The kids had no idea I wasn’t the Chicano Daddy Warbucks.
When the man who gives you piggyback rides flings wide the door at Dollar Tree and declares “YOU CAN HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANT HERE. ANYTHING!”* … you can’t contain the universe under those conditions.
Not even by winning both showcase showdowns on Price is Right.
*excludes toy guns, frozen foods and pregnancy tests. Because, of course.
My la vida dollar store life slides under the radar these days, bogged down by the economy, budget needs and the discovery that off-brand toaster tarts are every bit as full of artificial flavor as the rich-boy leading brand’s.
And the kids’ realization that everything’s just a buck.
See, I believed everything was better bought for a dollar – packs of batteries and washcloths, boxes of sandwich bags and lemon heads, toothbrushes, body wash and shaving products.
It works out. Sometimes. Mostly, though?
The batteries die in four hours.
The washcloths leak dye for four days.
And the state of a man’s face from the nicks and cuts from any razor plucked from a four-pack says anything but GQ.
MenEssentials makes shaving and grooming products for men. I chose a few I’d never find in my budget basket. After spending a few weeks using them, I’m not sure I’ll ever be the same.
I thought these went out with the Frontier Days.
This chrome razor feels significant in your hand, the way a 26-ounce Louisville Slugger must feel to Carlos Gonzalez. It has a real authentic razor inside. I swear, I felt at least 1930’s old school. I should keep a mustache, wax up some handlebars, then step into the ring for an old-fashioned boxing match.
So poorly versed in the art of shaving that I Googled how to. I watched my dad do it. Grace used to shave with me, using a disposable razor with the safety cover still on. You’d think I’d know, for instance, to shave with the grain.
Even with the Lamborghini of razors, I couldn’t manage a close shave – or avoid the nicks and cuts. One YouTube video later on how to shave, and I became a champion.
The shaving cream
When you buy cheap shaving cream, you don’t care when your daughters pillage your can.
This stuff, though? I hid this. Good.
It tingled on my face, in a tea-tree oil kind of way, and I’m not sure that was from ingredients or just a face releasing 30 years of subpar treatment. I won’t say I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, but I’m not saying I didn’t.
This cream is “I thought about what else I could shave just because I didn’t want it to end, but didn’t” good.
The after-shave stone
Never understate the critical nature of this: A dad should have a scent.
All dads do. For some, it’s Old Spice. Others, maybe something stuck in the 90s, like Drakkar Noir. For an unfortunate percentage, it’s Funions and Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Can I buy my after-shave products at a higher price per gallon than milk? Not yet. But after my face has known this stone, I can’t with any self-respect slap on after shave from a plastic bottle with “after shave” in Spanish and French on the label.
The stone took getting used to. My comfort level today with the stone: Post-Intermediate. I’ll rub this thing on my mug for an hour if I can. Not embarrassed to say it’s being kept in my work bag now.
# # #
A good shave doesn’t make the man.
I’m the guy in clearance V-neck T-shirts and all-purpose sneakers. (They can be formal wear, too.) When this double-sided razor is finished (probably in one or two more shaves), I’ll buy more and keep using my Mercur23C.
It’s proven to me you don’t have to look like a million bucks to feel like a million bucks.
I’d sooner scrimp on lunch meat or even toilet paper to keep this style up.
I still maintain cheap sunglasses are just as good as expensive sunglasses. (Try sitting on a pair you get at Family Dollar and a pair of sweet Ray-Bans and tell me any difference in how they crush.)
I won’t pay more than a buck for my next set of earbuds.
But shaving? I’m taking care of this. What’s next? Brand-name shampoo?
It could happen. I bought deodorant at a regular store last week, even.
Paid $1.86 for it.
I know I’m worth a lot more than that.
*I was not compensated for this post, but received these items in exchange for this review.*