What's the Endgame (Or, Toward an Exit...)?

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
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What's the Endgame (Or, Toward an Exit...)?

Post by TRBeck »

I was telling a good friend of mine about old-fashioned cocktail bitters a couple of weeks back and mentioned that I had 15 varieties in my house, including two homemade versions. He said, "Wow, you really hide it well, but you're one compulsive guy." The conversation moved on to shaving goods, naturally, and he asked, "So, what's the endgame here? What's the goal?" It put me in mind of a proclamation I made some months ago:
TBoner wrote:
Marsom wrote:You the funny thing about this trip that many of you are on is that you are searching for an end all be all... which is great, but have you ever asked yourself what would happen if you found the end all be all? I suppose the game would be over and you'd have to find another game to play... which isn't all that exciting. So, this one keeps on going and going.

Best regards...

This post has struck a chord with me. I spent six months compulsively buying everything when I joined up here. I spent the next six months compulsively selling, re-buying, and swapping, always looking for something "better," the end all be all, as you said....
I have turned a corner, I think.... So what am I after, exactly?

Fact is, we are a compulsive lot. Some of us (myself included) could probably use therapy. It is, in fact, a game. A way to occupy our minds and wallets. To a point, there's nothing wrong with that, but I know how much time I've spent at SMF and how much money I've spent on shave goods. And I know some are here more and spend more, and good for them, but in the end, is the game really all that fun?....

I'm done with the game....
Off the merry-go-round,
Oops. To recap, since then, I have purchased 6 new shave creams. No new brushes or razors or aftershaves, but several colognes. And what's the endgame? I guess, for me, there really isn't one. I would say it's to enjoy my shaves, but I'm already there. I would say consistently close shaves, but I'm already there, too. So it's just geekery. I love geekery. But geekery is expensive, in terms of both time and money, not to mention mental energy. Here's what I know:

- I love traditional wetshaving and will do it for as long as I'm alive and able
- I love good scents and will wear them as long as I enjoy them
- I love the camaraderie here and the broad spectrum of interests, knowledge, and even minutiae that we discuss, shaving-related and not
- I love the products I own, but I love some more than others
- Having too much stuff disturbs me, both because it clutters my house (an organized mess is still a mess) and because it clutters my mind
- When I'm a regular participant of the forum, I use the camaraderie as an excuse to indulge my geekery and "try" (acquire and obsess over) new stuff
- I can enjoy wetshaving and scents without forum participation

I have tried "cutting down" on my participation. I have tried quitting cold turkey for a while and then dipping my toe into the forum again, only to find myself plunging headfirst within a few days. So my endgame, I think, has to be this: moving on.
I will be posting up a bunch of stuff for sale or swap, more than I have so far, a bit of purging following another hoarding binge. For now, I will keep posting in SOTD everyday. That, plus e-mail notification of new PMs, will help me keep in touch with the many good friends I have made here, but will hopefully keep me out of the cycle of buying. Nevertheless, I have an eye toward the exit and will take it the moment my inclination is to pop over to Connaught or QED or Superlather and buy some rare or sale-priced product.
I appreciate that many of the men here can deal with reading the forum and somehow avoid acquiring ad infinitum. I have come to terms with the fact that I'm not one of them, whether due to OC tendencies or lack of willpower or both. I'm not posting a farewell out of ego or anything else; it's just that I always wonder when regular posters vanish (John 5 comes to mind as a recent example), what happened?
This is a really fantastic forum, full of knowledgeable, friendly gentlemen, and I will miss the scrutiny of every new batch of Creighton creams that comes along, the gentle ribbing over ADs, and the unbelievable depth of historical and real-word information.

See you in SOTD.


Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau
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Post by brothers »

Hi Tim. I will see you in SOTD, bud. I understand the situation. Several times I've pledged to myself that I will stop going to the BST threads first, so I don't miss out on some elusive bargain. It does work! I've made my share of impulse transactions. For a while, "the hunt" was providing me with a great deal of pleasure, then it subsided, fortunately.

Now, for me, the objective has shifted to the very annoying and difficult job of narrowing the focus to the smallest number of my ultimate personally satisfying products, and then kicking back with some illusion of maturity and maybe offering a bit of information or humor or both, to the other guys, hopefully new and old members, and just enjoying the chat and the exchange of current goings-on.

