With his neck in a brace following surgery and instructions not to turn his head up, down, or sideways until August, Mr WI64’s activities are understandably restricted these days. Some of the tasks that have been his and strictly his for the entirety of his life, now fall into unskilled – truly unskilled – hands.
In what he calls an ultimate act of trust, he has temporarily relinquished control of his razor and allowed me to be in charge.
Herewith, my on the job training under his nervous tutelage; a guide to shaving a man.
(Note: there is no intended irony in this sideway image.)
Step 1. Soften the whiskers. Steam or a hot towel is preferred.
Or this will do:
Step 2. Whiskers softened, use a shaving brush to lather the face and neck with soap.
Step 3. With the shaving brush, lather the face and neck with shaving foam. Yes, I agree, this seems redundant.
Step 4. Start shaving, using long slow strokes going with (I think he said) the grain.
Step 5. For tricky bits like the small patch of real estate above a mustache and below the nose, hand him the razor.
Step 6. Shave his neck, also a tricky bit. Ask him to breathe normally as the razor nears the Adam’s apple. Hyperventilating isn’t helpful.
Step 7. Wash off all that soap and foam.
Step 8. Holding a mirror at a distance, show him the results.
Step 9. Splash on after shave for the finale.
I’ve done this a couple times now. It’s not an activity he’s eager to repeat so it’s done with less frequency than when he’s in charge.
We’re nudging the half way point with the neck brace and Mr. WI64 is fantasizing mornings in which he stands before the bathroom mirror, a man and his razor. And I see a shortening horizon with summer days with mint leaves in mojitos and a spa visit in which I expect to reveal my inner Helen Mirren.