One wholly superficial thing that tends to make an otherwise nice-looking man less attractive to me is long fingernails. Long dirty fingernails are, of course, worse. I had a huge crush on a guy in college until I noticed his nails, and that – happily for me because I was more insignificant than a gnat in his eyes and he was probably a total asshole anyway – put the kybosh on the crush. I was once again able to attend my Greek and Roman Civilization tutorial without blushing furiously and fumbling my pen the entire time.
So when I met B the B, I was happy to see that his fingernails were perfectly groomed. Not long at all. Maybe a tiny bit on the short side, to be honest, but whatever, there is no too short. Unless you’re talking about my History teacher in high school who used to bite his so low that they were painful to look at. (No crush there either. Not a hint of one. Good teacher, though.)
So anyway, B and I had probably been married quite a while before I realised that he never clipped or cut or filed his fingernails. “What do you do?” I asked, mystified. “I bite them off,” he replied. They don’t look bitten. They just look neat. I never see him biting them. I decided that I could live with this, and decided to pretend we’d never had that conversation.
Trouble is, apparently it’s genetic. Dash lets me cut his nails very nicely now that he’s, you know, seven; though for the first few years of his life I carried the nail clippers with me and would give him a manicure whenever he dropped off in the carseat. Mabel, on the other hand, is a whole other kettle of keratin.
When she was a baby, I suppose I managed to cut her nails as required every now and then, but since the age of about two she’s been biting them, just like her father does. They’re too short, but they don’t look gnawed, exactly. I tell her she’ll pull off too much and hurt herself, but it hasn’t happened yet.
She also bites her toenails.
I suppose some day in the distant future she’ll want to wear nail polish enough to stop herself biting, or else her joints will seize up in old age and she won’t be able to get her toes to her teeth any more. In the meantime, this is just one fight I’m not really fighting.
She’ll probably blame me when her boyfriend dumps her for doing it, though.