Contrary to popular belief, nailbiting does not always signify nervousness. For some people, it is merely a bad habit. It is something they do absentmindedly while reading a book, watching tv, driving to work.

Such is it with me. I cannot pinpoint specific times when I will be more likely to gnaw at my fingertips, but frequently I find myself biting while totally preoccupied with an absorbing task.

This is not a pretty habit. It leaves my nails extremely short, ragged, and tired-looking. I must look ridiculous scrunching my mouth around my swollen cuticles, trying to trim them without getting lipstick all over my fingers.

My whole take on this is: If vanity hasn't stopped me from biting yet, what else is there? I'm 21, and if the sight of my red and ragged fingertips doesn't disgust me enough to stop, I doubt anything will.

I didn't bite my nails for six weeks, through my recent minor life crisis and vacation. They needed to be cut desparately, and this sounds crazy, but I don't trust myself with a nail clipper. So I 'trimmed' them with my teeth. They look pretty presentable, right now. Neat, short, a little bit of white showing. We'll see how long this lasts.

It lasted two weeks. Now I'm into the nail biting / cheek biting cycle... sigh.