A surprising twist of fate befell me last week. Last Tuesday as Shelley was packing her bags for a brief stay in Tampa Bay for work, she mistakenly smuggled my Gillette Mach 3 razor to the southeastern peninsula.

There I was. Alone. Scruffy. Razorless.

If the story ended here, surely this would be just another sad, hopeless tale about a guy who couldn’t shave … or slit his wrists. But no, my friends. For the sake of all things unimportant enough to blog about, the story does not end there.

A simple packing error turned into the closest shave of my life.

That afternoon I went to Walgreens on a mission. A mission to not only find a new razor, but to upgrade my shaving experience. You see—when it comes to facial hair, I may have a few patches that run the race a little slower than the others…but where it grows, it grows like crazy.

The Mach 3 has always done only a semi-decent—albeit unremarkable—job at cleaning me up. Moreover, I have always loathed having to apply for financing to cover the overpriced Mach 3 razors. Needless to say, all of this caused me to be quite skeptical regarding what I believed was Gillette’s overhyped, overpriced, new five-blade, money-sucking, face-shaving mechanism: the Fusion.

As I examined the competition, though, I was left with only one conclusion: Gillette is the Microsoft of the shaving kingdom.

First we have Bic. They offer a variety of face-cutting tools that resemble orange pixie sticks with an edge. These things look like they could no more easily erase my facial hair than one of their classic erasable ink-ball pens. I hesitate to place my cheeks in the hands of a company whose mascot’s head is a magic eight ball. My sources say no.


Schick seems like the most viable of adversaries to the shaving giant. But they are certainly no Apple in Microsoft’s eye. One reason is, Apple is awesome. Schick is not. The “Quattro”, Schick’s premier offering, may be good enough for Andre Agassi’s bald dome, but this wasn’t my first encounter with this four-bladed shear. Once—in a fit of rage about having to relinquish three tons of bullion in exchange for an 8-pack box of Mach 3 razors—I ended up with a 4-pack of Quattros. It should have come with a complimentary, value-sized carton of Band-Aids.

Was there no worthy competitor in the face razor market?

I flashed back to an old Western where John Wayne used a rusty machete to shave his chin. After a brief mental assessment of our kitchen knife catalog, I decided the butcher’s knife was better left to chop the raw meat, not create it.

There was always waxing. Laser surgery. Maybe a patchy beard? No … none of these was going to work for me.

But there he was. My old nemesis. Mocking me for even thinking I could be like John Wayne.

Five blades? That’s preposterous. Who needs five blades to shave their face? (Not to mention that sixth blade for those tough spots to reach) Who wants to commit to leveraging a second mortgage to pay for cheeks a smooth as a baby’s bottom? Who?

Apparently, I fit that description quite well.

After only a moment’s hesitation to do a quick mental reworking of my household budget, I reached for the Fusion. There it was in my hands.

I turned for the cash register.

What was I doing? Was I out of my mind? I have resented that Mach 3 for the better part of the past 10 years!

:: dramatic pause ::

Seven days have passed since I sold my shaving soul to the Fusion. I must confess I have no regrets.

This is the finest shave I have ever experienced. Shelley is on the verge of Fusion conversion—and soon—we will all become part of the Gillette matrix. These cheeks are as smooth as silk, and—in an ironic twist—I can push off shaving for an extra day if I prefer.

Eat your heart out, John Wayne.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.