Friday, January 13, 2006

razor burn

I think I've created a monster.

I gave my husband this shaving kit for Christmas.

(Chanukah? Maybe that one was his Chanukah present. I've forgotten. They were all under the tree regardless.)

See, my father has long been a proponent -- nay, an outright proselytizer -- of using a brush to lather before the shave. He'll concede that the "shave before/after the shower" bit is a personal preference, but he will sing the praises of the badger-bristle brush til he's blue in the face, and that would take a while, given that he is trained vocally and has pretty damn fine breath control.

Jim is not quite as invested in his shaving routine. In fact, the word "routine" is not even remotely accurate to describe Jim's approach to shaving in the past, which went somewhat as follows:

Day 1: Shave.

Day 2-3: Sport low-to-moderate scruff.

Day 4-5: Think about shaving again. Shave little mustache hairs and under-lip funkiness.

Day 6: Hear wife ask, "Are you going to shave today?" (Repeat from Day 1.)

We were shopping in Boston with my parents the week before Christmas, and Dad actually tried to take Jim into Stoddard's and teach him a bit about shaving brushes. I, however, had already purchased the kit, and had to haul my father off by the arm and mutter as much to prevent him from doing something so foolish.

(The men did still go to the cutlery store, and would have been fascinated for hours had my mother and I not managed to shepherd them out after an endless while, or fifteen minutes, whichever is longer during the holiday shopping period.)

Anyway, Jim was genuinely excited about his shaving kit gift, and has been growing more so with repeated use.

Today he emerged from his ablutions freshly shaven.

"You know, I think I have a good trick," he announced.

"Oh?" I asked, not really paying attention.

"Yeah. See, instead of rinsing off the brush after I lather up, I lather, shave with the grain, then re-lather, and shave against the grain. It really does make a difference with irritation and getting a close shave."

For a moment, my father flashed before my eyes. I blinked, and he was gone.

"That's...great." I smiled.

"Oh, and check this out," he continued, sending me to this page.

I've definitely created a monster.

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