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#76. I chew my nails when I have to do something that I'd rather avoid.

Not the nicest habit in the world to have, I admit, but somewhere along the way, I got stuck with it. It started back in high school or before, and at the time, I didn't realize why or when I was doing it. Apparently, it's a nervous reaction of some kind, a way to distract myself from whatever unpleasant thing is going on around me.

But it's not particularly sanitary, from what I understand. (Though I don't quite get that. Look, I know where my fingers have been. And they're usually -- oh. Yeah. Just got it. Never mind.)

It's also not very tasty. I've considered soaking my nails overnight in chocolate sauce, or a nice brown mustard, but that just seems like giving in to the madness. Plus, what compliments fingernail, anyway? Is it dessert, or an appetizer? What condiment goes best with it? And more importantly, what wine would you choose?

Anyway, I've tried several things to try and stop. (And while I was still living at home, my mother tried hundreds. Poor thing.) But none of them worked. The only thing that seems to help is to not do things that I wish I weren't doing. During my honeymoon, for instance, it wasn't a problem. I went the whole week without a moment of anxiety, or any activity that made me groan and frown and nibble.

But the rest of life isn't all wine and roses and free booze. No, sir. There have been all sorts of meetings and projects and seminars and assignments and gatherings -- sometimes even parties -- that I desperately wish hadn't been required of me. And so, during many of them, I distracted myself with a little bit of 'manual' nail trimming. And yes, in case you're curious, I restricted it to my fingernails. I do have my limits.

But now I know what a lot of the triggers are, and I'm getting better at nipping the nibbling in the bud, as it were. It still crops up occasionally, but I've got it pretty much under control. Which is cool -- it's nice to have nails. I can scratch things with them, and peel stickers off of stuff, and now I can finally scratch at eyes when I'm in a catfight. Rrrraaawwwwrr!

So hopefully, my nail biting days are over. Until one of my favorite teams makes a playoff, that is, or plays a really close, really important game. I'll probably revert to my old ways if that happens. That's just too much pressure and anxiety and nervousness there. Nobody can resist a little nailbiting during... well, a nailbiter. C'mon, folks -- they call it that for a reason. Who am I to rock the boat?

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