Wednesday, June 18, 2008

fathers day: the shave!

man, I don't know where the time has gone. the last six months have been unbelievably busy. it's funny, I've kinda said this the whole time... though Reese was essentially able to take six months off, just like we planned, and go back to work circa June 1st, just like we planned... I haven't really been stressing about money. my salary certainly isn't enough for the 3 of us to live on forever, but we planned ahead and got a lucky break here and there and are going to make it just fine... money wise, anyway.

time, on the other hand... it seems like there are fewer hours in the day now than there used to be. a lot fewer hours. I remember last year working in the garden, mowing the lawn and planting things and weeding and such. this year... hahaha! I'm sure my neighbors would have appreciated if I mowed the front lawn a couple more times than I actually did. hell, I would have appreciated it too.

this part I'm writing from home. I took Wednesday off this week. been working a lot recently. like, a lot a lot. too much. needed a break, it was nice to be home with the fam.

it's funny, since there's not enough time to do everything, I've been focusing (obsessing?) over the things that can be done better, more efficiently, faster. for instance, we don't have a dishwasher, so - to have a kitchen that's remotely clean - we wash dishes... and since we cook and have a baby, we're *always* washing dishes. it's awesome. problem there, of course, is that our kitchen is nice but super tiny, so to install a dishwasher you have to take out valuable storage space. sigh.

what the hell am I blathering about? I'm busy, waa-waa, cry me a river. this is supposed to be a post about father's day and The Shave! fathers day was AWESOME. my lovely wife arranged for a swanky straight-razor shave on saturday morning...

this part I'm staying late at work on Thursday to write. I have reviewed the traffic and am convinced that I can get to the day care with plenty of margin for error (must pick up by 6pm or incur $5/minute charge).

so, the shave. The Shave. it was at a cool little shop in Bellevue Square called, appropriately, The Art of Shaving. The shop was small but had a very high-end feel. lots of dark wood, glass, stone. the front three-fourths of the place was a retail store for shaving and hair care products. man hair care products! The back little part of the store, separated by a glass wall with frosted vertical stripes, were 2 barber stations.

I think I made the barber laugh a little bit when he first saw me since I'd shaved on Thursday morning... quite a bit of my facial hair is on the lighter side, so by Saturday morning it didn't really "look" like I had much of a beard. which I didn't, whatever. he commented that most of his shaves recently were dudes with mountain-man beards and he was almost like "aww, do you have any hairs?"

Reese treated me to "the royal shave", which started when my "master barber" put a hot towel over my face, then applied oil that was infused with black pepper and cloves. this caused my skin to become warm all over as well as to cause my whiskers to stand up, such that they could be shaved off easier. then came the hot shaving cream (so luxurious!) and pass number one with the straight razor: with the grain. it did not feel like a traditional shave... not sure that I can describe it much better than that. he sort of dragged the razor across my face, which made a scratching sound but felt like nothing at all, and the hairs just disappeared.

meanwhile, I'm hanging in the barbers chair, which fully reclined. define: relaxed. then there was more hot shaving cream and pass number two: against the grain. are you comfortable? can I get you a glass of water? ahh.

we made small talk and stuff, but the barber was respectful about it. mostly I wanted to just close my eyes and chill and he streamlined that. he was friendly and very professional.

after pass number two the barber was a little bit less sarcastic about how short my hair was. he said, "your whiskers may be short but they sure are stubborn." it was at this point that he introduced his "little friend", a five blade razor with an integrated LED light and vibrating action. the LED light "revolutionizes shaving in the shower" and the vibration a) replaces the need for you to apply downward pressure with the razor while you shave, b) "wiggles" in between your skin and your beard to cut the hair off shorter than a conventional razor would and c) is just cool.

this part I'm writing one handed from the couch on Thursday night. Reese is en route home from work after another 10 hour day. 2 days a week is groovy and everything, but Tuesday's and Thursday's are long days. NOT COMPLAINING. wouldn't trade anything in the world for the life I'm living right now. update, I made it to day care with like 40 minutes to spare. also, goodness I hate driving to work. if I bussed or trained to work I could have time to read. I need to be reading the baby signs book right now. who has time to blog post anyway? I miss our friends who moved to portland.

what's this story about? right, fathers day. if you're with me this far - but don' t know me personally - this is exactly what it's like to have a conversation with me. on topic for a time, off on a tangent, wander around for a bit, come back to center, continue. here we go!

three passes with razors and it's time for a cold towel soaked in lemon water wrapped around my face... ahhhhhhhhh. so comforting. next he put cotton pads soaked in lemon water and chamomile and who knows what else on my eyes and a clay mask on my face. I'm reclining in the barbers chair, 45 minutes in and exceptionally comfortable.

I just put Fenix in his jumper machine and walked to the laundry pile to toss in a burp cloth... by the time I'd walked back he'd spit up. that kid has some timing, let me tell you. he's like me!

the clay mask had to be on for 3 minutes or something. I relaxed while the barber cleaned his station and all that. then the mask came off and he sprayed my face with this stuff that instantly felt cool, it was really nice. turns out it's some kind of spray that they have with essence of rose in it or something. good stuff.

more spit up! come on, man!

last in sequence was after shave stuff which smelled and felt good. can't remember what was in it but the guy said that all their stuff is made without alcohol so it didn't mess up my skin after.

the royal shave took an hour, was supremely relaxing, and was just an awesome, awesome treat. certainly not something I would have done for myself but a fantastic gift. just thinking out loud... I could see how this could be an excellent *recurring* fathers day event (ahem!). after it was over Reese and I walked through the mall, she complimented the shave - the closest and best of my life. We sipped coffee and watched Botox of Bellevue lurch past on their spiked heels, then stopped at the apple store for stuff that we are not yet rich enough to buy. that's right: not yet.

after the shave we drove around Bellevue for a time (Medina = envy), we went out to see a band saturday night (out at the showbox like grown-ups and everything!). that was made extra-interesting by running into a friend of she-who-must-not-be-named. on sunday we went out to a swanky, swanky brunch at Salty's on Alki, where I managed to leave my bank card behind. man, I am one kind of reliable, I'll tell you. not necessarily the kind you want, but...

after brunch we took a walk around Alki beach. I have a very soft spot in my heart for Alki, from my roots in Seattle as well as... when I describe my east coast time in Hoboken NJ and it's proximity to "the city", I always refer to the distance between the tip of Alki point and the closest spot on the downtown Seattle waterfront... Hoboken and the city are that close.

this was by far the best fathers day ever. I mean, I know it's my first and everything, but... damn, reese. you treat me well. so happy to be your other half. thank you, thank you, for real, thank you.



Anonymous said...

Have you considered a portable dishwasher? We have a tiny kitchen with no cabinet space to give up either. We just roll it to the sink to wash the dishes and roll it out of the way when we're done. Since we've got a baby too, it's cut down in the potential argurments of whose turn it is to wash the dishes.

jay mcg said...

yeeeeah... we've talked about it. there isn't really a graceful place to put it in our house. we've got this open floor plan thing going on in our small place. literally without having it live in the living room when no in use, it's not a good fit for our place. :-(

Chad said...

maybe next year i'll get a shave.

jay mcg said...

are you going to be a dad next year?