Sloane Crosley: ‘I've tried everything to quit biting my nails'

Share
Related Topics

How do you bite your nails? Personally, I like to go in from the side. In cartoons, when characters bite their nails, they move from left to right as if nervously eating corn. I guess they have differently structured teeth to the rest of us because, as anyone who has experienced a molar issue knows, eating with one's incisors has little impact on the mastication of food and great impact on one's respect for rabbits.

I tend to start in the centre of my hand, turning my middle finger on its side and running it through the small crack in my lower teeth a few times until I hear that gratifying crack in my weakened nail.

It's the keratin version of locating the "tear here" indenture on an individually-wrapped breath mint. From there, I draw out a smooth line towards the end of the nail before I cycle back around and chew off the rest.

And once it begins, I can't very well let the rest of my nails go unattended. What am I supposed to do? Walk around with one long pinkie nail like a drug addict from the 1980s? I don't think so. I am literally biting my nails as I write this. Difficult? Yes. Unappetising? Certainly. But a fitting goodbye to a 15-year-old habit.

While not as dramatically incongruous as a midriff tattoo on a septuagenarian, I do find it difficult to imagine myself as the kind of woman I hope to become while casually picking at my nails in public and then carefully examining my fingers between bites as if proudly surveying the damage.

I've tried everything to quit. Actually, that's not true. I've never tried that nail polish that smells like dog food, or hypnosis, or willpower. But I have had the occasional manicure and hoped for the best – an endeavour that's a bit like going for a run in the hopes it will prevent one from ordering cheesecake for dessert. It usually has the opposite effect.

But as soon as I finish this column, I'm going to stop. Promises are harder to break when they're made in public. So this is goodbye, my beloved little habit. It's been good, and it's also been gross, but it's time to polish you off for good.

Sloane Crosley is the author of 'How Did You Get This Number' (Portobello)

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils Labour's pledges carved into a stone plinth in Hastings  

Election 2015: Smash the two-party system! Smash the voting system!

Armando Iannucci
Tactical voting is a necessary evil of the current first-past-the-post system, where voters vote against what they do not want rather than in favour of what they do  

Election 2015: Voting tactically has become more fraught in new political order

Michael Ashcroft
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'