Weekend Question Thread: Bad Habits

The lady at the nail salon looked at me and said, are you sure? Blue? You?

(At your age?)

Blue, I told her.

I mean, it’s polish. It comes off. And what’s the point of having fingernails if you can’t have some fun with them?

I’ve bitten my nails probably as long as I’ve had them. Terrible habit, blah blah blah, filthy, blah, I know, I’ve always known. I tried those drugstore fake nails for a while. The stuff you put on to stop you from biting. I gave up chewing on them for Lent. Nothing worked. I’d get stressed or nervous or distracted and go right back to it.

I don’t smoke, I don’t drink heavily, I justified it as my one bad habit (like my eating habits don’t count) and made a joke out of it.

Then a few weeks ago I had a big party to go to, and wanted to look nice, and a new nail place opened up by my house, and I figured screw it, there have been advances in fake nails since I was in high school, at least if the girls on the bus in my neighborhood are any indication. So I made an appointment, went in and got fakes put on.

Short fakes. I type, garden, don’t want to be that girl who’s all “ooh, my hands,” so I got little short ones, but there they were. I picked out a pale pink polish, inoffensive: Don’t notice me.

“Too old,” the nail tech sniffed. “You’re young. Sexy.”

(I liked this chick immediately.)

Dark, dark purple.

I couldn’t stop showing people, like I’d just gotten engaged. I tapped them on the table and clattered them together and used them to open bags I otherwise would have needed a knife for. I scritched the animals and laughed at their confusion. I went online and started looking at other polishes, the wilder the better. I’ve always messed with my hair when my life was sucking; now I had a whole new thing to play with.

The best part is, they’re basically indestructible. I can’t chew them, even if I still wanted to. And I don’t want to. I’d much rather figure out which alien color I’m going to paint them next.

What bad habit have you broken?


12 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread: Bad Habits

  1. Don’t know if this counts as broken, but six years ago I went from a pack of cigarettes a day to four cigarettes a day, and to date haven’t reneged, even when stressed out…

  2. i too overcame biting my nails. my job in a stained glass studio cured me. 1stly, easier to pick up tiny little pieces of glass to wrap in thhe copper tape, then, FLUX tastes awful, solder is made of 50% LEAD. and then there was the grinding, if you have nails, less likely the belt sander sanded your fingertips. plus, your fingers were being used at all times. now, i still nibble at the cuticles.
    i also gave up soda, tho i was bad while away up nort, BUT i did find an alternative drink w/ no fizzy. whiskey, grapefruit juice, that pink stuff and a twist.

  3. During an unusually hot summer working in a print shop without air conditioning ( we never used to need it in the PNW) a tradition was born of late morning and afternoon coke breaks. There was a mini mart right next door so the type setter would pop over and get us all an icy cold refreshing coca cola in a tall glass bottle. They do taste different in glass, yes they do.
    Come the fall as I was walking a mile and a half to the nearest store on my day off to buy a tall refreshing coke I suddenly realized I had not only a habit but an addiction. That was the last day I drank a coke for many a long year.
    The ciggy habit has been harder. I am down to between two and four a day but it is a struggle to keep the downward pressure on.

  4. Eating a second helping at supper. Does wonders for one’s waistline.

  5. I picked up an awful two pack a day habit when I was in the Marines. Everybody smoked. It was our only diversion from our miserable existence. Of course I continued to smoke when I got back to civilian life but was paying a very high price with the cigarette stench and the coughing. I finally reached my limit and quit cold turkey. It was awful. I did not succeed the first few times but I eventually made it and have not smoked a cigarette in thirty five years.
    Now if I could only quit the alcohol habit that I picked up a year ago when I lost my job.

  6. I quit smoking in 1985. Two years later — to the day — my mother died of lung cancer. I’m not tempted to take it up again.

  7. I’m slowly getting organized. Little skirmishes have been being won… My untoward obsession with the container store is helpful. I want to be organized, but I’m so dreadful with time management, I rarely succeed in taking time to put things away neatly. Case in point: my daily wear ‘jewelry’ – basic but special to me rings an assortment of earrings – nothing horribly pricey, but annoyed me when I’d leave them strewn about the apartment and couldn’t find on a work morning. However a couple of months back, I went on an organizational bender at t.c.s. and bought many things – and at last – a jewelry box for my ‘usual suspects’. Since I got it home (and the box was on sale, so ‘winning’) I put all my general daily wear bits and bobs in there…and every day when I get home from work, I go to the box and put everything back.
    My boyfriend and I have discovered the joy of the laundromat’s ‘fluff & fold’ service, so instead of having to dedicate a tired evening’s time or precious weekend time doing laundry…we go drop off a bag (or two) and pick up either a few hours later or the next day. Everything is clean, folded/matched/non-tees on hangers…it’s bliss. Bring home and put away (they do have free pick up/delivery…we may escalate matters).
    That has helped me to not leave things in the basket after coming back up because I just didn’t want to fold/hanger things.
    Also, the funky cabinets in the kitchen had wasted space…so I got some cool drawer-type bins at t.c.s. and put stuff (of like purpose) in and slide back – w/a similar bin in front of it – now, stuff is up in the cabinet. It’s an ongoing struggle, but little successes make me want to keep stepping up my game. I don’t want to be uber-hospital corners, but anything is better than my clutter-holic self. 🙂

  8. well, I’ve quit biting the nails. They’re still pretty fragile and break off or tear out at the corners before they’re really elegant-looking. Impressed my kids 2 weekends back at a Pathfinder party, tho.

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