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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Losing a Bloody Battle

For about 16 years now, I have been waging a war against facial hair. It first arrived during those all too fragile junior high years in the form of some dark peach-fuzz under my nose. It made me look like I had dirt (or something worse) on my upper lip. I was then introduced to the miserable world of shaving. (Ladies, I've heard the arguments that you have to shave more square inches than us and that you face many more difficult contours--knees and armpits. But I'm not buying it. We have the jugular to deal with!)

The battle goes like this. I shave. In the process, I cut myself repeatedly (every time!). I then stick all kinds of toilet paper or kleenex upon my face to stop the bleeding. I then storm out of the bathroom determined to never touch a razor again. (If I'm lucky, I remember to remove said toilet paper or kleenex from my face before I head to work.) A few days later, my face and neck are itching, and I'm back in front of the mirror.

If you know me, you probably know I had a pretty sweet system worked out. Since I found that the itching came by the third or fourth day, I had determined to only shave on Wednesdays and Sundays (my two most "public days" of ministry). It was actually working out pretty well...until.

(In chronological order)

1. Charity doesn't like the "rough-faced" me. This surprised me. I assumed that any development that covered more of my face had to be a good thing. But she doesn't like it; stating it makes me look sloppy. Plus, it feels rough.
2. I'm involved in more adult ministry. The plan was really sweet when my focus was only on students. You pretty much saw them a couple times a week, and what teen cares if you hadn't shaved as long as you're paying for lunch? Now, I'm attending more pastor meetings, lunches with adults, and even funerals. There seems to be more occasions messing up my beloved schedule.
3. The patch. I mentioned a few posts ago that I don't mind having gray hair. I still don't mind. But recently, I developed this ridiculous patch on the side of my chin. It's about 3 or 4 hairs that are coming in totally white. At first, I thought it was some symptom of acne...but these bad boys keep coming back. It looks laughable, and I don't want anyone thinking it's some sort of tribute to Rasheed Wallace's "white patch."
4. Rachel. This morning was a shave day. (Wednesday. Face was itching. Patch was appearing.) As I'm leaving for work, my daughter is sitting on the kitchen counter. I stop to give her a kiss goodbye. She puts her hand to my face and states, "The scratchies are gone!" I give her a kiss, and as I'm walking out the door, she says, "I like when you get rid of the scratchies, your kisses don't hurt." Now I'm not sure if her mother put her up to that, or if my face only felt smooth because of the toilet paper and kleenex covering it...but I think I just lost the battle.

If I could take this moment to encourage you to give blood at your local Red Cross. If I'm going to be shaving daily, I'm probably going to need it.


  • At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    came across your blog recently while googling some of our old high school friends. felt compelled to reply since I suffer from a similar shaving plight. hope you are well.

    -sean riley

  • At 9:04 AM, Blogger danny2 said…

    sweet riles!

    what's up?

  • At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    been living in the Boston area for the last 5 plus. working at MIT in fundraising communications. committed to my girlfriend of 3 years. whenever you have time, shoot me an email at seanriley25@hotmail.com and we can catch up.

  • At 10:01 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    In moments like these, I like to pause and thank God for my Gilette Mach3 Turbo razor. I shave every day because I have to (for many of the reasons you listed, and also the fact that I just feel sloppy and scruffy in the morning...), and the Mach3 Turbo really is easy to use.

    Plus, since I shave every day, my skin gets used to it, and it goes quickly and painlessly. I almost never cut myself anymore.

    However, when I let it go two days or three, and then shave it, it's pretty hard.

    I think that once you get into the routine of shaving every day, with hot water and with the Mach3 Turbo, you'll find the big mo shifting your way. (big mo means "momentum").

    Shave on, my wayward son!

  • At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had the same trouble for years, especially the neck area. When I would come into the office unshaven my senior pastor would suggest that I needed to stand closer to the razor in the morning. I'm going to one-up Gary by recommending the Shick Quatro. Four blades are better than one. but don't apply too much pressure or it will take off the top layer of skin like a cheese slicer. And be grateful you haven't had to add nostrils and ears to the shaving routine, yet.


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