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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another First In My 40s

Yahoooooooooooooo - I have finger nails!!!
For Mother's Day, Mr. Husband gifted me a mani-pedi. And of course I blogged about it. At 40, it was my very first pedicure.
After wearing a set of acrylic nails for the past month, my own have grown! In all my 41 years, I have NEVER had my very own finger nails. NEVER!

As young as I can remember, until about 12 years ago, I bit my nails. I wanted finger nails, but I could not control the habit of biting them. Even after trying a few unorthodox methods, that I care not to divulge, I continued to bite them. Once as a kid, my mother painted my nails with a bitter polish that was designed to detour kids from biting their nails, and sucking their thumbs. My aunt was also using it on my thumb sucking cousin. Needless to say, he kept sucking, and I kept bittting, carefully. I made sure my lips and tongue never touched my fingers. It was all teeth! The mental picture of it now, cracks - me - up!

Moving into my teens years, I wanted polished finger nails like the other girls. I thought, if I painted my nails, they'd be pretty, and it would keep me from biting them. That didn't happen either. Fact: finger nail polish DOES NOT look good on nubs! And the habit was still greater than the want! Not only did I not have nails, my hands are wrinkly. My kids say I have "Grandma" hands. Even as a kid, my hands were wrinkled.

Over the years, I'd try again, and again to grow nails. It never lasted more than two or three days. Without thinking about it, I'd bite my nails. For my wedding, I had nubby nails, with a coat of clear polish. I didn't want to call any attention to my nubby nails, and wrinkled hands.

Once someone told me "If you had nails, your ugly hands wouldn't look so bad." Whatever! The truth hurts, stings, and kicks major ass!

In my twenties, I was working on a television show. Having to do some background work, I interview a lady who was a hypnotist. She talked about how most of our behaviors, like nail biting, is learned behavior. All we have to do is unlearn them.
Okay, that mades a lot of sense. I was skipping along, as if she was the Pied Piper. Then she gave me an exercise to UNLEARN nail biting.

Per her instructions, I put a rubber band around my wrists, (the thick ones that come on the newspapers.) Every time I caught myself biting my nails, I popped myself with that rubber band. THAT HURT LIKE HELL!!! The inside of your wrist is sensitive!
Thinking back, I'm sure I looked crazy. A grown @#$ woman walking around with thick rubber bands on her wrist. And it wasn't the style then either. Now every one is wearing rubber bands around their wrist with one message or another. NOT ME! Stupid me. I tried that for maybe two weeks. Of course my husband thought it was carzy.
I finally stopped biting my nails, (no thanks to the rubber bands), and started pulling them off instead, and have been doing so since.

I've had acrylic finger nails before, maybe twice. And as soon as they came off, so did the thin nails that grew underneath. What's different this time? I have no idea. They're not long, just barely clearing the skin, and I like them. I ran out and bought emery boards, a nail buffer, clear polish, and polish remover.

My middle daughter asked what's wrong with me, and what did I do with her mother? She says I'm trying to be cute and hip. There is nothing wrong, and I'm the same person. I guess this caterpillar is finally getting her wings.


mr. nichols said...

Congrats La'Tonya! At first when I read the opening, I didn't understand the big deal, but now that I see what you've gone through, I want to propose a toast to this triumph.

You had me rolling with the "all teeth" image and the line about polish on nubs." I never was a nail-biter but my brother bites his nails all the time and I couldn't understand it. It was to a point where the nail was gone and he was just biting skin. lol.

But like I said sis, congrats, and may your nails live long and prosper.

Chaotically Calm said...

Ooh my Godson is a nailbiter. He also does his toe nails...I presume this will stop when he can not longer stretch himself to reach his toes...hopefully. It doesn't look that bad on boys but I feel your pain as a woman. We are expected to have both pretty hands and feet (side note feet are ugly on everyone except babies).

Cheers to you for kicking the habit!

Natural said...

Pedicures or any kind of foot massage is heavenly.

I do next to nothing to my nails and they are claws. I like clear polish on them, if anything. Special evening? maybe a french manicure.

I never bit my nails either. Fingers/hands seem so dirty to me. I wash them a lot.

cardiogirl said...

This is pretty crazy, but as a kid I always wished I was a nail biter. That's crazy, I know. I never mastered the skill.

I did peel them off, though. But somehow I never peeled into the nail bed. It was always just the top part that cleared the finger.

I'm pretty sure I stopped tearing nails off by middle school though.

Yeah, this was such a compelling comment that I just had to leave it for you. I know, you'll thank me later.

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