Aug 15, 2018

Men's Grooming Products I wantedto buy to when I got "all growed up"

by Darrin Vindiola

AQUA VELVA, Lectric Shave, and Old Spice

I took this picture recently in Target, and had no clue that Aqua Velva and Lectric Shave was still on the market.  When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to grow up and start using all three of these.  After all.. the men in the commercials that used this stuff were highly popular with the ladies, so it would have to work for me too! For a time, I even dreamed about mixing these three aftershaves together to form a hybrid that no young lady would be able to resist!

Like many kids, I used to love watching my old man shave in the mornings. It was a daily event that kept my undivided attention, and I vividly remember it as far back as three years old. My old man was a barber of 40 plus years, and had a ritualistic and methodical way of shaving. He would get his pores opened up by holding a damp piping hot washcloth over his face for a minute or so. He'd then liberally apply frothy shaving cream from his shaving cup over his whiskers. He would then open up his straight edge razor, run it under some hot tap water for a few seconds, and proceed to slowly shave. One short swipe, and he would turn the hot tap water on again, just long enough to wash the whiskers off of the blade. I remember peering down into the sink and thinking that the whiskers looked like the pepper Dad used to sprinkle on his eggs. He would always take extra care as he shaved around his mustache. He treated that area of his face like a painting or drawing that needed precise attention.

Of course, it all ended with him pulling the little gray stopper from his Old Spice bottle, splashing some into his hands, and slapping it all over his face. He'd occasionally let out a resounding "ahh" or.. "Whew!" something I didn't understanding, but always thought of as funny. The smell lightly hung in the air, leaving a faint vapor trail that marked a path of everywhere he had been in the house. I resolved to buy Old Spice for myself when I grew up, and just knew that it would make me a more mature and intriguing person, just like the sea faring men that were in those Old Spice commercials!  The scent is burned into my memory banks, and probably will be until the day I die.

There was no rushing Dad while he shaved. He always took his time, and seemed super relaxed and free of stress while doing so. Thinking back on it now, it seems as if shaving was a very zen like thing for him to do. That was his time at the beginning of the day, before the stresses of life would inevitably rear their ugly head. It was his way to start the day off fresh and get in a good place mentally.  For me, most mornings are a bit stressful. I'm usually hurried, minding every minute, and running out the door. I can't help but wonder if my attitude would benefit from starting every day like my old man used to.

If you're wondering, I did fulfill the promise to myself as young lad, and bought Old Spice for myself as an adult. It was after I became a Dad myself in 1990. When I opened the box and held the bottle in my hand, the nostalgia and memories immediately came rushing back. The bottle itself was worthy of a spot on the shelf next to my vintage shaving artifacts which Dad had passed down to me as a teenager. When I splashed the rustic aftershave upon my face, I remember actually feeling older! And.. for the rest of the day at work, I couldn't shake the sense that I smelled older as well. Older.. in the sense of smelling more like a grandpa, than a 20 year old. I never used Old Spice after that, and actually ended up pouring the aftershave down the toilet a few years later. I do like the smell of classic Old Spice, but it has more to do with nostalgia.  Perhaps I'll wear it again someday (maybe a couple decades in the future when I'm a Granddad, own my own boat, and am sporting a captains hat).

My Granddad always used Lectric Shave and I liberated a few splashes for myself a couple of times, but soon learned I didn't care for the scent. It was okay for Granddad, but not for an enlightened 20th century pre teen.  Now, as for AQUA VELVA, the original motivation for this post.  I never have  purchased any of that for myself.  My experiences with Lectric Shave and Old Spice, not to mention jabs that Aqua Velva have suffered from comedians in the movies and Television, dissuaded me from ever buying it.

Maybe I need to break down and buy a bottle of the good old blue stuff, if for no other reason than to say that I've bought it before. Whaddya think? Is it safe for me to do so, or will it turn me into a veritable chick magnet?

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