Thursday, April 23, 2015

Birthday 2015 - Part 4: Nail Picking

I've picked at my nails ever since I was a kid.  The imperfection in my fingernails and the skin around them bothered me.  Of course, I knew that picking them was causing much of the imperfection, but I never stopped.

I never bit them.  While nail picking is perfectly understandable, biting your nails is gross. Don't get me started on the people who bite their toenails.
On the other hand, I was going to stick nail biting in a novel:
"You see these?" he said, holding up his hand.  Except for his left thumb and right pinky, the nails were gnawed down to nothing.  "I bite my nails because I can't stop until they're perfect.  I never stop." He took a step closer.  "That's what I want to do to you.  I want to put you in my mouth and wear you down until there's nothing left."
What do you think?  Sexy?  Creepy?  I've never been able to tell the difference.  Explains why I never dated in high school.

After a while, I tried to quit picking.  I used cuticle nippers and nail files to give myself a manicure, but it just exacerbated the problem.  I got a Swiss Army Knife.
Beware my vicious toothpick!
The Swiss Army Knife is a bizarrely useless piece of equipment.  After using one, I worry about the security of Switzerland  It has:
  • The world's tiniest pair of scissors
    You can only use these if you had hands the size of a fairy's.
  • A short but remarkably sharp knife
    Until you use it three times and it becomes a short but remarkably dull knife.
  • A nail file
    Also great for three uses. 
  • A toothpick
    Does anyone else gross out after using a toothpick twice?
  • A pair of tweezers. 
    I never had a use for those.

Anyway, I started using the knife and nail file to work on my nails.  It was working well until a girlfriend (ie. a cute girl who sat next to me in history) told me how annoying it was.  I was crushed and gave up using it.  Eventually, another cute girl told me I pick my nails when I'm thinking, but I still gave up the knife.
Well, for a while, anyway.
I tried putting Vaseline on my nails.  I couldn't pick them if they were slippery, right?  Yeah, if girls thought nail picking was a turn off, they really hated my squishy handshake.

The point is, nothing I tried helped me stop.  Only two things ever had the slightest effect:
  1. I got a watch.  I needed thumbnails to open the band.  So, I learned to grow my thumbnails out.
  2. I got mono one summer.  When I recovered, I noticed my nails had grown back.  Then I started picking them again.

Anyway, as part of my birthday of self-improvement, I got a wristband.  You snap it every time you catch yourself picking or biting or, I suppose, doing anything bad.
We should make politicians wear them.
I got a cheap bag of "issue bands" that say things like Dream and Courage and Faith.  I like that they have insipid, inspirational sayings on them and that they break easily.
Just like your dream, courage, and faith.
They all broke, so I went to the store and found a $3 charity band.  I don't even know what the charity is.  I just wanted the band.
I must be the last person who donated just to get a wristband since the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
So, did it work?  Here's before:

Here's after:

We can call that a win.

I just realized fingernails really suck.  Okay, they have advantages.  I can scratch the hard to reach parts of my back and I can... Um...

Yeah.  That's about it.

And they feel so weird.  I mean they... Bend.  They flex.  I thought they'd be like giant talons of death, but I got bendy talons of squishiness.  Yeah, that won't help you with hot girls either.  Back to Vaseline.

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