Ok. This is my first new thread I've posted. I've been thinking quite a bit about this and hopefully it is interesting for those who take time to read it.
In 1992, I was a highschool senior. At that time, I was living in Wisconsin with my uncle and his family. I had a really mean goatee then!! <--- meaning long, thin, goatlike wiskers that had no courseness or thickness whatsoever... whatdya expect for a 17yr old?!?
I remember looking through the cabinets in the bathroom for some sort of razor to clean up my jaw line and lower neck. I found one of my uncle's DE razors. If memory serves me correctly, it was a Gillette Fatboy. I can remember looking at it and thinking to myself, "WTF is this?" I'd never seen one before b/c I had only ever used my dad's Gillette Atra. I had seen straight razors, but never a DE before. I was amazed at how this thing opened up. Anyway, I ended up throwing on some canned shaving cream and started shaving with it. The shave was perfect and close. For the next 3 months, I used that razor exclusively (I only shaved 1-2 times per wk). Looking back, I never did replace the blade, so I can only assume my uncle was doing so. I wonder if he had a hell of a time trying to figure out why the heck his blades dulled so quickly, if they did so!! In Jan 93, I moved back to TX with my mother. That was the last time I used a DE razor.
Now, fast forward 17 yrs or so. In 6 days, I will hit my 17 yr anniversary serving in the U.S. Air Force. During all this time, I've pretty much only used cartridge razors and upon occasion, electric razors. This past summer, I had to buy refills for my Gillette Fusion Power. A set of 4 cartridges cost me $15!! I thought to myself, this is ridiculous!! How come they are so dang expensive?!? I convinced myself that I needed a new electric razor. I bought the newest and most expensive Braun that was available to me. I bought a Series 7, 760cc razor!! Sounds like a car, huh? I loved it the first time I shaved with it. I even loved it the second time I shaved with it. Then, it was time for a weekend and to give my face a rest from shaving. Monday morning, I pulled out my freshly charged & cleaned electric and began mulching my whiskers. I used it the way the guys do it in the commercials. One pass and voila, all hair gone and everything nice and smooth... NOT!!! I had patches of stubble all over my face! Now the first thing I thought was, I spent all of this money on this razor and it doesn't even do a good job after one pass. *sigh*
Needless to say, I continued to use this razor for a month or so. I hated it, but hated the idea of going back to $4/ea cartridges even more. As I'm thinking of all this, I remember back to my DE experience and think that it'd be nice to go back to. I've had that thought on and off for about 5 yrs now. The first thoughts to get back into it came when my family and I were out in downtown Kaiserslautern, Germany. I passed a knife shop and in the window was the nicest looking DE razor I had ever seen, along w/holder, bowl and brush. Little did I know, but I was looking at a Pils SS razor. The price tag on it was about 300 euros. My thoughts on it were, "it sure is a nice razor, but that's more than I'd like to spend", or rather convince my wife that it would be worth it. Ok, back to this summer and present time...
I'm now stationed in Belgium where I meet "The_Metatron". He's a great guy and his enthusiasm for things is beyond compare. He comes into the office and we have a discussion regarding wet shaving and DE razors. I show a little bit of interest. He tells me that he has a Merker Futur for sale, if I want it. I decide against it. A few weeks later, he tells me he has a Feather SS for sale, and again, I decide against it. Finally, he convinces me that I should give DE wetshaving another try. He tells me all about B&B and I begin perusing the BST's. Thanks to 'Trons urging, I run across some of "rodeo's" posts and decide that's the way I want to go. On Aug 23, 2010, I commit to buying:
1 Fatboy Razor
1 Van der Hagen Shaving Soap
1 Old Spice Soap Cup
1 Earth Friendly Shaving Mug
1 Guy Laroche Aftershave Lotion
1 Edwin Jagger Best Badger Shaving Brush
1 Sampler package of razor blades
My equipment comes in about 9 days or so later. As I'm unpacking everything in my office, "The_Metatron" comes in and asks if I'd like him to show me how to make shaving lather. Sure I do... I mean, I had no idea that there was a thread dedicated to "how-to" here on B&B!! He shows me and I think about how I can't wait to give everything a try the following morning.
After waking up an entire hour earlier the next morning, I proceed to making lather and shaving with my new-to-me Fatboy. It was not as easy as I remembered it being. I actually had to take my time with shaving and resisted rushing through things. When I was done, I thought, now here's the test... put on some AS and wait for the burn. It never came. I felt my face and was impressed with how close my shave was. It seemed like that closeness lasted all day long! I think I'm hooked now.
Since then, I shave almost every single day. It's been about a month and a half now and I STILL enjoy my shaving time. Shaving is no longer something I just do, because I have to do it. My favorite part of shaving is mixing the lather. My 8 and 6 yr old sons love to watch me make foam from nothing!! My wife likes to brush the cream onto my face. I really think I've found something I'll enjoy doing for many yrs to come. I can't wait until the day comes when I teach my children to shave. I will pass on the joy I get from shaving to each of my sons.
Since my initial purchase, I've since purchased Caldey Lavendar AS, Feather razor blades, Muhle Silvertip small shaving brush, and am currently waiting for my Pils 101NE to get here!! I know that's not the end of it, but it is as far as I've come so far...
Well, that's my story. I'm sure I'll post more as time passes.
In the meantime, I'd like to say to the entire B&B community, "THANK YOU!" I've enjoyed reading all the posts. It really does seem to me that the moderators here have gotten it right. Of course, it wouldn't be what it is without the members. You, sirs, are true gentlemen. I feel honored to be a part of such a group. Thank you.