One of the best stories I can recall about my parents occurred was when I was in my late teens.
My father acquired an 'electric razor'.
As a boy I remember Dad shaving every morning, sharpening the blades on the palm of his hand, his shaving brush and mug, and the aftershave. This was done every day without fail. Being a twenty-four-hour working policeman in small communities played a part in his keeping this ritual. This fact, combined with his Navy service and his own disciplined character warranted a daily shave, Saturday and Sunday included. Saturday was personal commerce day and Sunday was Church and visiting with friends.
They were always called 'Mom and Dad', and we were the 'children', not the 'kids'. It was their way of showing respect they felt their offspring deserved. If we were referred to collectively, it was always 'the children.' That will give you some idea of the times in which we lived, post war, peace, and children who were new Canadians. It was an exciting time and Mom and Dad were living it to the fullest.
Like most fathers of the time he was an artist at shaving and the days' activities did not start until it was completed, which was early so none of the day was wasted. Eventually we came into the modern times, the 1960s', and a symbol of this was this 'electric razor'. The method had changed but the ritual had not. Some of the children had grown and left home. By then there were even 'Grandchildren' not 'Grand-Kids', carrying on their tradition of respect for their family.
Mom and Dad never saw eye to eye on everything, and Mom always spoke her mind on any issue. Freedom of speech was hers, and the best time to get Dads' attention was early, while shaving, because after that was finished he would be off to work or have an opinion of his own and a good rebuttal. She wanted to avoid this at all cost and have the last word, like most women, my sisters tell me.
As children this made for some interesting times but as a young adult living home it was a
mere distraction. That is until one morning when the routine was being played out as usual.
Dad was sitting in the kitchen shaving, unheard off before the electric razor, my younger sister was complaining about something, as was I. Mom was lecturing Dad about some issue that irked her, but Dad was looking at her with his chin stuck up in the air as if mocking her, which he knew was NOT the right thing to do to Mother. This just made things worse and over it all was this unceasing drone of an electric razor, bzzzzzzzz and more bzzzzzzzz. On and on it went. Dad's chin stuck up and Mom's blood pressure was rising.
In the old days before the electric model arrived on the scene Dad shaved in the bathroom and Mom didn't have to compete with bzzzzzzzzzzz and look at that mocking looking body posture.
The twentieth century came to our house one morning and Mother was disgusted.
She lost it!
"DICK! DICK! ," She yelled over the bzzzzzzzzzzz.
Shaken by this verbal attack on Dad, we all stopped our complaining, talking, eating and yes, Dad stopped shaving. The bzzzzzzzzzz came to a complete halt.
The cat hid, the dog ran, and the birds stopped chirping. There was silence!
Dad looked at her and, after his shock subsided, probably his biggest shock since the war ended, blinked and quietly asked "Yes my Dear?", just testing the waters.
"Dick," she said, "will you stop rubbing that Bumblebee over your face? I'm trying to talk to you!"
A grin come across Dads' face, then it spread to Moms', and was followed by gales of laughter by my parents, my sister and me. We had come of age over an electric razor, but it didn't diminish our sense of humor or strength as a family. It was good truehearted laughter.
Father is 83 years old now and still shaves sitting in the same spot each day. Mom has grown accustomed to the bzzzzzzzzzz and it's reassurance that we, at a moment in time years ago,
experienced something that was exceptional. It said we were a family and we had a sense of being all in this together, come what may!
This terrific family moment came about over a simple thing such as 'The Electric Razor!'. That makes it that much more unforgettable.
Ah, the sweet memories of youth, and the memory of a shared moment, unsurpassed, with two parents who loved each other and could laugh with their children.
Now, where did I put that razor of mine?
(795 words) David Jarvis