And The Band Played On

Welcome to day 28 of 30 Days of Writing, a creative writing challenge that proves I really can’t function without my meds.  Our prompt today is “The turning point”. Don’t forget to link up at the end of this post if you’ve participated in today’s challenge.

And The Band Played On

will power in a bottleGrowing up, I was a chronic nail-biter. My parents tried everything to get me to stop. My mom would paint my stubs with pale pink nail polish, hoping the pretty colour would dissuade me. It didn’t.

Then they bought some of that Stop n’Grow stuff. It’s a clear nail polish that tastes nasty. Thirty-five years later, just thinking about it brings back that bitter, vile flavour. That’s how bad it was.

But it still didn’t work.

So, my mom would walk around whacking my hand every time it wandered even remotely near my mouth. Family dinners became quite painful. The backs of my hands were pretty red after just a few days.

And it still didn’t work.

As a teen, I tried fake nails. The problem was, being that I did not engage in many lady-like behaviours, they would break or fall off within days. Once they did, the nail that had only begun to start growing underneath didn’t stand a chance.

My parents gave up.

The turning point came after my divorce. I had a baby and a toddler, a full-time job and I went to college in the evenings. It would be safe to say I was a little stressed at the time.

A girlfriend and I went out dancing one weekend, and the band that played was amazing. And really, really cute. Especially, the bassist. Patrice.

Hmmmm. Patrice. He was more than cute. He was yummy.

My friend and I became groupies. They played one club in particular on a very regular basis and guaranteed, we were there those nights. We would also check out the band’s website to see where else they were playing and off we would go.

I still remember driving about an hour out of town to see them play. It was a Monday night, I’d worked all day and had a class that night. We got home at 4 in the morning and I got up to go to work at 5.

Ah, to be young and foolish!

In any case, at some point while we were following them all over the province, my friend got to know one of the band members. And I started to realize that I would probably end up meeting Patrice eventually.

That’s pretty much when panic set in. Although it had never bothered me before, I couldn’t possibly shake his hand with my nasty little stubs! He was yummy!! So, I bought enough acrylic nails to feed an army (what?), and extra glue. I did my nails and kept spares in my purse, in my car, at work… basically, everywhere.

It worked! I was constantly re-gluing nails on, but I wasn’t biting my nails anymore.

And then the day arrived. We were at the club when Patrice came over with the other band member. We were introduced. I believe I may have gotten my name wrong. We shook hands. My nails were long and pretty. He smiled. I stared dumbly at my feet. He asked a question. I think I managed a one-word answer.

He left pretty quickly. The fingernails stuck around, though.

left hand, blue nail polish



Now go. Don’t turn your back on the amazingly talented and forgiving bloggers who have linked-up below. If they’ve made it to this point, tell them I love them and give them 1,000 points just for being them.

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  • nonamedufus

    That story was a real nail-biter.

  • Good for you! That is still one of my bad habits 🙁 woe is I.

  • I often wondered why some people bit their nails off.  I still wonder, though I haven’t seen it in years. I do see a lot of fake nails though 😉

  • I still have no nails. I rip them off if I am stressed – which is pretty much all of the time. Then if I have any left – my crafting (particularly glass) will take care of the rest.
    Now maybe if I had Patrice in my life…

  • Pingback: The turning point « Live Life in Crescendo()

  • Nicky, I am so glad you gave up the nail biting..that just can’t be good for either your hands or your digestive track.  So in honor of the topic…being a groupie and having nice nails, I have taken a bit of a stretch on a limerick.  (albeit a bad limerick) for today’s little contribution.

  • Glad you gave up that bad habit, and now have lovely nails.  Patrice so lost out!

  • Nicky.  I died and you are the cloned me.  No question.  I never bit my nails, but I did everything else you did.  (Yes, even that.)

  • Barb

    I broke myself of biting my nails in college, but they never were very strong so I finally got acrylic nails about 18 years ago. I switched to gel nails about 4 years ago and recently tried to grow my own… for about 6 months. Once you have had “pretty” nails it is hard to go back to your own- I finally caved about a week ago and got a new set of gels- my one vanity! 🙂

  • For you:
    Any pretty boy named Patrice probably already had a boy friend.

    For me:
    YOU were a groupie!?!? hahahahahahahahahaha

  • For me:
    I said he was yummy, not pretty. And trust me, he didn’t have a boyfriend.

    For you:
    I did say he was yummy, right?

  • I completely understand, Barb! Every now and then, when I’m really stressed, I’ll do a number on my nails. Then I go through the whole process again!

  • Even that! You really are my doppelganger!

  • I don’t think Patrice would agree with you, Linda! I really was completely dumbfounded when I finally met him.

  •  LMAO! I LOVE the disclaimer. Not that anyone would believe it, but I love it just the same!! 🙂

  • For a small fee, I could hook you up LM! 🙂

  • It’s a totally nervous habit, Babs. I wouldn’t say it’s involuntary, like a tic, because people can stop biting their nails but they can’t stop a tic. 

  • I’d suggest a Patrice, but I don’t think it would help. 😉

    Maybe a Patricia…?

  •  Cut right to the quick, didn’t it, Dufus? 🙂

  • I see. I had a nephew once with the problem of blinking and twitching his eyes. That was a nervous habit that he grew out of eventually.

  • nonamedufus

    Oh you’re a real cutie-cul.

  • That guy is probably OH SO FAT AND BALD NOW!

  • I’m glad the nails stuck around. :  ) It’s nice to know that you can always count on your fingers. Just squeaked in a post. Was this Day 41?

  • Nail-biting has always grossed me out. The stuff that is under nails! Ick! Glad you got by it!

  • Oh, I hope not Katherine. He really was yummy. Besides, it wasn’t his fault I was an idiot when I finally met him. 🙂

  • Yes, I was a little tired of having to remove my socks and shoes so I could count on my toes all the time. And I believe this is Day 141. 🙂

  • It is a pretty gross habit, I agree. But I gotta tell you, P.J., if you think the stuff under nails is gross, you should see what lives in your toothbrush. 🙂


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