Why I'm The Party Pooper

My husband’s family loves to party. He’s from Afghanistan and big, fancy celebrations are almost the norm in his culture. Everyone gets dressed to the nines (hair done, nails done, everything did!), there’s tons of food, and everyone dances into the wee hours of the morning. A few weeks ago he informed me that we were invited to one of these big celebrations and I let out a massive groan. He asked me why I was always such a party pooper, and it occurred to me that I have never shared exactly why I dislike fancy parties. This dislike of fancy events has sometimes credited me with the title “down to Earth,” as I think most people assume that my aversion to formalwear must be because I prefer to sport the “natural” look. But really, it’s because of my psoriasis.

Why no, I’m absolutely not too hot in this shawl!

My number one reason for disliking upscale evenings out is because I struggle to find dresses that I’m comfortable in. Most of the time my guttate psoriasis covers my arms, and sometimes my legs and chest. I dread having to find an ensemble that hides my flakey arms (not to mention the flakes from my scalp psoriasis if the dress is black). In my day-to-day life I try to pick comfortable fabrics like cotton or rayon, but finding formalwear in anything but polyester can sometimes feel impossible. So basically, until cotton bodysuits come into fashion, the struggle is real.

This IS my “evening look”, can’t you tell?

My next big hurdle is hair and makeup. Manipulating my hair into anything other than a bun releases a shower of dandruff (heaven forbid I move my hair part!), and finding makeup that doesn’t irritate my skin has always been a challenge. The result? You’re lucky if simple mascara and lip gloss ever grace my face, and my “fancy” hair pretty much consists of my regular bun but with a black elastic (the black elastic is really what classes it up). Pretty earrings draw attention to my flakey ears, and my skin hates lots of cheap metals, so accessories cannot save me either.

Please ignore my feet

Oh fancy shoes, how I loathe thee. Number one, open toed shoes reveal my less than stellar toenails, an unfortunate side effect for many of us with psoriasis. Even worse than that is the havoc that high heels wreak on my plantar fasciitis (a common psoriatic arthritis tag-along). Good luck trying to find close toed heels that can accommodate my super sexy orthotics! For these reasons, I usually opt for flats (only because my Husband insists that crocs are an abhorrent choice. Okay, Mr. hoity-toity).

I’m sorry, but is there gluten in this?

I’m that annoying guest with a list of foods that my skin hates. Gluten, dairy, eggs, and chocolate, to name a few! This makes me super popular in the buffet line. I usually load up my plate with rice and salad and then spend the rest of the evening answering questions about my strange food selection. Dessert time is similarly spent explaining why I’m not eating dessert (do gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free desserts even exist?). I once tried to mitigate these problems by bringing my own food with me. You know the best way to draw attention to yourself? Whip out some Tupperware at dinner and ask the host if the banquet hall has a microwave.

What time is it? Do you mind if I nap in the car?

For those of us with chronic inflammation, fatigue is a common companion. Events with my Husband’s family usually start around 9:00PM and go well into the AM, but Vicki is fully tapped out in the first few hours. My skin is itchy, my clothes are uncomfortable, my feet hurt, I’m probably hungry, and all I want is my bed and my PJs (talk about 30 going on 90!). While I would love to stay up and party with you all, I need frequent car naps just to stay coherent.

So now you know how to spot me at your next soiree. I’m the girl with the “au natural” look, probably in ballet flats, definitely with a shawl, feeling a little hangry and likely heading out to the car for a quick nap (cash me outside, how bout dat?!). If you can relate to my story, or you have a friend who sounds like me, please remember that it’s psoriasis who’s the REAL party pooper.

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