Was eating meat with Peter when the subject of skin in general and of shaving in particular came up. I’ve kind of given up on shaving in any kind of decent manner. I’m an oaf and if I shave before a sink I wind up getting water, cream, stubble all over the place. In uncleanable crannies where it coagulates into paste. So I’ve started shaving, ashamedly, in the shower, where I can splash around all I like. Shaving is a chore and like any chore you just want it done, quality be damned.
The helpful thing about shaving culture or even just shaving commercials is that they lay out a man’s only hope of enjoying shaving: that shaving is a luxury to be savored, that the pleasures of a good shave are of a kind with the pleasures of a good whiskey. You watch a tv man pull on his chin and appraise himself; he basks in a job well done. It’s really easy to believe and to simulate. It’s a low-cost, large-margin lie to buy into.
But like most such lies you tend to stop believing in it over time. You can keep the embers burning, sure, by upgrading your equipment: to better disposables, to safety razors, and eventually you own a badger brush and archaic discs of soap. You can feed this lie with money. Or you can just give up and shave in the shower with dollar-store garbage.
I’ve chosen the latter route, anyway. A terrible shave but better whiskey. Gotta be choosy about your luxuries, your lies.