I bite my nails. There I said it. Maybe there should be an NBA for me to attend each week. No, not the National Basketball Association…I was referring to Nail Biters Anonymous, if such a thing exists. We could have weekly meetings and people who bit their nails could attend and confess their sins and tell why they eat themselves. Maybe that would help some people break this nasty habit…maybe me!
I’ve been biting my nails as long as I can remember. And I can remember biting my nails as long ago as elementary school—that’s over 60 years. I wonder how long my nails would be today if I had never chewed them off.
I don’t know why I bite my nails. I googled that question and got a lot of answers–none of them were pretty but they do offer something to nibble on. Some experts say nail biting is a bad habit, as simple as that. Other explanations are less charitable. Nail biters can be linked to all kinds of psycho-cases: people who suffer from OCD, perfectionists, stressed out emotional wrecks, bored or restless people and so on. Then there’s the speculation that nail biters are people who are into self-mutilation with links to inward hostility. Sigmund Freud said people who bite their nails are experiencing “arrested psychosexual development.” Freud, as usual, says the habit is an oral fixation that can be linked to prolonged breastfeeding, under-or-over-feeding or just resulting from your basic sinister mother-child relationship.
I’d hate to think I’m harboring any of these kinds of feelings and that’s why I bite my nails. I just think it’s a habit and somehow I can’t conquer it. That’s why I think there should be a more outward approach like a Nail Biters Anonymous or at least maybe an annual convention that nail biters could attend. There’d be seminars they could learn from, workshops offering some practical remedies…maybe even a big competition of sorts where nail biters could challenge each other, eventually whittling down to one final champion …I bet some of those match-ups would be real nail-biters.
Yeah, I know, that was not appropriate. But what may be, is to end this posting with an excerpt from Never Goose a Moose! That’s the first children’s book I wrote (available at amazon.com). It’s a compilation of whimsical poems featuring a variety of things children should never do…an perhaps some of us grownups too. One of the never-do’s is titled “Never Poke Fingers in Places They’re Not Meant To Go” and it goes like this…
Never poke fingers in places they’re not meant to go.
Just poke around a few places and you’ll soon know.
Fingers shouldn’t go into spaces where they don’t fit.
They easily get stuck there, and there you’ll sit.
You’ll have to use soap or grease and lots of pull
Stuck fingers in a hole can be as stubborn as a bull.
You can use your fingers to point things out or help grip and squeeze,
But don’t poke them in your ears and especially in your nose–puh-leeze!
Fingers are great to scratch an itch or massage a back.
They can strum a guitar, hold a crayon or open a snack.
Fingers push buttons, flick switches and line things up in a row.
Fingers are great…just don’t poke them in places they’re not meant to go!