– – –
We live in a society that is driven by these adjectives. If something can claim to be fast, it will – as quickly as possible.
I was thinking about this phenomenon while I was getting my first old-fashioned shave in Historic Bastrop, Texas. I sat in that old-timey barber’s chair for almost 45 minutes, enjoying every leisurely second.
As the third hot towel was wrapped around my face, my mind started to wonder. I asked myself rhetorical questions as my skin started to soften and my pores were opening up:
Q: “Why haven’t I done this before?”
Q: “Why hasn’t everyone done this before?”
When I told my dad that I was going to get the straight-razor shave, he said: “You’re going to love it. I’ve only gotten one my whole life and it was great.”
I remembered this dialogue as John, the easy-going and charismatic proprietor, lathered my face with warm shaving cream. More questions:
Q: “Why did my dad only do it once – especially since it was so terrific and he enjoyed it so much?”
Q: “Don’t we ALL do this to a certain degree? Why?”
Q: “Why have I never been introduced to warm shaving cream before?”
This line of internal questioning really took off as John finished his third and final pass with his straight-edged razor and applied the most wonderfully great peppermint oil to cool the burn.
Q: “What are we in such a hurry to do? Watch more TV? Check our Facebook status? Watch a stupid video on YouTube?”
Q: “Do we rush, rush, rush…just to rush?”
Q: Don’t we owe it to ourselves to tap the brakes from time to time and smell the…peppermint oil?
Since it normally takes me 5 minutes to shave in the morning (if I do it at all), I thought about those 40 additional minutes that I was sitting reclined in John’s red pleather chair. Again more questions, BUT this time I had answers:
Q: “What would I rather being doing right now?”
John applied a cold towel around my face to enhance the soothing sensation of the peppermint oil.
A: “Ummm….for some reason I can’t think of anything.”
– – –
Q: “What should I be doing right now?”
John used an old-school hand vibrator to massage my face.
A: “Ummm….I’m sure there is something, but it can wait.”
– – –
Q: “Again, why haven’t I done this before?”
John applied the most masculine – and invigorating – aftershave my face has ever experienced.
A: “Ummm….I’m. A. Moron.”
– – –
As I left the barbershop, I shook John’s hand and thanked him emphatically for the wonderfully great experience. I left his quaint little shop, rubbing my naked face. I was happy, but my mind was still racing as I walked down the charming sidewalks of Bastrop.
I knew getting this old-fashioned shave was an indulgence, but I started wondering why I don’t indulge more often.
Q: “Do I have to go all the way to Bastrop, Texas, to do something unique, like this?”
Q: “Am I just like everyone else – a hamster on a wheel?”
I kept rubbing my smooth face, realizing that John and his straight-edged razor temporarily threw a welcomed wrench into my “hamster wheel” and broke my boring routine.
I quickly stopped asking questions and started making myself promises.
P: “I WILL get another old-fashioned shave!”
P: “I WILL look for other indulgences on a daily basis!”
P: “I WILL slow down and enjoy the peppermint oil of life!”
Shave on, John.
Thank you, Bastrop!
Task No. 7….marked off!