When I first began looking into getting a safety razor, it took all of five minutes to realize that there was more than just a hobby base surrounding it. There’s an entire sub-culture. Ok, that might be a bit extreme, but that’s sure what it looked like to my novice eye.
That there existed dedicated hobbyists to shaving seemed bizarre to me. It’s shaving, that thing you do in the morning because you have to. Why would anyone make that their hobby? I resolved to myself that while I might get a razor, I was not adopting a lifestyle.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was hobby starved. For years, since I was a kid, my hobby was computers and video games. When I hit college I picked up firearms, enjoying the mechanics, camaraderie, and skill required. But these pursuits got hit hard the last few years for a couple reasons.
First, I just didn’t have the time. I got into law school and then got married after my first semester, and so what little free time I had away from work and school was reserved for family and church. While my wife is extremely supportive of both hobbies, I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to them like I used to (especially since my preferred range is half an hour away).
Second, I just can’t afford them like I used to. With the costs of books, a family, and tuition, I can’t afford a good gaming system. Similarly, the massive gun and ammo runs that have occurred following Pres. Obama’s elections have driven prices sky high in the shooting world (though they are beginning to drop some).
I had been priced out of my hobbies, both in costs to time and money.
However, at the same time it also created a fertile field for shaving. My initial efforts, meant to cave me money, inadvertently laid the groundwork for a new hobby: research, involvement, and commitment. When my wife gave me a brush and shaving soap for Christmas the foundations were in place, and things advanced rapidly.
What made this different from my other hobbies, and substantially more maintainable on a student budget and schedule, were the same things that had been the previous undoing. The additional time commitment was minimal. I was already shaving every day for work, so the change meant just a few extra minutes in the morning. I could afford to be involved in it every day if I wanted, with barely a noticeable change to my existing schedule. And, were I to stick to the basics, the hobby would actually save me money over how I was previously shaving, and is cheaper to pursue than either videogames or shooting. For the cost of the ammunition I would use for one day of shooting I can have buy months’ worth of soap, blades, or aftershaves.
And so, contrary to what I expected when I began, I have witnessed myself fall headlong into the shaving hobby. Though my collection is small, I have numerous blades, two kinds of soaps, and two kinds of aftershaves, with many others I would like to try.
I still love video games, and I still love shooting. I look forward to when I can do them more often. But I’m glad to have found a new pastime in the interim.