Still on the road, and another great shave: Constancy has its rewards
As you’ve doubtless observed, I almost always use each day a different brush, soap, razor, and aftershave, but being on a trip has forced me to stick with the same set-up every day: the Wee Scot, the asses’ milk shaving soap (this one), the iKon 102, and Esbjerg aftershave gel. Familiarity breeds consistency, and the shaves have been excellent, with no diminution in pleasure. I am really enjoying the Wee Scot and could easily make that my sole brush, and the 102 is for me a marvel. (Needless to say, it doesn’t work for everyone, but for me it is flawless.)
It occurred to me that the most important aspect of my daily shave is the pleasure I derive from it, and I thought of an operational definition of enjoying one’s shave: a man can be said to enjoy his shave if he shaves even though he will spend the day alone at home. Of course, that man may be simply a prisoner of habit, but I think a man who deliberately skips shaving whenever it’s feasible cannot be said to enjoy his shave.
And I’m sure that enjoyment in many cases must be learned, but that’s pretty obvious: people are not born enjoying (say) grand opera, the tea ceremony, Go, or whatever. The enjoyment is learned through gaining more knowledge about the thing and more practice in doing it, skill being also a form of knowledge: practical knowledge which is, as the name implies, acquired through practice. As practice increases familiarity, one notices more about the process.