As I have mentioned here before, when my sister and I were kids we spent a lot of time at the shop. A LOT. And for the most part we entertained ourselves. We read books, fought with the tv antennae for precious clear reception on our 6 channels, and used our imaginations to turn the shop and its contents into countless swashbuckling adventures.
But on some occasions, our parents had us help out. It wasn’t anything critical. We might tape off a panel, or do some light sanding, or help check a color. As we got a little older, maybe 9-10, we started using razor blades to cut tape. My parents got us each a little razor blade holder so that our fingers wouldn’t be near the blade. Mine was neon green and my sister’s was bright pink. (To be honest, I was a little jealous of hers cause it was prettier, but I digress.) We had those plastic razor blade holders for years, well into my late teens.
Flash forward to a couple of weeks ago when I took a trip to Home Depot. I was looking for something we could use as a sharp edge to create a straight line while we were hand painting something. I decided that a razor blade would work well, but we would need our fingers out of the way. Then I remembered my neon green razor blade holder. Surely they would have something like that. I scoured the aisle, but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. I found something similar, but it was metal and somewhat bulky. I wanted something less clumsy.
After a few minutes of examining a display of razor blades, an employee walked up to me and asked me if I needed help. I started to explain to her what I was looking for (something to hold razor blades.) As she stared at me quizzically, I opened my mouth to say,
“You know, the kind you give kids so they don’t hurt themselves!”
But thankfully I closed my mouth right before that came out because the more I thought about it the more I realized that giving razor blades to young children might not be the best move. I mean we grew up around them. We understood their dangers. But most children don’t grow up in wood finishing shops and most parents don’t give their children razor blades to play with!
My parents weren’t giving us child-safe razor blades… There’s no such thing! The gave us window scrapers that just happened to be brightly colored! The fact they were safer for us to use was a plus.
As that revelation sunk in, I wondered how close I had just gotten to totally freaking out that poor lady!! She must have came to her own conclusion that I was looking for window scrapers and hurried off to retrieve some. When she returned I sheepishly took them and walked away, thankful I hadn’t made a complete fool of myself.
My greatest disappointment was that my new window scrapers are made of metal. They aren’t plastic. They aren’t brightly colored green or pink- just boring silver. But in the end that’s ok because they are completely functional and I won’t have to fight my kids for them!