cream, “ my father told me, “You can never go back…you’ll just never get as close a shave with the electric razor as you do when wet shaving.” And I took that advice to heart, and actually never switched from Norelco to Gillette Mach 3, and to this day I still use an electric razor, which may explain why I look so scruffy most of the time.
Now that my dad’s own filters are gone, he says things without being aware of how they might land on others. And the other day, when my son and I were visiting the nursing home, dad took one look at my 13 year-old and declared “YOU NEED TO SHAVE!” Now to me it still looks more like a chocolate milk mustache on my son’s upper lip, but in the eyes of a grandfather, it may be time to do something about it. And since any attention makes a teenager fell extremely self-conscious, I took the matter up with Jordy after we left my dad.
I gave him my own advice, which is to delay shaving for as long as he can, since once you start, you have to keep going with it, and the whiskers more quickly become darker and thicker. And I offered him the same advice my dad gave me almost 40 years earlier, that when he’s ready he can have my electric razor to start with, and he should use it for as long as he can, since – I am told, anyway – you cannot go back to an electric razor after you’ve had the closer shave that you get with wet razor and foam.
And as is so often the case these days, this story came full-circle recently when an aide at the nursing home asked me to provide them with an electric razor to use on my father, when they shave him each day. So I gave him my own razor, and thought to myself, maybe it’s time for me to try something different if I want a close shave?
…and that’s the full-circle fatherhood report for this week.