The thing about nostalgia is it tends to focus on the good stuff and blank on the bad.
Shaving is a case in point.
When male baby boomers reflect back on their mid teens, one of the life passages they vividly recall was starting to shave.
For some, shaving became a daily task early on. For those of us whose peach fuzz was visible only under optimum lighting conditions, the ritual was delayed. I went to high school with girls who shaved before I did.
Of course, it didn't take long once shaving began to grow weary of the chore. Not only was it a hassle, it could also be quite painful.
This is where reality parts ways with nostalgia. This is where the phrase "there will be blood," comes into play.
I started thinking about shaving recently while hurriedly and recklessly running a razor across a growth of peach that now looks like it was left out overnight in a heavy frost.
I was able to shave in such a carefree manner thanks to my vibrating, state-of-the-art, Fusion razor, with which I have not lacerated myself in years.
(I assume similar advances in shaving technology have occurred in women's razors, although I have no firsthand knowledge given I do not shave my legs, under my arms, or in close proximity to recreational areas.)
Anyway, today's razors are so good you have to be a klutz of the highest order to draw blood. That was certainly not the case back in the day.
No matter how slow and methodical you were, no matter how carefully you maneuvered your double-edged steel razor among your face's nooks and crannies, carnage was inflicted.
Although the terms were used interchangeably there was a difference between nicking yourself shaving, and cutting yourself shaving. The distinction was usually determined by the size of the blood soaked scrap of toilet paper covering the wound. On a bad day, it was not uncommon to emerge from the bathroom with a half-a-roll's worth of tissue bits dotting your face.
The art, as it were, came in knowing when to remove the dressing before it dried and stuck, but not before the bleeding had stopped.
Yeah, when it comes to shaving, screw nostalgia.