Bad Habits

I used to bite my nails. It was an awful, awful habit of mine that I have since broken and rarely do anymore. But back in the day, especially middle school, my teeth were constant nibbling at the tips of my fingers. Was this because I was an anxious kid? Maybe because I was right at the beginning of my teens and puberty had just hit? Possibly because my older brother also bit his nails when he was younger and I watched him to it for years? Probably a combination of all of these things but that’s beyond the point. The point is, I used to bite my finger nails raw, and it was gross. At the time, I didn’t think it was so bad. It obviously enjoyed it and let me let you guys in on a little secret of mine: I didn’t just bite my nails, I would then continue to chew on the bitten off pieces of my nails. I know. DISGUSTING. When I think about it, all I want to do is go back in time and smack my younger side upside the head. Literally, these is no other habit of mine that was ever worse than that of chewing on my nails. Seriously, could I not afford gum of something. I do remember the exact moment I stopped doing this. I can thank good old peer pressure, who I normally don’t let boss me around but this time, it was completely necessary.

I was sitting in science class when we were assigned new lab groups. I always got so nervous when we switched lab partner, I preferring consistency. Except when I came to my hair apparently. This was the phase in my life when I was constantly dying my hair and this particular day, I was sporting brand new red highlights which looked pretty stupid but at the time I thought looked so cool. I sat in my new seat, with my new hair and my teeth already grinding their way into my right thumbnail. I hear a someone sit in the seat across from mine. “Hey there” It was a really nice boy, one that I had had a crush on for quite a while. I drop my hand immediately and force a smile and tired to ignore the fact that I was sweating through my t-shirt. “I like your new hair. It’s cool.” A compliment?! I couldn’t hold back anymore. “Thanks! I got it done this weekend. I wanted change you know.” I was expecting a response sort along the lines of “Yes. I get you. Listen, you want to go out with me because you are so beautiful and smart?” He of course did not say that. What he did do was stop smiling immediately and ask with a appalled tone, “Ummm… is that a fingernail you are chewing on?” I froze. I had been doing this awful habit for so long, I didn’t even realize that I still had my chewed thumbnail in my mouth and was actually chewing on it as I was talking.

I don’t quite remember what happened after that moment. I think I might had actually blacked out for a little bit or it was so awful my memory actually block it out for me. BUT I will say, I have not chewed on my finger nails ever since. Sometime, you need a good long public shaming to put you right back in place. Apparently dose of judgment is good for everyone once in a while.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

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