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I like shaving. I use a razor and shaving foam. It's a very private ritual. You have time to mull things over as you scrape away. You have your own order; left to right, vice versa, chin first, upper lip first, &c. Your own style; long graceful strokes vs. short and neat ones. Post-shave, your skin is soft, smooth, clean.

I like headphones. Maybe it's a womb thing. Security. Headphones every time over earphones. It's an issue of comfort, for one. And noise exclusion. It's a far more immersive listening experience with headphones. And the sound quality is generally superior. There's real pleasure in listening to music that you know that no-one else can hear. Sigur Ros, or Bach, or Fauré; only you can hear their elegant strains.

What you need:

  • A portable music device- Bring calmer music. I'm not suggesting that Limp Bizkit are an inferior ensemble (or at least not here, anyway), but something with a slow tempo and a pacifying tone. Don't listen to the radio! Announcers will disrupt your reverie and ruin everything. Shun them. Think August and Everything After as opposed to Eye of the Tiger on repeat.
  • Headphones- No, music on your hi-fi will not suffice. That defeats the point of the exercise. It's an introverted procedure, not designed to be shared.
  • A Razor
  • Shaving foam- I would also suggest a wet manual shave over electric and/or dry. It's quieter. It doesn't irritate your skin. It's more soothing. Also, it gives a closer shave.
  • Plenty of time- A Sunday morning is ideal. Plenty of time. No foreseeable commitments. The emptier your morning the better.
  • A shave

    Sure, you can just shave. You can just listen to beautiful music on your beautiful headphones. This procedure is somehow more than the sum of these parts. Take your time, and be a perfectionist in your preparations. Preferably, start listening just before you lather so that your music encompasses the entire ritual, but be careful not to coat your prized Sennheisers in shaving foam. This really is the nicest way I know to wake up, when not in a hurry. Enjoy

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