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The Nine Reason PIF

This last year-plus has been incredibly difficult for so many. Some of our own here on B&B have felt life’s barbs. The news seems perpetually rife with angst, anger, bitterness and outright hatred, not to mention unbelievable lunacy and opportunists who capitalize on every shred of it. Many of us find refuge here among like-minded folks, a reprieve from an external world seemingly gone mad. One of my purposes with this PIF is to help us, if only for a few moments, lift one another above the fray so we can perhaps glimpse again the light within and perhaps simply remember the gossamer wisdom of our better angels.

It is also in part dedicated to everyone who has lost someone dear recently. Certainly, my beautiful Denise, but also in respectful memory of @DoctorShavegood's wife, Linda.

3+3+3=9

I had been away for a little while after Denise (my Bella Dea) passed. Life lost its lustre, and even small joys—like my morning shaves—were little but a hazy smear on the day instead of the usual pleasure. To be sure, I could hear the birds outside, but I couldn’t hear their song; I could see the sunrise but completely miss the dawn. Life hadn’t simply thrown me for a loop, it had squeezed me into a Gordian knot. Even as I write this I haven’t the slightest idea how I made it out of the hospital that morning, I truly don’t. I am genuinely convinced I didn’t have solely my angels about me that morning, surely I had a small cadre of supernal assistance to fumble my way through the dark on that sunny February morning. Two days later I would encounter a similar cadre right here. Plenty of folks, none of which I had ever met, much less talked to, offered their most sincere condolences and support.

I am but one of a number here who have all too vividly experienced life’s slings and arrows as of late. This community has played an important (if quiet) role in my slow resurrection. Badger & Blade is an apotheosis, a potent example, of the greater parts of our often frail and flawed selves. We are an infinitesimal fraction of web denizens, but we are some fine representations of what it means to be warmly human. Within these forums we encounter escapism, information, and if you look behind the curtain you’ll likely discover the subdued pulse of Hope.

Members often post PIF threads as a way to share and give back. Some simply give back for the sheer joy of doing so—@Graydog is one of several individuals who do so. He recently sent me a stunning, beautiful brush upon which I have bestowed the sobriquet Bella Dea, Italian for ‘beautiful goddess’. Denise, like @Graydog’s brush creations, was both stunning and beautiful, in more ways than the mere physical.

My first 3 Reasons for creating this PIF:
Denise was my best friend, my precious constant, and my everything. Three genuine, heartfelt reasons to honor her in this manner.

Three More . . .
Which go hand-in-hand with her (and all our loves): Hope, Love, and Romance.

And finally, three more reflective of our communal nature here:
  • The desire to give back to a community which has given to me.
  • For the unflinching support from complete strangers when any of us hit rough waters.
  • To say “thank you” to a cadre of brothers and sisters who, in my opinion, exhibit some of the best traits of humanity on this slice of the internet.
Every item in this PIF is brand new. Moreover, I am doling out two of these packages, which contain:

IMG_3508.jpeg

1 - WCS Midnight Razor, Black, Stainless Steel (closed comb); 3 piece.
3.85” in height
Weight - 77 grams
My understanding is it’s on the mild side, so a really good place for a newbie to traditional shaving.

IMG_3510.jpeg

1 5oz tub Lakewood Coquette shave soap
I was so excited to see her that morning and wanted to be as smooth shaven as possible, and smell nice too, when I leaned in to kiss her. Coquette was just the ticket to achieve both goals. Red raspberry, pink grapefruit, and a hint of rose.

*Bonus*: I sent an email to Linda at Lakewood explaining the PIF. She generously added a bar of Coquette bath soap to the order simply because of the nature of the PIF (she knows my story about using Coquette the day of Denise’s passing). So, each winner will receive a 4oz, very nice smelling, bar of soap as well!

1 - Yaqi 26mm synthetic shave brush (Tuxedo knot)
I used my Yaqi 24mm badger to whip up some gorgeous lather that Monday morning Bella left us. (Note: these were listed as somehow defective in appearance but should not have any damage that would affect performance . . . I had to keep costs reasonable!). Here's a better look at the brush:

IMG_3509.jpeg
That line you see on the handle lip is a trick of the light, not a blemish. I couldn't find any major blemishes. For well under $10 these are some nice brushes!

