There are some things you can’t do after cataract surgery. You can’t shower for a couple of days. You mustn’t rub your eyes. You can’t drive (I’m not sure for how long). You can’t life things over 10 pounds, bend over, or do anything strenuous for a week.

You mustn’t vomit or sneeze, either, or strain at anything enough to make you hold your breath. And you mustn’t wear make up, also for a week.

Last night at choir, a friend said she had had her eyebrows tattooed on. You can do more, she said. You can have eyeliner and lipstick tattooed on as well. What if trends change, I wondered. You’d be stuck with 2018 make up in 2025, when things might have changed a lot.

“You don’t always want to wear eyeliner,” La Bella cautioned. Our friend said she would never leave the house without eyeliner.

After we parted from that friend, La Bella and I talked about make up. Specifically, about how I was noticing the make up restriction. Over Thanksgiving, I saw lots of people and felt a little self-conscious about not having make up on.

For a woman my age, I think wearing make up is like knowing where your towel is. It shows that you are a grown up and have your life under control. But, I asked La Bella, should we feel as though we have to wear make up?

“I don’t feel that I have to wear make up,” La Bella assured me. “I just always do.”

I have not been doing so during my surgery adventures. After the first surgery, I was shocked by how old I looked. I assumed I had bruising from the surgery, but I now think it might simply have been that I didn’t see well enough to realize how bad I looked.

I think this experience will encourage me to wear make up more consistently.

I’ll also appreciate the freedom to bend over and pick things up.