Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sewing with Lipstick

I never considered myself to be "OCD" when I was growing up, and doubtless that I even knew what it meant. I didn't wash my hands a hundred times or lock the door repeatedly.  In fact I rarely cleaned my room, seeming to prefer wading through mountains of discarded clothes, scraps of paper that missed the wastebasket and shoes that were caked with country mud, rather than be tidy. I had a friend who's room was always immaculate...her mother cleaned it.

In fact, left alone to my own devices, I can still contemplate a pile of clean clothes precariously perched on top of my dresser for at least three days before finally putting them in the drawers below. I have acquired a modicum of neatness from my 34 year marriage to a man who likes everything in its place, so I tend to pick up after myself a little better than my natural proclivities toward slobdom would allow.

There are even areas in my life that have begun to border on obsessive behavior, if you want to use that term.  I rather feel compelled to sit in my nest (aka overstuffed easy chair) for at least an hour or so in the morning.  I need that "me" time to collect my thoughts, plan my day, journal and otherwise analyze what's going on in my life at the time (aka obsessing). I've also noticed that my frequent list-making has also taken a turn toward "if I don't write it down, I'll forget it" behavior.  I'm not sure if it's advancing age or just a desire to control everything around me - either way, it's kind of annoying, even to me.

I sew a lot. A lot. There is always a pile of unfinished projects waiting to be finished, fabrics to be paired with patterns and actual dressmaking to be done. Most of the time, my studio is in a state of disarray as I am sewing, but before I actually sit down to sew on any given day, there is an OCDness about my preparation. I can't just sit down and start up the machine, or mark a hem or cut out a pattern without first going through a litany of little things that have NOTHING to do with sewing.

1) There can be no dishes languishing in the sink. The counters need to be washed and clear.  This has nothing to do with sewing, unless I need to use my kitchen table for cutting out a pattern. Still, I can't concentrate on french seams knowing they are out there smelling up my kitchen.

2) The pillows on all the chairs and couches must be straightened and my nighttime furry throws must be folded neatly on the ottomans. This one is huge - I hate to walk into a room a see what appears to be the bed of my childhood in my living room... makes me twitchy.

3) I can't sew unless I first take a shower. That one sounds really lame, but there's something about a clean body and fresh clothes that makes me feel like I've already accomplished something...even though I haven't even started. Maybe it's because I'm a morning person anyway, and I would probably shower whether or not I sewed a stitch.

4) I must wear lipstick. Must. I know there's a whole "I'm who I am and I don't need to wear makeup just to please the world" thing going on these days, but I am not on that train.  Maybe it's my mother's voice in my head or walking by a mirror scaring myself ("who is that old lady in my house?"), but I need lipstick. Need it. I can listen to my sweet husband tell me how beautiful I am early in the morning, with my hair all nappy and yesterday's mascara smeared on my face, but I don't believe him until I put on my lipstick.

I went to one of those medical spas once, where they pump your face up with fillers to make your lips full and youthful.  I spent almost...well let's just say it's a very expensive process.  The results were lovely - youthful lips, smooth and ready for "Your Majesty" red lipstick.  It lasted for about a 6 weeks, then back to my normal self, feeling more wrinkled than ever, and poorer yet.  Let me say. it's not the answer when you're in your seventies...all you really need is a little "barn painting".

If I have my Bobbie Brown's on, I'm good.  I can think clearly and sew up a storm. Weird? Probably. OCD? Maybe. But the make-up artist herself said it best:

 "If I had to teach someone just one thing about lip color, it would be this: Find a lipstick that looks good on your face when you are wearing absolutely no makeup."

 And that's it in a nutshell.  I may add some blush, but the lipstick is really all I need.

Ready, set, sew!

Laurel. I am not OCD.

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