3 - Coates Shaving Creams
These tubes of cream are small, only 1.7 fluid ounces. But having used two of them I can attest to how amazingly well they perform. Their scent isn’t overpowering but very pleasant. One tube each of:
  • Rose — for all the beautifully sentimental reasons we attach to roses. Bella was certainly my rose.
  • Lime — Citrusy and a touch zesty; she certainly could be the latter.
  • Lavender — this scent to me has always been somewhat reminiscent of floral sensuality, of natural beauty; Bella had both in spades inside and out.
9 tucks of blades
Astra SP; Voskhod; Shark Super Chrome (I’ve often wondered what makes them “super”); Tatra; Derby Premium; Rapira Swedish Supersteel (I guess regular steel sucks); Gillette Perma-Sharp; Gillette Nacet; Wilkinson Sword (India)—these have 10 blades in a tuck.

That’s 50 blades, good for at least 6 months of daily shaves, longer if you stretch the usage.

Completely Optional:

In 2009 I had a collection of short stories published titled The Light, The Dark, and Ember Between. Of course Denise got a copy straight away. The stories speak to Hope in differing degrees. If you’d like I would be only too happy to include a copy of it with the package—if you don’t want it that’s okay too; no obligation whatsoever. And if anyone is curious as to how one simple man managed to fall for a goddess I will also email you a PDF of A Sense of My Bella Dea; it’s a booklet, if you will, just 54 pages.

How To Enter
You might think that for a PIF named "Nine Reasons" there might be nine ways to enter. My posts are long enough as it is.
  • Thanks to the wonderful generosity of another member (see post #27) this PIF will have one winner within CONUS and now one winner outside the US! So please, anyone interested go ahead and enter!
  • I will leave this open for (as of right now) a week. I'll see what transpires and decide from there.
  • I will use a random number generator to choose the winners. As much as I enjoy doing a PIF this one part is the absolute hardest—I wish I had enough to give to all entrants.
  • To enter simply state “I’m in!”, then . . .
  • Leave us a story about the woman who makes your every day worthwhile. Is it her laughter? Perhaps her smile? Can you imagine your world without her? Has she made you a better man? What about her makes you weak in the knees or eternally grateful?
My example will come as no surprise . . .

Denise was my best friend, my confidante, and as time passed she became my ardent raison d’etre—my most important reason, I believe my silver years’ purpose, for being. She taught me the value of someone who would let me be me without judgment or scorn, or try to change me . . . sheer, unfettered acceptance. She taught me what love truly means. She indeed was then, and continues to be, one of my better angels. I dearly miss her voice, and have to smile when I recall her laugh. She absolutely has made me a better man for having blessed me with her presence. This PIF is one more way for me to honor her, as well as a way for me to honor those on B&B who continue to give of themselves.

I miss you Bella. I hope you’re proud of me for giving back in your honor. I can’t replace you, but I can—and will—continue to love you with every fiber of my being, physical and ethereal.
 
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Wow.

My story:

I was in the process of another divorce. Spent every moment I could manage in a bar, club, at a party, somewhere trying to find something to numb the pain of my self loathing. Chasing women who would even look my way and some who didn't do as much as that. When I was forced to be at home, I was in a bottle. Proven intoxicated as I could not start my truck with an interlock even to go to work in the morning. I had to drive my old beater that was free of breath monitoring annoyance. Regaining consciousness in the strangest places with no idea how I got there and sometimes no idea where I was or how to get back to where ever my truck may be. Got lost in Mexico and like to never found which resort was the one I was staying at. Got lost in Vegas and spent half the night with a cabbie trying to figure out what motel I was staying at. Boss on the verge of being done with me. Family members tired of dealing with it. Fines backing up. 1 state threatening to send me to the looney bin and another threatening to lock me up for a few years. I was NO PRIZE. I was nothing for anyone new to even take a second look at.

This one bartender listened to my whining about life. She tried to cheer me up. She was just my "friend" or maybe not even that as it is sort of a bartenders job to listen. Anyway, she had had a ruff go of life herself and was no stranger to hardship. Being mechanically inclined, I helped her a bit with her vehicle. I made the decision to try 1 more time to get sober. To get back on track. I still went to the bar where she worked, but I was no longer drinking. Just did not know what else to do, as that is where I had been for so long. I grew quite fond of her and though I knew it was futile...I asked her to go with me to a near bye town and hang out. She declined :( I kept returning only a little less all the time as I was figuring out that sober at a bar is not a good fit.