I totally agree with you about the clutter and the feeling (in my case) of "gluttony"? That may be too severe a term, but you get my drift. It is certainly a good feeling to sell a bunch of the clutter to other guys, who haven't tried it, or who get a great deal more pleasure out of having it than I did.

I for one will feel a sense of loss via your (temporary?) semi-retirement, but I understand.

All the best to you ---

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic / boar / badger brushes, Colonial General razor, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
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Post by KAV »

I've experienced several compulsive pursuits in my life so far. At one time I owned every Jack London title. They looked pretty beneath the famous photo of Jack in his leather jacket smiling. I visited the ruins of his dream mansion in the Valley of the Moon and left a small offering of beef jerky (man meat) on the boulder covering his remains.
It was no little satisfaction being stationed in Alameda and walking over a bridge yards from where he berthed Razzle Dazzle, and later in university realising the same librarian who influenced Jack also influenced a young Gertude Stein. I don't suppose many people read about both Jack and Gertrude these days to find common ground, but I did, suprising my feminist,armchair communist,lesbian american lit prof who gave Jack a nod for being a socialist.
And then one day finances forced a great selloff of my library, and Jack wasn't alone in my 1000+ collection. The dealer was a real poker faced gent. We both knew the treasures I had. But he looked through my London's with a tired smirk, proclaiming only 5 were first editions with the tossed bone ' I've only seen 3 entire collections in my lifetime.'
It was the same cat and mouse game with my small but excellent oriental rug and firearm collections.

I think we do this to carve out little pieces of adventure and not conflicting order in a society that sadly lacks to little and not enough of both. We may walk away with little or nothing physical to show for it.
Then again, someday I may be sitting on a Isfahan rug opposite a character from THE STAR ROVER, realise the Luger he's pointing at me still has the toggle bolt partially engaged ( a flaw in that remarkable sidearm) and brain him with the vase of roses that Gertrude and Trumpers gave me pause to notice.

Good wishes on your journey. :wink:
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Post by gsgo »


Best of luck to you, hope you do not become to far removed.

I have battled the same elements that you speak of and have found my own solution in focusing on the results versus the product. Confident that most of the products in my shave drawer are fine, I am trying to limit my experimentation's in hard and soft goods. While still dabbling with a few new items - brushes and creams - at the moment I have zeroed in on a couple of razors, a blade and a soap that have my complete confidence.

Hope you can quickly find a balance and return in full form.

Good shaving,

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Post by rsp1202 »

This hurts, but I'm glad you won't be straying too far, Tim. Just be sure you're home for dinner.

Highest regards,
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Post by fallingwickets »


Im sad dudester because I for one am going to really miss your posts and Im not a sotd visitor so when the heck will i see you out and about???. For my sake show some ad backbone and stick around :lol: :lol: Alternatively, give me your checkbook (leave some cash in the account for bursar fees haha)

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Post by drmoss_ca »

This might turn out to be relevant!
I think the endgame will be when one is bored with perfecting and exploring the shave, and a new interest comes along instead. There must be a whole lot of ASD/Aspie types here, and the only way to achieve happiness there is to go with the flow and enjoy your special interests!

"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
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Post by Aztecface »

Tim, good luck. I know I've said this before but I'm nearing that point as well soon. Denial I suppose. :roll:
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Post by Araner »

Old members fade; new members arrive to replace them. Kind of like the circle of life.

Words and music by Pete Seeger

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?
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Post by paperpundit »

Tim, I, for one, will miss seeing you, at least around these parts...

As for the endgame, I think it varies with each shaver. For myself, I think I've found a combination that finally does what I wanted -- allow for a clean shave while avoiding razor bumps. I see lots of pucks of Williams and many packs of hair shaper blades in my future...

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Post by Gene »

Tim, from a displaced Texan to a current resident...a sad post to be sure.

But - I can certainly understand where you are coming from. I never really thought of myself as having an obsessive personality, but the desire to acquire all things shaving has certainly led to purchases I know I should NOT have made.

BTW - we have lost a few regulars, haven't we?

As has been mentioned by others before me - I'll miss your posts, but I will look forward to your SOTD updates.

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Re: What's the Endgame (Or, Toward an Exit...)?

