The Cost Of Looking Good

A Fool In NH Column Heading

One of the greatest necessities in my life is causing havoc with my finances.
Every week I find myself becoming more frugal, conserving what I can, even at the cost of my own comfort. Still, I can never hold out as long as I’d like and sooner rather than later I am digging deep into my pockets to come up with more cash to pay for this thing I have come to rely on so heavily.
I’m sure by now you have figured out I mean razor blades.
Some ten packs of razor blades cost as much as the Gross National Product of Belize.
It seemed like only yesterday razor blades were affordable, the price not even worth a second look. Today I break out into a cold sweat every time I find myself heading towards the shaving aisle.
I stand dumfounded, along with other clean shaven gentlemen as we go through sticker shock.
Just when did the cost of razor blades get so out of control??
Back in the days when everyone used a single blade razor it seemed like the supply was endless and cheap. So cheap that we used them not only for shaving but also for opening packages, cutting rope, slicing garlic and more. Using them for shaving was never the sole purpose for buying them.
We’d throw them away after a couple of shaves. Why worry? There were plenty and could be had for pennies. We became reckless. We thought the party would never end.
Then came the fancy razor holder with the mind-blowing two-blade razors. It was supposed to be a closer shave and we ate it up. Little did we know we were just being sucked in by the big razor companies. They were setting us up for a fall.
We left behind the thought of the single-blade razor as “old fashioned”. A generation later, we didn’t even know how to use them anymore.
Next was the disposable razor. We started shaving willy-nilly, laughing as we discarded plastic razor after plastic razor. We were shaving like there was no tomorrow. There was even a special pink one for the ladies. It was nirvana.
Still, we weren’t satisfied. We wanted bigger and better razors. We wanted more cutting power. We wanted to shave closer than any man had shaved before. They were ready for us. They introduced the triple-blade razor. The first razor pulled the whisker while the second held it in place while the third cut it closer than our ancestors could only have imagined.
Soon a fourth blade was added. We didn’t know what it did and we didn’t care. We just wanted it. Soon an aloe strip and smoothing edge were introduced and we wanted all of it and more. We were hooked. We weren’t going back now.
Now we’ve paid the price for our selfishness. We were trapped due to our own vanity and comfort. Soon we were dependent of the razor companies and we started to pay big time.
We couldn’t even think of going back to a single edge razor. The new generation of shavers couldn’t even understand that we used to use these things.
Personally, I never thought I could ever give up the comfort of my four blade, aloe enhanced, aerodynamically designed, personalized razor, but I may have no choice.
Perhaps I need to tone down my shaving habits; maybe not shaving as much as I am used too. I have tried this, but after a couple of days my face looks like a white kiwi.
I could try not to shave at all, but that comes with an even higher price tag – my wife doesn’t care much for beards.
I received a chain email that explained that if everyone in America who shaves decided not to shave for one day then the price of razor blades would fall.
Some brave souls are going back to the old ways, to those single blades like our grandfather used to use, but will enough regress to this point to make the Big 3 razor blade companies notice (and can we really go back there)?
We could all go to electric razors, but then we are just putting the fate of our daily stubble in the hands of the power companies.
I don’t have the solution but maybe we should all just be more aware of our shaving habits and be more careful. Can you give up that aerodynamically engineered, four blade aloe stripped razor blade or are you just willing to go along and pay thirty dollars a pack?
In the long run, it won’t matter much. Even if we all band together and fight the Big 3 and get razor blade pieces back in order, they’ll just get us with the shaving cream.
I’m not about to give up my super smooth menthol beard buster brand anytime soon.

To find out more about Brendan’s book and upcoming appearances go to www.BrendanTSmith.com