One day by the grace and divine intervention of God, she asked me to accompany her to her friends b-day party. We did not stay long as she made a decision to not drink in support of me and my sobriety. Neither of us was super comfortable there so we chatted a bit with some people and headed out on our own.

We talked more and more on the phone. Went mushroom hunting and site seeing on her days off. Eventually made it official. I have no idea why, but she loved me. When NO ONE, not even myself, but God himself could love me.... she did. And she still does. Getting ready to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. I am sober. She no longer works at the bar. My fines are paid. My court orders are fulfilled. I am free. Maybe not completely free of the quiet tempting of the liquid devil, but free from its grasp anyway. And we live a good clean life. We are raising her, now our, kids. We are building a life in the daylight to be seen and be proud of.

We still have trouble looking into each others eyes and being any sort of serious with out tears welling up in our eyes. Mine are full now, not sure how much is my story and how much is from the OP's story LOL.

She is my love, my wife, my penguin (our thing), and my strength. She is my accountability. I will remain sober for her. I will fight through the storm of this life for her. After all, if it were not for her there is a good chance I would not be here, at least not where I am.

She may not be perfect, none of us are. But she is good to me and I cannot imagine life without her. I am sorry for your pain, DEpenguin (wait is penguin you and Denise's thing as well?) I cannot wait to get home to her. Run my fingers across her cheek. Look into her eyes and softly weep. In our life there is so much that cannot be put into words and there fore must come out in tears.

YOur kit makes a wonderful start up kit and if it works out I would love to see it go to someone new. I however do not miss a chance to tell the story of my beautiful bride. Thank you again for sharing yours.
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
Lovely PIF.

I'm not in. I gots too much stuff.

I have had a difficult life as of late, oh, just life, but life in any form is a battle.

My precious War Department has put up with me just shy of 33 years of marriage. There is no one on earth that I like being around more.

Good luck to all of you that enter!
 
Excellent PIF and even greater motivation for doing it. Not in as this would be a wonderful starting point for two new users.

I can't imagine life without my wife. She's just the right kind of messed up to put up with me. How she hasn't killed me after 22 years keeps us all wondering. (Last week I hid a fake roach in a bag of stuff she needed to sort and put away. She has since gotten me twice with it.)
 
What a great PIF Jeff. Sort of like a little memorial to our lost loves.

…not in but I’m in.
Thank you, sir. You (and many others) were there to support me when my light went away. I am so very appreciative that I am in a place where I can do something like this.
Wow.

My story:

I was in the process of another divorce. Spent every moment I could manage in a bar, club, at a party, somewhere trying to find something to numb the pain of my self loathing. Chasing women who would even look my way and some who didn't do as much as that. When I was forced to be at home, I was in a bottle. Proven intoxicated as I could not start my truck with an interlock even to go to work in the morning. I had to drive my old beater that was free of breath monitoring annoyance. Regaining consciousness in the strangest places with no idea how I got there and sometimes no idea where I was or how to get back to where ever my truck may be. Got lost in Mexico and like to never found which resort was the one I was staying at. Got lost in Vegas and spent half the night with a cabbie trying to figure out what motel I was staying at. Boss on the verge of being done with me. Family members tired of dealing with it. Fines backing up. 1 state threatening to send me to the looney bin and another threatening to lock me up for a few years. I was NO PRIZE. I was nothing for anyone new to even take a second look at.

This one bartender listened to my whining about life. She tried to cheer me up. She was just my "friend" or maybe not even that as it is sort of a bartenders job to listen. Anyway, she had had a ruff go of life herself and was no stranger to hardship. Being mechanically inclined, I helped her a bit with her vehicle. I made the decision to try 1 more time to get sober. To get back on track. I still went to the bar where she worked, but I was no longer drinking. Just did not know what else to do, as that is where I had been for so long. I grew quite fond of her and though I knew it was futile...I asked her to go with me to a near bye town and hang out. She declined :( I kept returning only a little less all the time as I was figuring out that sober at a bar is not a good fit.

One day by the grace and divine intervention of God, she asked me to accompany her to her friends b-day party. We did not stay long as she made a decision to not drink in support of me and my sobriety. Neither of us was super comfortable there so we chatted a bit with some people and headed out on our own.

