Indulge: The Slow Road to a Clean Shave

EDITOR’S NOTE:  I was able to mark No. 7 off my 55/55 List, while helping out a buddy and a wonderfully great community outside of Austin. This post originally ran on the Bastrop EDC blog.

– – –

“Quick.”

“Instant.”

Live the List“Speedy.”

We live in a society that is driven by these adjectives. If something can claim to be fast, it will – as quickly as possible.

“High-speed internet.”

“Jiffy Lube.”

“Instant oatmeal.”

“Express lane.”

“Fast food.”

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!

Click to see the photos of this adventure!

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One Comment on “Indulge: The Slow Road to a Clean Shave”

  1. mantic59MH
    May 30, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    You can give yourself great shaves like this if you master a few simple skills, like lathering with a shaving brush and using a single blade razor. I have a youtube channel (not sponsored!) with a bunch of videos that go through the whole process (http://www.youtube.com/user/mantic59). Welcome to the fold! 🙂

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