Friday, June 12, 2009

chew it over

I find myself puzzled by nervous habits. Possibly because my own do not follow any normal or average pattern. I don't have nervous tics or pull out my eyelashes when I stress over school or money. I bite my nails. An oh so common affliction many disregard as even a vaguely interesting personal tidbit. People don't even take the time to find it disgusting or unladylike anymore. Of course, from my mother or more commonly a grandmother, I hear a disappointed sigh when my nails are sighted as if to say "oh what a waste, she could have been a hand model." Sometimes these words actually follow the audible sigh.

It's not as if I can't help it either. As evidenced by my frequent remissions, I am fully capable of stopping if I am in the right state of mind or if I really like my nailpolish. My friend Naomi claims to be in total control of this bad habit, yet doesn't care about the state of her nails. Obviously she does it because she likes it or wants to, which in an odd way every nailbiter does, and does so because she chooses to. In fact, I am ashamed of my stubby nails because I feel like it says "look at me, I can't control myself from being gross." And then of course, I can't help but remember Freud's psychosexual stages and the corresponding "stage" of development (I do not, for the record, agree with Freud): the oral stage. This means theoretically I was understimulated as an infant when breastfeeding so now I am stuck trying to make up for it but putting things in my mouth (in layman's terms).

It makes some sense that I transferred from thumbsucking to biting my nails, and I refuse to ever smoke a cigarette because I fear that is the next logical stage. Which, if that is the case, might cause some minor, tiny, health problems but give me great nails.

I am puzzled by my bad habit because it has uncommon fluxuations. Normally, when people are busy or stressed out, they have a nervous flare up and chew to the quick. I, on the other hand, tend to have worse nails when I'm bored than during finals week. Maybe because my house during the summer is more stressful than college life during finals. That's very likely, in all seriousness.

Hm. maybe I should watch a thriller and let them come back a bit.

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