The Chronicles of Kiwi, Part 10
Shaving in Paradise

Back in my college days I sported a lovely beard. After college I hacked it down to a passable Magnum P.I. mustache. I kept with that for a few years until one day, quite impulsively, I sent that swirling (Kerikeri!) down the drain as well. Magnum P.I. had already run his course. He was old news. The faux Tom Selleck look had gone from cool to creepy. It was a Saturday morning when I decided that my face would henceforth go “commando.” As I emerged from the bathroom, I greeted my 5 year old daughter, who was ambling down the hallway. She screamed. The naked face had caused her quite a shock while causing me to second-guess my decision. We both got over it. I’ve been shaving the whole slab ever since.

That is, until this past week. There is something about shaving in a tropical climate that requires an extra bit of attention. Because I live in the high and dry Rockies it is easy to forget the effect that sea level and 100% humidity can have on the skin. At home, it is just a cheap fling with a cheap razor rattling across dehydrated sandpaper. Down here, in paradise, the razor blade becomes a ginsu knife sliding over fully hydrated, puffy chin-skin – an over ripe melon. On top of that, the very nice beach house where we’ve been staying has no bathroom mirror by which to monitor the delicate dance. What it does have is a lovely window over the sink so that you can – if you wish – have a look see at the neighbors as you shave. Or the neighbors can, if they wish, watch you while you shave.  For the record, I’ve kept the shades pulled because neither voyeurism nor exhibitionism are in my Christian wheelhouse. I’m just a guy…standing before a window in paradise…asking for a clean shave.

Anyway, all that to say that I managed to nick myself a new chin-cleft the other morning – a dandy of a divot. I left  enough DNA to satisfy a CSI crime scene: “Who done it?’  “He did it. The man with the razor. He did it…..to himself.” 

So now, while my chin is healing, I have a goatee and mustache combo going.  That look has been a thing now since – what  – the 90’s? I don’t know. I’ve missed the beginning, the middle and the end of so many trends. But let me assure you – this is not a trend. I’ve a reasonable United Nations of color still adorning my pate. The blond and amber, given as a gift from my Celtic ancestors, still stands proudly. But more recently, some stately gray retirees have emigrated to the suburbs around my ears. Whatever. I hear that gray is dapper. If I don’t hear it I’ll declare it. But what is shocking is the all out color surrender of the mu/goat combo. Hiding right under my nose, for who knows how long, has been a white-haired rebellion awaiting a moment of grooming neglect. And to make matters worse this is happening on vacation where one has to pose for all those obligatory pictures. If I post to Facebook people will be asking who that white-bearded chap is that Jan’s taken up with while away to New Zealand with her ma and pa.

No pics included with this post…