We talked more and more on the phone. Went mushroom hunting and site seeing on her days off. Eventually made it official. I have no idea why, but she loved me. When NO ONE, not even myself, but God himself could love me.... she did. And she still does. Getting ready to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. I am sober. She no longer works at the bar. My fines are paid. My court orders are fulfilled. I am free. Maybe not completely free of the quiet tempting of the liquid devil, but free from its grasp anyway. And we live a good clean life. We are raising her, now our, kids. We are building a life in the daylight to be seen and be proud of.

We still have trouble looking into each others eyes and being any sort of serious with out tears welling up in our eyes. Mine are full now, not sure how much is my story and how much is from the OP's story LOL.

She is my love, my wife, my penguin (our thing), and my strength. She is my accountability. I will remain sober for her. I will fight through the storm of this life for her. After all, if it were not for her there is a good chance I would not be here, at least not where I am.

She may not be perfect, none of us are. But she is good to me and I cannot imagine life without her. I am sorry for your pain, DEpenguin (wait is penguin you and Denise's thing as well?) I cannot wait to get home to her. Run my fingers across her cheek. Look into her eyes and softly weep. In our life there is so much that cannot be put into words and there fore must come out in tears.

YOur kit makes a wonderful start up kit and if it works out I would love to see it go to someone new. I however do not miss a chance to tell the story of my beautiful bride. Thank you again for sharing yours.
Okay, first . . . You get a full-throated, hearty approval for your penguin 'thing'. If your name were Jeff I might be a little spooked. Penguin's weren't Denise's thing, she was an elephant kinda gal.

Second, I absolutely understand your compulsion, your ardent drive, to talk about your bride. I am genuinely moved by your story. Thank you for posting it. 🥰

Lovely PIF.

I'm not in. I gots too much stuff.

I have had a difficult life as of late, oh, just life, but life in any form is a battle.

My precious War Department has put up with me just shy of 33 years of marriage. There is no one on earth that I like being around more.

Good luck to all of you that enter!

I considered tossing in a stick of Arko, but I reconsidered because I figured if I did you would find a way to win both boxes :c9:

On a serious note, I have long appreciated your omnipresent love and respect for your War Department. And I am indeed delighted you make a comment here, even if you do like Arko.
 
Excellent PIF and even greater motivation for doing it . .

I can't imagine life without my wife. She's just the right kind of messed up to put up with me. How she hasn't killed me after 22 years keeps us all wondering. (Last week I hid a fake roach in a bag of stuff she needed to sort and put away. She has since gotten me twice with it.)
The roach thing is funny, but it isn't. I cannot possibly overstate my profound loathing of roaches. But I think I'd rather be scared with it in return than be kicked directly in a place that brings a tear to any man's eyes. Thank you for the smile!
Great Pif and great reasons for it! Respectfully not in but two lucky people will be very happy. BTW I have that Yaqi brush also and it's a really good brush.
Thank you, sir! I wasn't sure what to expect from that little brush but I'm half bummed I didn't buy one for myself. A really nice little brush.
Respectfully not in, but a fantastic PIF! Well done!
Thank you very much :001_smile
 
Respectfully not in, but I have to say, I'm sat here with tears streaming down my face, what a lovely tribute to happy memories. Myself, I'm very much a hermit by nature and yet to find a life partner. There have been a couple of couple of women I've known where we got inside each other's heads. Sadly it wasn't meant to be, mainly because we were heading in very different directions in life.
 
Respectfully not in, but I have to say, I'm sat here with tears streaming down my face, what a lovely tribute to happy memories. Myself, I'm very much a hermit by nature and yet to find a life partner. There have been a couple of couple of women I've known where we got inside each other's heads. Sadly it wasn't meant to be, mainly because we were heading in very different directions in life.
Women have a magical way of quietly wrapping themselves around our hearts and caressing our guarded souls with their silky embrace. Some of us have a hard time showing our feelings because we’re scared of the power they possess. Looking in a woman's eyes brings that power to life.

Woman is indeed Heaven’s magic made flesh.

Now that I reread that it may not seem relevant to your response, but it made sense to me at the time

Thank you for reading through the thread, @Neilzebub. I truly appreciate it.
 
Thank you, both of you. Man, I hope at least two people enter. If not then I may just keep one of those brushes for my greedy self.

I have already been the recipient of a couple PIF/Giveaways and I owe a lot to this forum for the fun and adventure of this particular rabbit hole. Most of the stuff in your giveaway would be utterly wasted on me as well. NOT in but very appreciative.
 
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