A while back I got a free sample of a Gillette razor that has five blades. Because it was free, and because I am cheap, I used it until the blades got so dull they no longer cut anything but skin.
So, while shopping at my local discount grocery, I stopped off in the surprisingly large men's personal grooming section to buy new razor blades. They were over there between the mustache dye and the body foam.
Anyway, I searched for the Gillette five-bladed razor blades and found them beneath a sign announcing:
On sale. $12.95.
In any tale of woe, there is a moment in which the protagonist makes a fateful decision, and this was my moment. I could have turned away. My initial reaction was, "$19.95! Are they freakin' outa their minds!" But then I thought of the smooth, five-bladed shave (it's kind of like shaving with a pillow) and the fact that I really didn't want to be one of those people who stands in grocery stores thinking real hard about men's grooming supplies. So I grabbed a box of blades and returned to my shopping.
When I got home, I showed my wife my new razor blades and marveled at their exorbitant cost. My wife, who is a sensible woman, wasn't the least bit interested.
The next morning I tried to shave, and discovered that Gillette has not one but two different formats of five-bladed razors. One is blue and one is orange. I had received the blue for free but had purchased the orange, so I was pretty much out of luck. So I shaved that morning with the free blue razor, hacking my face to bits.
Last night, I returned to the store to buy an orange five-bladed razor, which was also on sale. It cost $14.95.
Now, for the record, I don't know that I would spend $14.95 on my face if I were in dire need of re-constructive surgery. I might opt, instead, for a beekeeper's hat and veil in order save a couple of bucks. But apparently in a low-key men's grooming supplies frenzy, I swallowed hard and bought the razor.
This time I didn't tell my wife, being as I was ashamed of my behavior and regretting having bought the first box of five-bladed blades when there were perfectly good disposable two-bladed razors right there below the athlete's foot ointments.
And this morning I discovered something about my new orange five-bladed razor: it vibrates. When I opened the package a battery fell out. "What's this?" my internal voice said, "What's a battery doing in box with a razor?"
I followed the instructions -- I object, by the way, to razors that need instructions -- and I turned the razor on and I shaved. And I have to say: I don't get it. I'm close to $30 into this high-tech razor and blades and my hand is growing numb from the vibrations. My shave is not smoother, or faster, or anything else not attributable to the fact that I'm using new blades rather than old.
I put the razor back in the drawer, but I find myself wondering: will I ever use the razor's vibrating function again? I seriously don't think so. I think I'll just use the razor like a regular razor.