Archive for shaving

Facing your Philtrum

Posted in Manly Ways with tags , , , , , on January 4, 2011 by davegerry

After decades of hiding out in a follicular witness protection program my philtrum has been exposed for the world to see.

To save you the Google, in case you didn’t know, the philtrum is the vertical groove between your nose and your upper lip. I can feel the dewy dampness of my own breath on the clean-shaven plain of my philtrum as I write this. It’s a very strange sensation after so many years of having the thing insulated by a moustache. Since I hadn’t used a razor in this area since Joe Namath stopped doing Noxema shaving cream ads, I had to be very careful that I didn’t rip it to shreds. There’s a specific rhythm to shaving. You shave your chin differently than your jaw line or your cheeks. I pretty much had to wing it around the philtrum.

I must say, it sure isn’t much to look at…this philtrum of mine. I don’t know what I was expecting. Something Brad Pitt-like in the way of lush fleshy ridges would have been nice. But , like my butt, which no longer interferes with the straight line from my shoulders to my heels (George Carlin line) my philtrum scarcely provides a speed bump from the nose to the top lip.

There is much folklore and some religious connotation to this part of the body. Some scribes say the fleshy indent is something left behind by an angel or even God when the baby has been ‘ sushed ‘ in the womb. I must have been a really quiet fetus.

Removal of the facial hair means I can embrace a whole new world of quick and easy personal hygiene. I can now eat extremely aromatic, though often messy, food with wild abandon and worry not about telltale residue.  There can now be extra butter on my popcorn and anchovies on a pizza. The other day, after over-pouring some pop, I leaned over and sucked the rising foam from the glass before it could overflow and create a mess. And I did it without any whiskers in the way. Wonderful!

Unfortunately, though I have a substantial proboscis and highly developed (even spectacular) mandibular tori, neither of these protuberances of the head have had any impact on fostering a well-developed philtrum. This philtrum, in fact, is ho-hum. For that reason, I’m not changing the photo at the top of this blog. Not yet. Like the moustache that once shielded it from the view, a new-born philtrum is something that may need to settle in.


Hair Apparent

Posted in Manly Ways with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2010 by davegerry

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I am thinking, once again, of shaving off my beard…well, whatever portion of it currently constitutes a Van Dyke, if you will.

I go through this every few years. It’s my own follicular version of El Nino, or La Nina…or maybe la Bamba.

I have not even informed the Frau of this because I know what she will say. ‘Gee, you’ll look like you’re 16 again‘. She wishes. Of course, she was around when I was 16 so, perhaps, she’s in a better position to judge.

I made a conscious decision to keep some facial hair from my mid-twenties onward. It’s been there, more or less, ever since. I grew it because I thought it would make me look older and lend a certain respectability. I tried smoking a pipe for awhile for exactly the same reasons. There is nothing dumber than the sight of a 20-something smoking a pipe. The smoke drifts up into your moustache and the smell of whiskey-soaked, tar-laden tobacco never leaves you. I also grew some facial hair because the mop on top was so uncooperative that I thought any distraction below the nose might provide a merciful alternate focal point.

I don’t think I won on either count.

I aways hoped for a good beard but it never arrived. I wanted a Kenny Rogers beard…a Colonel Sanders beard..something sported elegantly by, oh say, Robert E. Lee. It was not to be. I got a curly beard, a gnarly beard…a beard that turned back on itself. It’s a pubic beard, really. You could more appropriately call it a dick Van Dyke.

The big decision will not be removing the beard. It will be the option of shaving the moustache. I’ve tried it a couple of times and the sight of my upper lip has been disturbing. It’s not a bad upper lip but it’s been in the witness protection program for so long I would have to gently introduce it to the rest of the face.

The time to perform this manoeuvre is just before you board a plane to leave the country….maybe  even in the aircraft washroom at thirty-five thousand feet. That way, the clean-shaven visage has a chance to settle in on the road. It’s like a Broadway play. You don’t want to open big if the third act is a disaster. Also, there’s much less chance of a clean-shaven you running into an acquaintance on a far-flung beach…someone who may point and laugh and pitch forward hysterically into the sand..although I roll that dice every time I put on a pair of shorts. If you open your new face on the road and it bombs there’s always the option of growing it back before you return..and no one’s the wiser.

So there’s a strategy here. Someday I will turn the corner of ambivalence toward personal grooming…not hygiene…just grooming. And , oh, the heavens will ring out! I just hope I don’t have too much hair in my ears to hear them.