There are supposed to be five stages for dealing with traumatic loss.
There are twelve steps to sobriety in AA.
What are the stages a new wet shaver goes through?
My own journey has gone like this:
Dissatisfaction. There was something not right with the way I was shaving. Too expensive, too robotic. Those five soulless cartridge blades and can of foam have robbed me of…something. There must be a better way.
Curiosity. I wondered, is shaving with a DE razor so difficult? Why did they disappear? Could I do this? Do they even make blades for those antiques anymore? Is DE shaving what made the Golden Age of Hollywood Golden? What would Gary Cooper do?
Research. The Internet is a wonderful thing; no matter how strange you are, there are more whackjobs out there like you! I discovered a wealth of good information and goodwill here on B&B.
Fear. Will I cut myself? What if I’m too much of a klutz? Will my wife have me committed? What if I buy the wrong stuff? Why do you need a styptic pencil, anyway? Will it sting? Will I have little bits of toilet paper all over my face when I go to work? Will this make me officially old and eccentric?
Discovery. Hey, that wasn’t too bad, in fact it was fun! The shave was really good, and the satisfaction…Lather doesn’t have to make a sound like the dentist sucking the saliva out of my mouth with a reverse Waterpic when it’s created, and it feels great! Badger hair? How cool is that! Why haven’t I been doing this all along? Why didn’t anyone tell me?
Obsession. These shaves are great! Almost perfect! What would it take to get to perfect? There must be some insight from the fifty pound Razorbrains on B&B that will improve my prep/technique/post shave/philosophy of life! I must know every variation of razor, aftershave and blade by heart! Hey, what’s this Cologne forum? What’s SOTD? I need to know everything! I demand BBS shaves, and by force of will and improved technique and methods, I can get there! Wait, maybe it’s something I need to get…
Acquisition Disorder. Maybe true shaving happiness comes in a tube, or a a cake, or a pack of different blades? Maybe it’s my brand of Witch Hazel that’s holding me back? Maybe if I had a different razor for each day of the week…maybe each day of the month…Look at this BST forum! Hot damn! They make blades in Nigeria? Gotta find out if they are any good. There’s how many different types of soap? One of each would be perfect! There’s more than one Bay Rum? Must have…
Proselytizing. I gotta let my friends an relatives know how great this is! I can save them from their blind, cartridge worshiping dreary lives! Wait, why are they laughing at me? Fools! You don’t understand!
Serenity. I have become one with my shave. The gear I have is merely a collection of tools that I own, my gear does not own me. Not everyone understands my need to shave, but I’m OK with that. I merely wait, the whiskers return, and I meld technique, tools and mind to find that zone where BBS isn’t a goal, but it visits me when the shaving stars align. It’s a beautiful thing.
Well, I haven’t really got to that last stage, and I’m stuck in more than one of the earlier stages.