Here i am heading towards my 3rd year of 'I'll just look around and see if I can learn anything', when the realization hit me-not only have I learned pertinent information to my life, i have also learned much more about myself in the process.
A man really is not a man until he can accept the idea that he:
a. Does not know it all
b. Isn't right all the time
c. Can(and should) learn from others.
Like many others here, I have shaved with an electric, multi bladers, and a depilatory(once,just once!), and goo in the can before finding out what shaving had to offer. When i was a teen, I saw my unlce shave with a sfaety razor but thougt " That's for old men"-i'll never do that. the new and improved way is much better.
That thinking led to years of ingrown hairs, razor bumps, 'road rash', and even sleepless,uncomfortable nights. i went from product to product in the vain hopes of finding something that would work with my steely,curly hairs and sensitive skin. I spent time in various dermatologists offices and patiently followed their advice(that did not work!!!) until i got fed up.
As a result, I would switch back and forth between electrics and multis as my face would tolerate each for a period before descending into Bump City.
Then one day while researching(wasting time) on the net, I stumbled upon this site. It was much different in look than the shaving group on msn or smf.
Information was organized,easy to find, inpicture, and the people seemed extremely friendly. In fact, I joined after 'lurking' for about 10 minutes. Initially, I did not mention the puchases I made(from QED-beginner's luck) or the type of shaves i was having. I just kept reading the forum and looking for those who had the same problems i did.
I was willing to accept what I 'heard' on this site as gospel because it was working! My shaves were improving slowly but surely and my face was healing and getting better all the time. I became exposed to products i had never heard of or thought of. The variety of the shaving world is boundless, but there are examples that always are spoken well of.
As a black male, this came as a total shock. "Shaving isn't a chore/job/drudgery to get through, but an integral part of my day; something to look forward to and enjoy." The other part is the acceptance I have been shown here-which let me know(way before the elections) that all of us want the same things out of life-no matter what color we are and are willing to help each other.
I have agreed with many viewpoints, disagreed wth some, and totally rejected others- but always respectfully because as a man, if i want respect, I must be willing to give it. some have changed the way i think about things, others have reaffirmed what I believe, made me laugh, or ticked me off-but none have been boring.
I am a 'member' of other shaving forums- but not like I am here. This is no knock against them or those who frequent them- all my shaving needs are satisfied here, they are just supplements.
And this is why I say B&B is a part of my life- I cannot see a time when i won't think about what's going on here,use a phrase learned here(faceturbation), or engage in an activity learned here(wanting to snatch the poor,deluded being who is on the shaving aisle with a new can of goo in hand).
All in all, I want to say thank you- I could not have achieved any of the shaving expertise or personal growth w/o any of you.
And by the way: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE- you will be assimilated!(and like it.)