Friday, September 10, 2010

Pretty Face

Tekomai(rich cosmetized and florid festival ki...Geisha Girl Image via WikipediaNo, I'm not going out on a date.  I'm happily married.  I am, however, going to Occupational Therapy.
We started working on ADL's (Activities of Daily Living).   I had gotten myself organized and made up a little table of symptoms, therapies, and improvements over time to give my therapists a better idea of what is going on without me taking hours of relating anecdotes pertaining to each little problem I have.  I figure a good practioner will have an idea of what's important and what is just another symptom of the same basic problem.
One of my problems is wearing makeup.  When I first entered the work world, I dutifully painted on makeup, eyeshadow, and mascara.  I made a few attempts at eyeliner which were disastrous.  I ended up with squiggles on my eyelids instead of nice rounded arcs.  Eyeliner is supposed to emphasize the eye and I guess I did at the expense of dignity.  I always ended up wiping off the damn stuff.  However, apparently, I wasn't always too successful with wearing just lipstick and  mascara either.  But, I was successful enough at it to convince myself that I should try to go into the office wearing the stuff.  Till one day, when one of my co-workers looked at me and said that I really wasn't used to wearing makeup.  I don't think she was being kind; I think she was being rather catty.  So, I stopped wearing the stuff except for a few times when I was going out.  If I had a job interview or a really important social event, I would spend $30 to get myself professionally made up.  There is no way I could count on putting on the makeup correctly.
No.  I didn't have those sitting on the edge of the bathtub moments in high school.  You know, what I mean.  Those days when you sat and groomed yourself with the aid of your mother, older sister, or friend and learned how to give yourself the "in" look.   Didn't happen.  I believe my mother was handicapped as well.  She didn't wear makeup herself.  She also didn't think a lot of high school socialization was that important.  You went to high school to get an education and not all this other stuff.  So, makeup didn't matter.   I tried a bit myself in high school; but, I was never too successful at it so I quit.  Besides I was too disorganized to make it into my daily routine.
Assorted cosmetics and toolsImage via Wikipedia
I know makeup has a certain importance in an American woman's life.  So, I tried, albeit not too successfully.   If I was brought up to be a Japanese geisha, like the woman in the picture above, I would have aimed for that look.   Painting a woman's face seems to be important in every culture around the world and the occupational therapist knows that.  So she had me bring in makeup and we stood in the bathroom while she analyzed my form.  There's good form to applying makeup?  Who'd have thunk it?
This first time, I took in the makeup that gives me the most problems:  mascara, eyeliner and lipstick.  I am going to save foundation for another day.  I wonder about whether I am spreading foundation evenly across my face. Eye shadow works OK for me as it is generally smudged. The only problem with eye shadow is making sure I apply it the same way for both eyes.
But today, it is apparently about putting on makeup that requires some sort of drawing.  You've got to trace a line for each of these three pieces of makeup.   Tracing involves occular motor skills, i.e.,  eye-hand coordination.  Given my eye problems and motor skill problems, I have the worst of both worlds here.  My OT began prompting me a bit with some compensations:  sit down in front of a small mirror and apply the make up, support your arms on the table, hold your arms close into your body, hold your eyelid with two fingers while applying eyeliner.  After I started supporting myself, the makeup did go on easier and I managed to get the eyeliner on without painting squiggles.  I don't know that I will wear eyeliner everyday, but it would be nice to be skilled with it so I could do myself up whenever I wanted to look fancy.  I am going to try to wear makeup everyday to OT as a lot of my problems with makeup lie in putting it on correctly and consistently over time. 
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