Attn Nail Biters!!

For my nail-biters-anonymousOBVIOUS peeps,

I’ve been biting my nails from age 3/post-sucking thumb and I’m almost 30. Not sure if it’s stress or just habit (lil from both columns?) but I can’t stop. I have tried it all:

  • the bad tasting polish (ruins french fries, and doesn’t stop the subconscious finger from slipping into my mouth, or you just get used to it)
  • wearing gloves (uhh, hello 8 hours of typing? and in the summer, no way)
  • wearing lacy gloves for grip (fingers tips ripping giving way to the full on madonna look)
  • band-aids (leaving fingertips wrinkly and also not good for typing, but closer!)
  • putting on fake nails (even acrylics come off with no effort for my level 5 biter teeth, and it leave the nails even weaker, ie needing more diy “clean up”)
  • keep a file around (if you’re not used to filing your nails, then you suck at it, and my teeth are way more accurate and quicker, oh right, fuck.)
  • getting weekly manicures (helped last year for the Summer of Weddings, but then the holidays came and all hell broke loose)
  • notes around my desk, telling friends/family to stop me, spending lots of money on them (when I don’t spend my money on nothing for me)

The only other thing I could think of was hypnotism, but that was my absolute last resort…altho I suppose getting my finger nail beds surgically removed would actually be last last…I digress–

When I moved out on my own, I decided I would finally put this childish habit to rest, especially since I was living right around the corner from my fave nail place. I told myself I’d start with a week and then add a week to every manicure, but I’d already start biting on day 7, then on day 5, and these were not bad manicures!! I knew it was just getting over that hump of having these stubs laugh at me from my keyboard everyday.

Then randomly someone suggested toe corn protectors, so that I’d be able to type all day at work and still have a barrier between my fingertips (remember cuticles are just as dangerous!) and unsuspecting chompers. Hey, it was worth a shot!

I checked the closest pharmacy and they had them! Woow!! But for $7 for ONE. Uhh $70 for a shot?? Nothanks. Of course I next went to my other closest pharmacy: I searched and searched and found some lame similarly priced options  and then some better choices::

Toe capsVSToe protectors

but don’t forget shipping too!! We’re still looking at like $30, but if I gotta I gott….

THEN. It happened.

I had gotten a little more creative with my search (that’s all it’s about in the end anyway right?) and found these::

finger cots of course!!

FINGER COTS?! WHAT THE HECK ARE THESE?!? Meant for medical or electronics handling or doing the dishes, I don’t care. These could work! Just like full on gloves but just localized to the dreaded nailbed..mmmmm…NO STOP! Oooh and 144, that could keep a girl in business for a few weeks.

But I kept searching and searching for the best option (usually the better my search goes the longer I search, knowing it can be a reality) and I finally settled on these plain janes::

FINGER COTS!!!under $6 total with free shipping from the vendor!!

They had some cutesy pink ones, very 80s funtastic but I kinda just wanted to see how they’d do. And they’re so cheap I could easily get refills if they were crappy plastic and broke.

Oh man, these little guys rocked my stubs off. They were rolled up like condoms so that gave me a little giggle for each one I put on. I only put them on 8 of my fingers because the mediums didn’t fit snugly on my pinkies (but I could’ve used them if it came to it). I found them easy to type in, to mouse in, to put on and off, to hold things, to wear on the subway, and to talk to people about why I was wearing them I’d discover they hadn’t noticed them at all (go cheap-o off white!!) And best of all I was still able to continue on with my oral fixation of sticking my fingers near/in my mouth so my daily routine wasn’t disturbed at all. I just wasn’t able to feel the jagged nail or the torn cuticles through the latex so no new clean up was needed. I wore them all day at work, taking them off for bathroom breaks, sometimes lunch, and meetings since the latex would turn yellow due to skin oils (my biology friend informed me of that). Sure I could throw them out but if it was just like my fingers touching my nasty keyboard I didn’t see the harm in reusing. Green right? I guess if they turned green I’d throw them out.

After a few days I went to get a manicure and was excited that this one would last so I chose a bright pretty color. Of course I’d still need to wear the cots over it, covering up a pretty manicure isn’t fun but ya gotta do… A week later, the manicurist had something to file!! The week after that I got to actually pick a shape of filing! Then a few weeks later, the manicurist asked if I wanted to cut or file. CUT?? That’s an option!?!

Then I started freaking out that my nails were too long. This had happened to me a few times before, mostly since I’ve had no nails coming over my fingertip I’m pretty liberal with them. But since I do so many home projects I found I didn’t know how to deal with this new obstruction. I decided that day was a manicure day and I would get them cut. I don’t know about you guys but when they take all the gunk and paint off of your nails and you get to see the natural beauty, and the new WHITE!!! of the edge, you just file.

Now I’m at another week out and I’m wanting to cut them again but I’m pretty proud of myself for being able to stand the LONGness (mind you, they’re not actually past my finger tips yet…) but really, I haven’t had to use the finger cots since I first got them. Well if one nail gets too rowdy I can always quiet ’em down.

It really was just getting over that hump of constantly fidgeting with any imperfection. But being past the pain, past the anxiety, onto something ladylike…feels good. GREAT actually. I still keep cots in my purse, my wallet, on my desk at home and in the office..just in case I get back to basics. I’m giving myself a year now to get over this disease fully, which means weekly manicures *$400 for the year, but I can skip some if it’s lasting and I’m not freaking out, and also it’s way cheaper than any other “luxury” in my life.

So there ya go. 27 years of research has brought me to finger condoms. Hope it works for you too!