Face Off !


It was early morning around 7 AM.

I looked at the mind blowing guy looking back at me. Tall, plump and jovial.. I think that I have seen him before. He is usually a super energetic, ever smiling and a fun loving guy. But he seemed tensed at that moment, getting ready to perform an activity that required intense concentration. It seemed to be a task that he wanted to get out of his way, quickly.

I stood before the mirror, looking at myself, dreading the task that I was about to perform.

Wifey came over and stood beside me, looking concerned – .”Its ok dear, take it easy..” I looked at her, and smiled – “Don’t worry, today, there will be no bloodshed !” I looked at the weapon I held in my right hand. This time, I would make sure I control it right, I told myself. “Take care, honey..” – she said, gently massaging my back.

This is not the realization of an adolescent fantasy.

This is an almost everyday occurrence at my home when I am trying to shave. While comforting me is one part, the real intention of my wife is to be around so that I don’t lose consciousness through excessive blood loss and hit my head on the ceramic floor. Needless to say, after every shave, my bathroom looks like the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” scene.

I remember, as a child, I fantasized about being an adult. For most of my friends, this amazing far off paradise like land of adulthood seemed to be a place where one could lead one’s life at his own terms – No studying in the evening, No milk every day morning, stay up all night to have fun with friends, sneak in and watch ‘interesting” movies.

For me, it was being able to shave.

FaceOff1I watched with great envy as my father performed this daily ritual of masculinity. I wondered what went through my dad’s mind as he sheared off the night’s production of whiskers. He seemed to have a sense of accomplishment that seemed to be unattainable for this ten year old sporting pimples.

Add to that was this television commercial of a shaving foam company which showed this good looking man with razors, and an even better looking ladies surrounding him. he clearly seemed to be the most sought after guy. That seemed like the most fun anyone can have.

The day I started to shave was an important day in my life. My mom still remembers the day I started walking as being more memorable. I don’t quite agree. For me, I had graduated to being an adult. This paradise like land of adulthood was becoming a reality.

I soon learned, that my face, did not like the idea of shaving. Every shave was accompanied with a mass of cuts and bottles of Dettol (a disinfectant) needed to be expended to keep things in control. I have tried almost everything – shaving in the morning, in the night, hot water, cold water, warm water, gel for sensitive skin.. Everything that would help get my face accustomed to this seemingly barbaric act.

And, I watched “Facial grooming for men” on the Net.. I even tried delegation (it usually works in office, my team members are smarter than I am) – requesting my wife to help. Apart from taking eternity to shave, it still did not prevent the bloodshed. I have listened to endless advise – my dad kept saying – “You need to follow the grain, use your left hand to straighten the skin”

My skin does not have a grain. It bleeds in all directions.

My face does not like the idea of shaving. My wife does not like the idea of a bearded face. My mum thinks a hairy face makes me look OLD. Dad cannot understand why his son cannot perform a simple routine task like shaving without drama… the people in my office give me weird looks with all the cuts and bruises that I seem to have on my face every other day…

Maybe, the only option left for me is to take my FACE OFF.

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