Post by Steve-o »

TBoner wrote:I appreciate that many of the men here can deal with reading the forum and somehow avoid acquiring ad infinitum. I have come to terms with the fact that I'm not one of them, whether due to OC tendencies or lack of willpower or both. I'm not posting a farewell out of ego or anything else; it's just that I always wonder when regular posters vanish (John 5 comes to mind as a recent example), what happened?
I think we all have our different ways of coping. The ADs never kicked in for me as badly as they have for some, but I know I rationalized my ADs as "discovery" for a new wetshaver ("Well, how would I know if I like it unless I try it?"). I realized at one point that I was acquiring more than I could ever reasonably use. I was buying and trading, but I wasn't solving a shaving problem or even a shaving desire -- other than "Oooh! Shiny!". So I stopped looking at the BST forum, too. My shaves aren't perfect, but I think my technique has more to do with that than product at this point, and my shaves certainly are good enough.

Thanks, Tim, for your contributions to SMF. I'm glad you chose to tell us why you were moving on; as you mentioned, there have been a few regulars who posted fast and furious for a while and then ... disappeared. That -- well, bugs me is putting it a bit strongly. But it's good to know that people are satisfied as they ride off in a different direction.
“Time just seems to get quicker. You look in the mirror in the morning and you think, ‘I’m already shaving again!’” - Terry Jones of Monty Python's Flying Circus
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Post by fatcity »

"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in"

this Disorder has a way of finding us... whatever you do, Tim, don't ever buy a boat!
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Post by brothers »

Not making light of it in any way, but HH's comment brings to memory the Sirens' Scene in O Brother, where art thou. It's a real battle that I face just about every day. Usually I tell myself stuff like "Well, I just saved/made another $40" or "Watch this!" right before I quickly move the pointer from the "Buy Now" to the little red box with an X in it. I just love the little red box. I'm developing quite a fondness for leaving the Paypal account intact and untouched for another day.

Also, it helps a lot for me to recall recent occasions when I've gone ahead and bought the item I thought I really had to have, then when the big day comes, the shave or the performance is less than nirvana, and I get a rousing "I told you so!" from myself. I do love this, but I also love the realization that I'm still in control of "something".

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Post by Flash G »

It's been a joy reading your posts, Tim, so I hope you embellish your SOTD post's :)

Enjoy the Musgo Real!

...not so shure this friend of yours is such a good friend ;)
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Post by DEF »


I'll hate to see you minimize your involvement, but I can very much understand the need to choke off the beast. From a purely behavioral standpoint, there comes a time when you have to stop doing things that feed unproductive patterns. With gear, it's tough to hit that sweet spot that balances variety and selectivity. I think I'm pretty close myself, even in the cologne department, but only after four years and more dollars than I care to think about. I'll have to do a complete kit profile here before long.

Now about those cocktail bitters...
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Post by m3m0ryleak »


Don't totally ride off into your endgame sunset. I too enjoy reading your posts even if I don't always agree. There's a wee bit of irony that whilst you "thin the herd" pursuing minimalism, you revived my dormant (until reading your B/S/T offers) AD. Stay close.

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Post by drumana »

You'll be back, Tim. Don't kid yourself :wink:

Seriously, though - don't be too much of a stranger...
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Post by 95% »

I agree with them, Tim. Stay in the game. Post whenever you feel you'd like to. You're an old hand now, someone with a vast amount of knowledge, albeit gained over a short period of time. You're past the learning phase and are now a master, like Squire, Gordon et al.
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Post by bernards66 »

Tim, I appreciate you taking the time to share with us ( in your usual well written and cogent style ) what your plans re: SMF are, and why. And it's certainly true that over the years, many more once prolific members have simply disappeared than have chosen to let us know why they were backing off. I also appreciate your degree of self awareness and self honesty. Not to re-open that whole 'shavegeek' thread but really over the top ADs have never been a major problem for me...which may be part of the reason I've been able to hang out on these forums for as long as I have. Oh, I've had minor flurries of excessive buying activity at times, but really it's been a far more drawn out and slower process for me. As I mentioned in that other thread, I was fairly well 'settled' before I even joined the first shave forum. But it's also true that there have been periods where I have spent all together too much time here, to the detriment of other things and that has been something I've had to look at....and deal with, at least to a degree. Although it may not seem that way, I spend considerably less time here than I did at times in the past. Anyway, I understand your post and support you in doing what you think is best for you even though your diminished presence will be a loss to the forum.
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