It doesn’t happen often. Actually, I can’t remember the last time it happened. If I can orchestrate it differently, it won’t happen again. The General and I were both getting ready for the day at the same time yesterday morning. She was “doing her face”. I was shaving. We have a fairly large bathroom with separate sinks. There shouldn’t have been a problem.

I might also add that I’ve been shaving since high school. The reason I know that’s true is that I remember the “after shave” I wore. Even in high school, it didn’t hurt to smell good. If you do the math, that is well over half a century ago. As I write this, I’m remembering “English Leather”. Wasn’t that a step-up from Old Spice? English Leather was in a rectangular shaped bottle with a large wooden cap.

If I’m not mistaken, my dad and his dad both used Old Spice. Of course, what kid doesn’t want to smell like his dad or granddad? Whenever my youngest grandson is visiting, he always wants to know which bath soap is mine when he’s going to take a shower. He says he wants to smell like me.  I take that as a compliment.

For now, I’m content with him thinking it’s the soap. The soap does have a scent. Jake is a little too young to be wearing cologne. Besides that, he doesn’t have to smell good. He has the looks and is animated enough to charm the socks off a rooster.

I haven’t thought of English Leather or Old Spice in years. Do they still make that stuff? That seems like a lifetime ago. I guess you could say that I’ve traded up several times over when it comes to aftershave or cologne. I’ve passed the point (either that or I never had it) where I could look good. However, if you don’t mind shelling out the dough, anyone can smell good. I figure that smelling good is as important as keeping your shoes shined. It all gets back to the personal appearance and good grooming.

I’m now smiling. Just as I typed “English Leather”, I received an email notification on my computer screen from They are having a sale. I haven’t checked, but I bet you dollars to donuts, you won’t find English Leather as a smell-good alternative on The same is probably true for Old Spice. However, I bet you can still get both at the nickel and dime store.

To my knowledge, I’ve never used the expression, “Bet you dollars to donuts” before. I have no idea why I had that thought, but I wrote it down anyway. Beyond that, what does the expression actually mean? I’m giving you my best guess without doing the research. Consequently, my logic may work or it may be flawed. “Donut” probably is an abbreviated term for “doughnut”. I’ve heard money referred to as dough. That equation probably has something to do with bread being a necessary staple for life. Bread is made out of dough. The purchasing power of a dollar (dough) to buy ingredients to make bread ultimately sustains life. In other words, the expression “bet you dollars to donuts” means you’re betting on a sure thing. You are confident you are going to win.

At any rate, as I was shaving yesterday morning, I was doing so as I’ve always done. You know the routine. You turn on the hot water and wait a moment for it to heat up. You splash it on your face, apply shaving lather and use your razor to shave. Periodically you rinse off the razor under the water. The total process is very brief. That is particularly true in my case since I wear a full beard. I’m only shaving the outlines. I don’t know, with me it probably takes 30-to-60 seconds to complete the process. I’m only guessing, but it doesn’t take long.

I had just lathered up my face and taken my first swipe with the razor when the General asked, “Do you mind turning off the water?” I know the General like I know the back of my hand. She asks questions all of the time for which there is only one correct answer. “Do you mind turning off the water?” wasn’t really a question. It was a point of redirection. The General thought I was wasting water. The question was a subtle command for me to “turn off the water”.

In fairness to her, I probably should say that she didn’t come across as dictatorial, demanding or punitive. She asked a simple question, knowing full well I’d cater to her suggestion and get out of hot water with her by turning off the hot water. Did I mention, the General doesn’t always get it right?

When she asked the question, I opted not to respond by asking if she turns off the water in the shower when she shaves her legs. An attorney friend once told me that in the practice of law, it is always best never to ask your client a question on the stand if you don’t already know the answer. Since I didn’t know if the General shaves her legs with the water on or off, I opted not to ask the question. Some of you are probably thinking you didn’t know I was that smart. I like it when I can throw you a curved ball.

Instead of fighting fire with fire, I answered playfully. Isn’t hat one of the three characteristics needed? Make the answer playful, firm and short. In response to the question: “Would you mind turning off the water”, I playfully responded, “Yes, I would. I’ve been shaving this way all of my life. It only takes a minute. I’ll have the water turned off soon.”

The General opted not to respond with lecture #783 that relates to the need to conserve water. She couldn’t have been more pleasant. I didn’t even think she was being passive-aggressive when she mentioned a few minutes later that I had stuff scattered all over the house. There was only the unspoken directive in her observation that I needed to correct the problem. Sometimes I’m clueless when it comes to figuring out what she is talking about. I cut to the chase and asked, “What do I need to pick up?” She said, “You left used K-cups next to the Keurig and you didn’t put the container of nuts you were eating last night back in the pantry”. I managed not to verbalize: “Guilty as charged.” Instead I hurried to correct the problem. Did I mention, correcting both of those issues took less time than it takes for me to shave?

All My Best!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s