Mail (November, 1998)

Obnoxious Strangers
from Melissa

Your "Don't Say This" page had me rolling on the floor! I have suffered from psoriasis for about 6 years now. I have given up on creams and have found it helps me most to just spend time at the beach and even putting sea water on it helps. Of course, we can't lead totally stress free lives so I realize there is no cure. I really commend you on putting FLAKE HQ on the web. It's nice to know I'm not alone and someone else out there has a sense of humor about it.

My psoriasis is mostly on my face, scalp, ears, and neck. I was at the grocery one day, with my hair pulled back. (I live in Florida, so I do that quite often.) This lady was also waiting at the deli counter and looks at me and says, "Oh, that's terrible. Does it hurt? I bet you can't wear earrings, can you? My sister has something like that. Did you try _____?" (I forget what she recommended, but you get the idea.)

What makes folks think they have the right to be so rude ? I've been asked when I worked at Walmart years ago, by customers, "What's wrong with your face?" I would never consider asking a paraplegic why they are paralyzed or such. Your page is an inspiration to me. Thank you very much for putting a lighter note on a heavy burden. Very very sincerely, -Melissa J.

*****

Ed's Response: Ah the uninhibited stranger! Aren't they a treat, Melissa? Such opportunities for reciprocal obnoxiousness! "What's wrong with my face? Well, what's wrong with my face has a name—psoriasis. Is there a name for what's wrong with YOUR face?" Here we've gone for two years at FLAKE HQ with nary a mention of sea water as a palliative, and BAM! twice in one month. Guess somebody Upstairs thought it was time to drop the hint! -Ed

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