Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Hook in the Song

A moment ago, just before I began this article, I was considering the hobby of shaving. A hobby -- like a good song -- has a hook that keeps one coming back to it.

You ever get a music virus in your head -- you know, that memorable, literally-catchy musical phrase that keeps re-playing and you can't seem to shake it? When that happens, you're caught on the barb of that hook.

"Joleen..."  "Roxanne..."  "Michelle, ma belle..."

"I've been through the desert on a horse with no name..."

In some hobbies such as tennis, one hook is the infinite depth of perfection. No matter how good you get, it's always possible to improve -- to hit harder, more consistently, varied spins, better competitive tactics. For some, the hook is the competition; if you're competitive, there's always the the next player to challenge; there's always someone coming down the pike who is better: another hill to climb. And for some, I suppose, it's the allure of new gear, trying to buy your improvement in the pro shop.

But what is the hook in shaving?

For some, it is new gear and accessories. Acquisition has several aspects. I suppose some shaving hobbyists acquire new gear like some women acquire shoes. For others, though, I suspect that acquisition has its roots in seeking perfection. I know that is why I try new shaving products.

Take my favorite razor as an example: my Merkur 33C Classic. It is a very good match to my skin. It keeps the blade at an angle and with an exposure to shave well without much appreciable damage to my face. Yet... even when paired with a good blade for my beard, I can easily get a close shave, but have not yet ever gotten the perfect shave, which is baby smooth in all directions over my entire face and neck. "I can't get no... no, no, no."

One other hook in shaving-gear acquisition might be variety. After all, it is the spice of life. It's similar to those who are commitment phobics, serial daters, unable to commit to a single partner.

Another hook in shaving is the challenge of perfect technique. The early challenge of mastering the use of the DE razor is enough to get some hooked -- at least for a while.

Things that I don't think are hooks for the shaving hobby are the following, which are sufficient to keep us using DE gear and techniques, but not enough to cause us to think of it as a hobby:

  • The economics of shaving
  • Enjoyment of the shaving process
So what is the hook in your view of the shaving hobby? ("Cra-zy...")

Happy shaving! ("Beat it...")

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