There are a lot of things it is difficult to do when wet-shaving.
Please note, I said ‘difficult’ not ‘impossible’. Let’s not place limits on the actions of others or stifle their creativity, imagination, or determination to do the daft and unexpected. Pushing boundaries is part of being human and it provides us with entertainment when things go wrong. That said, most people would agree with the following.
Controlling any kind of vehicle requires concentration and is going to keep at least one of your hands full. Definitely do not try and drive a car when wet-shaving. You might be able to manage it in a self-driving car, but there’s probably rules against it. Even shaving while being a passenger in a car is problematic if you’re the designated navigator and snack distributor.
Other vehicles not to drive when wet-shaving include jet-skis, motorbikes, hang-gliders, bicycles, helicopters, trains and aeroplanes. Sailing is possible if you’re be-calmed. Otherwise, shaving while bouncing over the waves, heeled over at an angle with salty spray in your eyes will be uncomfortable.
Being strapped into your seat on a space shuttle being launched into space would be a tricky position for shaving. Once you are up there, everything is tranquil and a lot less bumpy, but the lack of gravity might cause water, shaving gel and freshly-shorn flecks of stubble to end up in the electronics and other places you don’t want them. Houston, we have a problem.
It is difficult to play sports when shaving. Having to move and change direction, catch, kick, throw or tackle does not make for steady hands and a precise shaving stroke. The lack of mirrors on the field of play doesn’t help either. Therefore, football, rugby, tennis, netball, hockey, basketball, volleyball, badminton, track and field athletics, and the like are best not attempted when shaving. Pole vault would be fun to watch though, and darts could work with a little effort.
Cultural events aren’t good situations to attempt wet-shaving in. At a push, you might get away with it if you’re sitting right at the back of a half-full theatre and it’s a noisy play. Gigs aren’t going to work and if you’re at a festival your three day stubble is the least of your personal hygiene and grooming concerns. Don’t shave in a gallery unless you’re hoping to be mistaken for a performance art piece.
By all means, shave before a date, but not during it. The cinema is too dark, the waiter will give you funny looks in the restaurant, and it could lead to an awkward conversation with the nightclub bouncers.
Even chilled-out activities are difficult to combine with wet-shaving. You might drip on the pages of your book, disrupt the flow of your yoga session, and get stubble fluff in the grooves of your records. Getting a massage is out of the question, especially if you’re lying on your front with your face squished through the hole in the bed.
You can’t shave when wearing a mask, obviously. This rules out fencing (the sport with swords – though the other kind, putting up posts and panels, would also be difficult), welding, scuba diving, fire-fighting, surfboard shaping, paintball, being a superhero, and attending Venice’s masquerade carnival.
You should always take care when operating heavy machinery or power tools, so don’t shave while operating a pneumatic drill, fork-lift truck, cement mixer, angle grinder, or band saw.
Anything else? Of course! Don’t expect a clean shave while bungee jumping, tight-rope walking, cocktail shaking, bouncing on a bouncy castle, performing surgery, riding a rollercoaster, dealing cards, cracking eggs, planting trees, spinning plates, juggling, doing a handstand, or herding cats.
It’s also tricky to shave when performing the more mundane tasks that fill our lives, but none of this is a problem. In fact, it’s a good thing.
It’s pretty tricky to wet-shave while holding a phone to your ear, answering an email, or dealing with other people’s problems. In our hyper-connected, always-on world, that’s a rarity to be cherished.
Life is busy. Your alarm beeps, you shower, wolf breakfast down and get to work with your notifications pinging. Cups of tea are either downed in a hurry or forgotten as something urgent steals your attention. Lunch is inhaled and work over-runs. At the end of the day you eat, sort everything and everyone else out, slump, sleep and repeat. Then it’s Friday night and you wonder where the week went.
Thanks to technology, we’re always available and it can feel like everyone is demanding your care and attention: Loved ones, friends, colleagues, clients, and your boss. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do the right thing, work hard, and be there for other people. Such conscientiousness should be celebrated. Just remember to look after yourself too.
It’s not selfish, self-centred, or neglectful of others to put yourself first occasionally. Besides, a few moments to get yourself right will help make you that much more effective at looking after everyone else.
Walking, meditation, gardening, reading, or a long lie-in can work miracles, but upgrading routine activities into ‘me-time’ is a quick win, too.
If you’re going to be shaving anyway, treat yourself and take a few minutes extra in the bathroom. It might be something you normally do in a hurry, but what if it was more than that?
Add a few extra minutes to drop the pace and make it an activity you look forward to. Turn your phone off and close the door. Wash and prepare your skin beforehand. Take the shaving slowly and carefully, gently working your razor over the stubble. Rinse off then finish up by moisturising and protecting your skin.
There’s something meditative about doing a low-effort physical movement like shaving. While your hands move, automatically or with very little cognitive input, your mind can settle.
Slow it down. Don’t rush. Breathe. If you want to give some time to yourself, wet-shaving is perfect.
Not convinced? Just try answering an email while shaving.
This post is the fifth in a series commissioned from Jonathan S. Bean a freelance writer and charity fundraiser by King of Shaves.
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