Thursday, January 25, 2007

... Two Bits

Saturday morning started with a 5:30am bang. Or beep, as my alarm woke me up for my 7am ride with EB. 16 miles round trip from Yorba Linda Regional park to the Pond Honda Center. No flat tires, warmer weather, and a beginning rider meant that I wasn't wearing on my knee. Very nice ride. EB's husband is still a no-show for the ride, despite the second bike I saw in their garage.

But the highlight of the morning was my haircut and shave. Well, I actually got the haircut the day before, but that doesn't let me use the catchy title. Plus, I'm scruffy in this self-portrait, and no one wants to see a picture of a shave.

Of course there's a difference from before!

I've already gotten tons of compliments on the can't-quite-put-my-finger-on-it-sexiness that I'm now sporting, but if you really feel the need to comment with more, I suppose that would be ok. Ladies... [Demitri Martin's sure-fire technique for sounding creepy]

The haircut was nice, but the straight-razor shave was beyond description. Not that I won't try.

I am ushered into the chair, which leans back until I am staring directly at the ceiling. "Wow, your skin is dry," Ana (my barber for the day) remarks. I explain about my morning ride in the cold, dry air, and my lack of moisturizing after showering. "That's ok, we'll just moisturize twice before the shave." I have no objection.

First comes the hot towel. Ana holds it just barely against my chin. "Are you ok with the heat?" I am. I think. She expertly wraps the towel around my face, covering all my whiskers while allowing me to breathe through my nose. Then the heat hits me. My face flushes (I assume), and I begin to feel my skin pulsing with my suddenly racing heartbeat. But the towel quickly cools, and I begin to miss the heat. After removing the towel with an almost massage-like technique, Ana rubs a cooling lotion over my face. Cooling? Is that menthol? Must be a hint of it there. Lotion. On my face. Followed by another scorching towel. Ahh, bliss.

But she said she'd moisturize twice, right? Well, she delivers. After the towel cools, she gently removes the lotion with it, then applies more lotion. Ahhh... It puts the lotion in the basket... Wait, that reference doesn't match. Never mind. Then another hot towel over the lotion. Bliss again.

Off comes the cooled towel with the lotion, and on goes shaving cream. It isn't lathered in a cup and applied with a brush, but life isn't perfect. I am so relaxed at this point that the prospect of someone hovering over me with a straight-razor doesn't bother me in the least.

She is gentle, oh so gentle, with the razor. I don't care how wicked it looks or how dangerous it might be in the hands of someone less skilled. It feels like someone is gently stroking my face with a finger. Every once in a while, she stops to redistribute the cream across my face, which feels like a brief, gentle massage.

Soon, too soon, it's over and I get the final hot towel. Pulse. Pulse. Pulse. Gently wiping off the face, and a final application of ... wait, more shaving cream? Yes, more cream and another pass with the razor, more gentle than the first. This time, she tugs a little at my skin to stretch it out, or asks me extend my upper lip down, lower lip up, ok relax now.

So this time the real final hot towel. Ah heat, my dear, dear friend. The final, gentle massage/towel-removal and I ... Pow! A skin-bracing aftershave goes on (yes, I'm feeling a little detached at this point). Is she massaging it into my face?

As she raises the chair back to a sitting position, I wonder what I need to do to make this happen more often. It's been almost more pampering than I can bear. As I think that, I make sure to flex in the mirror to reassure myself of my manliness. It's been almost exactly 55 minutes, start to finish. I'm relaxed, and ready for a great day out.

Odd that this manliest of old-school traditions feels to metrosexual to me. I pay the bill, include a tip, then saunter out the door, about the fastest pace I feel like maintaining for the rest of the day.

It's a shame my face feels great but my hands are so messed up from the dryness. Next door to the barbershop is a nail salon. I briefly consider getting a manicure, but discard the idea. Not quite feeling that metro today.

Telegraph Barbers
1049 Imperial hwy.
Placentia, CA 92870

She takes walk-ins but I suggest making an appointment, especially on the weekend. Or at least call ahead to check availability.

1 comment:

  1. Best shaving porn ever. Would read again.