Too picky

The time for new beginnings has come upon us. A time where turning over a new leaf is encouraged by infomercials and ads promoting diets, exercise equipment, self-betterment books, and gym memberships. Whether your goal is to lose weight, be a better person, or just to stop picking at your nails, the first of the year is like a golden nugget of hope.

At first, the goals seem so attainable. Sadly, life often gets in the way and disrupts our zeal for bettering ourselves.

As with many troubles, this has happened to me before. In fact, this happens to me every year. Two years ago, I had a grand total of 33 New Year’s resolutions, and I could have written more. Thankfully, I refrained. I knew that would be, dare I say it, overkill.

One of my famous resolutions is to go to bed earlier. That has never worked. Once this past autumn, I went to bed at 10:30 p.m. and felt a wave of pride cascade over me. I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone to bed so early. Unfortunately, like the majority of the college student population, my usual bedtime is around 2 a.m. New Year’s resolution number one: mission failed.

Another recurring ambition is to stop picking at my poor nails/hangnails/finger tips. My addiction has evolved. Beginning at the age of four, I started biting my nails down to stubs, causing them to bleed. Over time, the ends of my fingers looked like I had been boiling them in acid for two weeks. Raw, red, and repulsive, my poor hands have drawn much attention throughout the years. Eventually, I was a dualist. I not only bit my nails but I picked at them too. They have been infected many times. No biggie. Then, I became primarily a picker, which is the state I am in right now.

I am a masochist. I admit this is an addiction that I must overcome once and for all. I have tried slapping revolting serums on my fingertips many a time, but even those could not stop me. Still I picked on. There have been long periods where I have stopped this atrocious and painful habit, only to return to it again during stressful moments. I’m picking right now. Talk about being too picky. Support groups for nail pickers are not common in these parts.

As you can also deduce from this column, I have an obsession – a seemingly small matter of importance, but a colossal problem nonetheless. The picking of one’s nails and cuticles and everything surrounding them seems a trifle when compared to depressants, carcinogens, hallucinogens, and the like. But, I have self-diagnosed my dilemma to be that of a “subconscious nerviossant.”

While this New Year’s resolution is not solving world hunger, curing cancer, or discovering a way to scarf down chocolate and pizza without gaining an ounce, it is a resolution to be sure. The deadline: my future wedding, whenever and if ever that may be. The goal: to have beautifully delicate hands, so that when we take those pictures of our ring-adorned phalanges, I do not have to fear that Feir herself has hands that compare to those of a gremlin’s.

(Column published in MSUM’s campus newspaper, The Advocate)


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