Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Controlling the Fire of Obsession

My non-shaving-hobbyist friends would think I'm a little nuts if they knew the truth.

Every day I look forward to tomorrow's shave.

In fact, I look forward to my next shave so enthusiastically that on many days I'm tempted to take a late-afternoon shave so I can once again re-create that pleasant smoothness on my face. I always resist this temptation, however, because I know it doesn't end well. It eventually creates sore, visibly-irritated skin.
Healthy passion or mental illness?

The late football coach of the Green Bay Packers has been quoted as saying, "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." If I were to be quoted along similar lines, my quote would be, "Pain quenches the fire of our obsessions."

For example, since the age of about sixteen years, I have been an obsessive tennis player. Yet there was a span of years when the pain of a chronic lower-back problem made it rather easy to hang up my racquets and tennis shoes. It was only after I learned to coexist comfortably with my back that I could once again indulge in my tennis passion and obsession.

Similarly, it is the memory of the discomfort of lingering razor burn from too-frequent, too-close shaves that keeps me from shaving too often and too enthusiastically.

So not only do I limit my shaves to one daily, I also limit my pursuit of the gold-standard shave. When I'm going for a better shave, I take my two-pass two-rriffic shave. Lately, though, I've been pursuing a different shaving challenge.

Rather than chasing the gold-standard shave in multiple passes, of late I've been playing the daily game of trying to get the closest double-edge shave possible from a standard (single-pass) shave. It still gives me a daily shaving challenge -- and this is a real challenge -- but leaves me generally wound and irritation free, with an appropriate clean-shaven look (though I do develop a shadow later in the day).

Actually, this approach makes me feel more in touch with history of my pogonotomy obsession. Now, in my morning shaving routine, with my single-pass standard shave, I am duplicating the most common process of the generations of daily shavers who have gone before me with blade and brush to tidy up before facing the world for the day.

Happy shaving!

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