Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Biting my fingernails? I do that less frequently now

A word of explanation about today's headline (well, actually a few words)...

(1) "I do that less frequently now" is a line from the old Nickelodeon series "iCarly" that is occasionally quoted in our family. It was originally uttered by Gibby, one of my favorite characters in TV history, in reference to the fact that, as the series went on, he didn't randomly take his shirt off nearly as often as he had in the show's first few seasons.

(2) I am a longtime nail biter. Here's a post from eight years ago in which I lamented this fact and sought ways to break the habit.

Nail biting is one of those things some of us do without even realizing we're doing it. I'll be proofreading something I've written at work, staring at my computer screen, and suddenly find myself chomping down on a long thumbnail. I don't remember putting my hand to my mouth, but there it is.

The result is that my nails always give the impression I make my living manually sorting through shards of broken glass and scrap metal. They're perpetually uneven, cracked, and bitten down lower than they should be.

Until recently, that is. Somehow I have found the discipline to stop biting. I will never be a hand model, but I have finally achieved some semblance of the semi-manicured, white crescent moon nails I see so many well-groomed men sporting.

It finally looks like I actually pay attention to my nails, which over the past month or so I guess I have.

But I'm running into the sorts of problems I previously associated only with women.

Like broken nails. I'm not growing lady nails or anything, but twice already I've found a nail starting to crack, forcing me to clip and file it down, and then having to wait for it to grow back again to match the length of its neighbors.

And rampant cuticles (NOTE: The Rampant Cuticles would be a good name for a band.) I'm constantly having to push those things down to keep them in check. I rarely worried about this in years past.

And how about the annoying click of nails on a computer keyboard? Again, I don't have Rihanna-length nails or anything, but there's just enough protruding nail to tap the keys as I bang out a blog post or a work email. Both the sound and the feeling are somewhat disconcerting.

I don't know how you longtime fingernail landscapers put up with it.

I have broken ingrained bad habits before, including my longstanding addiction to nose drops, so I know I can make this nail regimen last. It really doesn't take all that much effort.

But that's not to say I don't still consider taking a big bite out of the fast-growing nails on my ring fingers. For some reason those things sprout like weeds compared to my other nails.

It's still so tempting.

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