Going back to sixth or seventh grade, there was a competitive feeling amongst the guys regarding the development of facial hair. Some claimed to have developed early and would talk about shaving but you could see no indication on their faces. Others would brush the subject off and say they were glad they didn't need to shave, which was a complete lie as everyone wanted to have facial hair. In fact, some of those whose claim of shaving made little sense when observed in the post-gym shower, not that I was looking, but I was.
As the first glint of peach fuzz developed in the sideburn area and upper lip, there was a determination to be among the shavers. The problem was that there were no books on the subject and it seemed embarrassing to ask my father how to go about the process. As my parents left one Saturday morning for a boating excursion (common during the summers when you grow up on a river), I stayed behind and decided that would be the day that I would become a shaver.
The process involved first trying to figure out how the razor worked. My father sported a full beard throughout most of his adult life and rarely shaved. The safety razor he used seemed to possess strange mechanical properties and to not possess a blade. Finding and applying the blade, there still seemed to be something amiss as nothing was being removed.
Having the shaving cream shoveled off with the (probably with the blade facing the wrong way) safety razor, my face still was covered with glistening peach fuzz which at a distance of one foot from the mirror was so very obvious. The next thing to catch my eye was a blue Gillette Good News. (For comedic effect a round pink Daisy razor was almost put in here, but that would be a lie.)
The blue agent of death was not only successful in removing the peach fuzz but also resulted in at least twenty cuts all over my face. With fault being more in my lack of knowledge than in the razor, just as Jack Tripper would have done in Three's Company, tiny pieces of tissue were applied to the assorted cuts, creating a bit of a papier mache beard of their own.
Shaving has never become something enjoyed. It was merely something that was supposed to be done. Years of sustained scruffage resulted in conversations regarding the professionalism of being scruffy, resulting in a well-shaved face for several years. Which was misinformed, really. The look now is sometimes beardy and, more recently, a scruffystache - sort of a trimmed down beard with a mustache. The beard left unfettered can get a bit amishy but the scruffystache affords the tactility of facial hair and the lines of the beard. Plus the ability to store extra liquids in the mustache section is always useful on a hot day.