Friday, September 13, 2013

Kiss me again with your Barbasol face

Number of toiletry products taking up space on our bathroom counter: 32.

Number of toiletry items belonging to me: 12.

Number of toiletry items belonging to my husband: 17 (with the remaining three being shared items like toothpaste).

My husband has not taken up female impersonation nor has he fallen victim to this depressing trend.  He is far from being a metrosexual--unless metrosexuals are now wearing old t-shirts with logos of defunct start-ups on them and habitually losing gift cards to clothing stores because they waited two years to use them.

For the last few years Mike has been accumulating shaving products. It started with some "classic" razors (old) and a couple of matchbook-sized boxes of new blades. Then it was a moss scuttle from a pottery-maker in Nova Scotia. That led to quests to find and obtain this and this and this.

It's not like him to just dabble in a hobby--no, he dives right in. He joins online forums. He recruits: several co-workers are now his compatriots in the art of shaving. They order shaving creams together and sample each other's soaps. They text each other when they buy a new badger brush or mug. They catch each other mindlessly caressing their own chins (or, in slightly cruder terms, faceterbating, as in "I'm sitting here rocking on the screened porch, faceterbating after a lime shave.")

I can't recall the last time I shared a beauty product with a friend, much less texted someone after a trip to Sephora. If I find a product I like I might pin it or mention it in conversation if the topic comes up. I haven't converted anyone to using my brand of dry shampoo.

He likes the ritual of shaving the way that I enjoy the ritual of coffee and the newspaper (another dying pastime). The Mach 5 is purely a marketing gimmick in his eyes. If his father didn't use it, it's not worth it. If it's sold in an antique shop, it's a winner.

He's mentioned wanting his own shelf for all his shaving products. After looking at how many of his new products are squeezing out my assorted bottles like a man taking up all the space on a subway bench, I tend to agree.

I'm not complaining, mind you. Despite an aversion to changing his sneaker style (which is mid-80's black high-top Reeboks) my husband pays careful attention to hygiene. He wears an appropriate amount of cologne and/or after-shave so as not to smell like a college boy who hasn't showered in a week but douses himself in CK One (what they wore in the 90's when I was in college--not sure what the kids are wearing now). Instead he smells very clean and masculine, sort of what I imagine a man in the 1950's smelled like as he headed out the door mornings in suit and hat. There's something to be said for that man of old--it partly explains all the Baby Boomers.

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