Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aqua Velva

Aqua Velva is not the gyrating noun as described in the Urban Dictionary:
  1. A human male, usually bar-dwelling, who seems to use the trendiest cologne as a body lotion, and thinks that he is the reason every lady in the place came out on any particular evening. Sometimes known to wear shiny clothing, lip gloss, eyeliner, and enough hair gel to make his head bullet proof. Can also be identified by his Justin Timberlake "Sexy Back" ring-tone.
  2. That guy at the bar in the tight shirt with the slicked back hair and the big muscles who thinks he looks good. He may also be dancing like an idiot.
Nor is it the Caribbean blue vodka-based cocktail that contains:
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Blue Curacao

topped with sprite and ice that is mixed together and served with an attractive nano-umbrella.

It is, however, a line of men's grooming products, including a widely advertised aftershave. In 1929 it was originally introduced as an alcohol-based mouthwash for men. NO WAY?!

To me Aqua Velva means one and only one thing: My Dad. He was, and still is for the most part, a well groomed and hygienically clean person. He always had his nails clipped and he was always clean shaven. His hair, although a little scraggly now, was always neatly cut and smoothly combed. He had a way of gently running his hand over the top of his hair just to make sure that there were no irregular pieces sticking out. The best part of his cleanliness was the way that he smelled: Wonderful. Crisp, clean, fresh and spicy. I can smell it now, although it has been years since I have actually caught a whiff of this fragrance. I laugh when I hear all of the tacky descriptions and frankly I am a little embarrassed to say that I really only like that men's fragrance. I find all of the other ones way too annoying. Besides, it obviously has multiple uses. I had no idea about the mouthwash one but I do know first hand that it was wonderful for fixing little boo-boos and unsightly preteen blemishes.

"Marfs," he would say as I walked into the room (it astonished at how he could spot my blemishes from across the room which meant they must have been hunaucious in size), "come over here and let me take a look at that on your forehead." He was kind to never actually come out and say what that really was which was a: Big.....Ugly......Festering....... ZIT! Instead, he would look at it and then beckon me to the bathroom where he would produce the Caribbean Blue bottle of magic. He would dab a little on his finger and then gently dab it on my big,ugly, festering that. I felt better already. I knew it was working its charm and now I could go out and greet the day! Plus I had the added benefit of smelling a hint of Dad all day long.

When the movie My Big, Fat Greek Wedding came out and the patriarch of the family repeatedly used Windex as a cure-all for life's blemishes and unsightly problems, I nearly wet my pants with laughter because that is exactly what Dad did with his bottle of Caribbean Blue magic. He would dab it on here, and dab it on there and I would feel so much better! It was the kind of private care that a child received from a parent that had a way of making me feel more special than anyone else in the family. That is until our little dachshund had a slight boo-boo on his ear and I spotted Dad dabbing a little magic on our Bloody German Beast! Hey, that was for me not the "Wretched-Rotten-Worthless-No good-Stink-Breath" dog (this is what he nicknamed our dog)!

Oh well. I was special for a moment.

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