Back when women always had bobby pins for their hair, Mama always had at least one in her purse. Occasionally during church service - while Daddy was preaching - one of us kids would lay our head in her lap and get our ears cleaned with a bobby pin. It was an imprecise process, and if you wiggled or moved the slightest bit, you might get a rude poke of the bobby pin into your ear drum. Ouch! That hurt. It didn't stop us from getting our aural grooming.
Daddy was a big fan of Q-tips. I know they say don't put them in your ear, and if you do, don't put them into the ear canal. But Father Knows Best, or at least that's what the television show with Robert Young told us back in the day. Daddy had narrow ear canals, and he used the Q-tips to keep them clean. Every little boy wants to be like Daddy, and I was no exception. I couldn't wait to use them on my ears.
Here I am, six decades later, and I still use Q-tips on my ears, religiously. I joke with my son when he visits, offering him my box of Q-tips the way one would offer a cold drink or a snack to a guest. Like me and my father before me, he appreciates the feel of a fresh Q-tip in his ears.
I am very careful not to delve too deeply, mindful that poking the ear drum can be painful and injurious. I have to do it, and prefer doing so daily.
We didn't grow up flossing our teeth, but that's another of my daily hygiene rituals. I keep floss handy - on my desk, in my car, and in my bathroom. I was forty before I knew how to properly floss my teeth. A dental hygienist instructed me on both the importance of flossing and the correct manner in which to floss. I'll save the sermon, but if you're not flossing your teeth at least once daily, you're not really taking good care of your teeth and gums. By flossing, you can keep your gums healthy and your teeth free of food particles which will otherwise decay between your teeth.
Getting older means getting more hair where you don't want or need it, places like your nose and ears. For whatever reason, nothing annoys me more than my own nose hair. Same for the ears. In the modern era, we have little gizmos called hair trimmers which can clip those errant hairs with some degree of efficiency. I use them frequently to keep those pesky nose and ear hairs trimmed back and out of sight. I can breathe better after trimming my nose hairs, and I don't really have a nose full of hair. I don't know how people can tolerate having a bunch of hair in their nose.
What discussion of old man facial grooming would be complete without talking about those wire like hairs that spring up on my eyebrows? Since I wear glasses, they are not as annoying to me, but when I get a haircut every few weeks, my hair cutter trims them with her clippers. I notice that what remains of my eyebrows gets smaller and smaller by the year. Oh, well. Do I really need any hair in my eye brows?
© 2014, Jim “Pappy” Moore,
All Rights Reserved.