Men of Lowell and beyond, put the razor away (not “Razor” Ahern, the actual razor you shave with each day).
It is No Shave November!
Per their website…
“No Shave November is a month-Iong journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness. “
This is a fun tradition for a cause my buddies and I have taken a part of for a decade. Brings out your inner, back-country woodsman we all typically do not display to the world. If you are an everyday shave guy, this is actually a challenge. You will get itchy. You will get scratchy. Uncomfortable. After a few days you will have a burning desire to quit and grab that blade. Resist the urge, men, and look like a jackass for the next 30 days with me. You will be thankful for that ugly, gnarly growth come Turkey Day.
A few years back, I penned a column about shaving behavior that seems apropos for this time of year.
(Originally published 9/3/2015)
I had an affair.
It was a cheap, foolish tawdry affair that meant nothing to me.
I betrayed a more than 20-year relationship for a pointless fling and I can only hope to repair the damage it has caused.
This is my confession.
I joined the Dollar Shave Club in July betraying my longtime companion, Gillette, and I regret it every day.
After months of being teased and flirted with, I finally succumbed to the temptation that DSC continually threw in my face. The sexy marketing. The creative advertising. The fun packaging. The social media onslaught. And, of course, the too-good-to-be-true price. It was intoxicating.
No longer would I feel the sting of expensive shaving products being held over me by blade behemoth, Gillette. No longer would I lie awake at night and wonder if there was something better out there for me? I could not take it anymore. And just like that…I conceded to my temptation. A few drinks, a few clicks later, I was a Dollar Shave Club member.
At first it felt refreshing, new, exhilarating. When would my first shipment arrive? Would they include some of that sensuous shave butter I had viewed in the promos? Would this experience live up to all of my expectations?
And then it happened.
My first packaged arrived. I remember it was a Saturday. My family was all around so I decided to open it in secret. My wife had just bought me a fresh package of my “old faithful” brand, and I cannot imagine the sadness she would have felt if I chose to tell her about this new partner.
I closed myself off to the world and did it for the first time. I shaved with this stranger of a blade.
Initially, it felt good, different. A sensation I had never experienced before. My heart was racing…. partially from excitement…partially from guilt and fear of being caught. But I did it anyway….and continued to do it several more times.
Quickly I discovered this error in judgment was just not worth it. This relationship had no future. This product was inferior and quickly I simply felt cheap and abused (no, literally ‘abused’ – these blades suck). This reckless experiment proved futile.
I could not even look myself in the mirror any longer, but I just had to (again, literally, I had to look, or my sideburns would have been uneven, I would have missed that weird neck patch, etc.).
I have cheated that man in the glass.
With clear eyes and a full heart, I decided I needed to end this; and end it right away. I immediately dispensed of the evidence in hand and went straight to the source. I knew the best way to cut off something like this is to just do it quick and without emotion. Within a few minutes and some confusing tears, it was over. My membership was cancelled, and I could try to rebuild my life with my faithful companion.
But I needed to bare my soul and tell my dear Gillette Fusion what I had done. So, I wrote this letter in hopes that he (or is it a she? Hmm…never thought about that?) would take me back….
My Dearest G-F,
I am writing to apologize. I am writing to say I am sorry. I am writing to confess my sins. I am writing because I do not think I can take you out of the package without completely falling apart. I made a mistake. A big one. After nearly a 25-year partnership, I have strayed from you. Over the past several weeks I have been carrying on with another razor. I guess I just got bored and bought in to the old adage, ‘the blade is always sharper on the other side’ mentality. I was completely wrong. It only took a few – meaningless -I promise you – shaves and I knew I had made a terrible choice.
I cannot go back in time and change things, but only offer you this heartfelt apology and ask for your forgiveness. The pain I feel cuts like a knife (or rather a shoddily built cheapo shaving kit) and I want it to end.
I miss your silky-smooth touch.
I miss your dependability.
I miss you.
What was I thinking that I could actually do better than you? I mean, you have an NFL stadium named after you. What a fool I have been!
All I can say is I am truly sorry, and I hope we can make amends?
P.S. Don’t forget about No Shave November when we part company for the month. I do not want to send mixed signals again. XOXO
To learn more, go to www.no-shave.org