What Makes Me Smile, part IX


Fingernails make me smile.

Let me explain.

At some point in my childhood I started biting my fingernails.

It continued into my late 20’s.

I don’t remember exactly when I started biting them. My Mother blamed it on a relative.

She said my brother went to visit a relative over the summer and came back biting his nails. Which in turn started me, biting mine.

I can’t imagine what my adolescent mind was thinking.

“Hmmm, those look pretty good, I think I’ll eat them.”


“If he can do it, so can I.”

Exactly what is it that causes a person to start biting their nails?

Some say it’s a nervous habit.

I’m not sure, but I tried everything to get myself to stop.

Fake nails. They kept falling off. That was before the fancy nail salons.

Cinnamon. Kept getting it in my eyes. Let me tell you, that burns.

Vanilla. I liked the taste.

Band-aids. That got in the way.

I tried polishing them, I though if they looked all colorful and pretty, maybe I wouldn’t bite them.


That just brought attention to my ugly, bitten off, fingernails.

And any other thing someone suggested.

To no avail.

I endured all the lectures about how dirty the under part of your nails are. And how if you swallow a nail it can lodge to the lining of your stomach and cause an ulcer.

For a long time it wasn’t a big deal. I played guitar and anyone who plays guitar knows that long nails and chording a guitar don’t mix. I don’t know how Dolly Parton plays with those nails of hers. It would have to sound all buzzy and flat.

How I longed to have those long painted beautiful nails, like everyone else.

In my late 20’s I went through a bitter divorce. Biting my nails the whole time.

Then one day, after my divorce, I looked at my hands and realized I actually had fingernails and not stubs. I quit biting them without effort.

Makes me wonder if my nails had been trying to tell me something all along.

Oh, I could go and get a manicure and have those acrylic nails put on at a fancy nail salon. But I refuse to pay for something I can grow myself.

I’m not so vain that I have to have perfectly manicured nails. If I had some special event going on that I had to get all gussied up for and my nails were all different lengths. I guess I could go and have them professionally done. But so far, I haven’t attended an event that warranted me paying for that extravagant expense.

Maybe it sounds a little strange to you, but fingernails make me smile!

And what’s more important, it makes The Captain smile. It ‘s one of the first things he noticed about me.

After all, he needs someone to scratch his back.

It’s okay if you think I’m strange.

 I’m happy with my fingernails.

Okay, it’s your turn.

What makes you smile this week?

 It’s okay if it’s a little strange.

 I don’t mind.

Oh, and the pictures, I thought I’d give you something a little more interesting than just my nails.