General Question

Tantigirl's avatar

Would you want to wallop him for this too?

Asked by Tantigirl (1709points) August 15th, 2008

My husband bites his nails. Last weekend we’re having dinner in a family restaurant, and I notice him biting his nails and flicking them away. He was sitting in the aisle, and so that meant he was flicking them towards the other diners. The need to smack him one was very real!!! All I could think of was some poor person finding one of his fingernails on their plate.

What would you do? Would you say anything? What would you say/do? When would you say it?

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33 Answers

Poser's avatar

You could simply point out to him that that sort of habit is rather disgusting. How would you feel if he disrespected you by saying, “I wanted to smack her.”?

8lightminutesaway's avatar

I agree with poser. Smacking won’t help. Just tell him “hey come on now, you can’t flick your ur fingernails a public place, it could end up in someones food. thats really gross” or something along those lines.

Tantigirl's avatar

I wouldn’t actually smack him. I don’t feel it is disrespectful to say that. While this isn’t a nice thing for him to do, I think you’re taking the fact that I said I felt the need to smack him a tad too seriously.

Poser's avatar

I just imagine a question like yours posed by a man referring to a woman. Would be taken as extremely disrespectful.

Tantigirl's avatar

I think it is the tone that makes all the difference. I also think that people can be a little too PC.

Poser's avatar

@Tantigirl—I certainly agree with you, especially about the PC part. That wasn’t my intention. I’ve just found certain disparities between the way men and women are treated in society. One of my hobbies is pointing out these disparities.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

To say one would wallop another does not mean one would actually follow through on said wallop. I took it as it was intended. My vote: verbally or mentally wallop the Neanderthal.

Tantigirl's avatar

@Poser, understood. I’ve not been very active here yet, so we don’t “know” each other well…

Judi's avatar

You need to talk to him about it in private. Chances are he doesn’t realize he’s doing it. It is a nervous tick thing. If he realized he was doing it he would probably be embarrased too. You can help him by having a signal you give him when your in public that no one else knows. Never humiliate your husband in public. Very bad for the relationship. My husband smacks his gum. Drives me crazy! I still politley ask him to please stop smacking his gum (after 18 years) and he says “Sorry” and stops. A Wallop would probably be to overt a signal :-)

Tantigirl's avatar

@Judi, oh yes, I fully agree on that, ‘not humiliating your husband in public’ is one of the top rules of marriage. I did quietly whisper to him about it, discretely. His reaction was to pull a face at me, and do it again!!!

gailcalled's avatar

@Tantigirl; I loathe nail biters (a personal neurosis, of course) and the flicking is really unattractive. But save it for a private and loving exchange. Ask him if there is anything you do that upsets him and you would be willing to stop if he will.

(My ex and I had this conversation several thousand times. Did it work? No. In his case, he used to chew on the fingernail so it was visible in his jaws when he talked. I was repelled. Are we still married? No. The nail issue was a symbol of our relationship.)

loser's avatar

You have my permission to wallop him if he does it again!

augustlan's avatar

Give him a little lesson in manners (in private, of course). Biting nails, blowing noses, brushing hair at a dinner table are all off-putting to others and should never be done.

gailcalled's avatar

Why would not the spouse come first in terms of good manners or unoffensive behavior? When I was growing up, my mother saved the best china, silver, crystal, linen and wine for company. It really made me feel second-rate.

augustlan's avatar

Gail, I agree! I mean any dinner table, even the one in your own kitchen. I don’t know why anyone saves “the best” for others. Buy what you love and use it everyday, be your best self with the ones you love (not always successful at that one, but I try).

MissAnthrope's avatar

Please teach everyone you know to pocket their used Kleenex, and not to leave it on the table for the server to deal with.

Please. I beg you. It’s beyond disgusting.

<3, a server.

Tantigirl's avatar

AlenaD people actually do that?

mee_ouch's avatar

I’d put itching powder in his jock…....hee hee…........
A collective….....That’s sooo mean

autumn43's avatar

Can I wallop him then? I love that word ‘wallop’.

Seriously though. That is G-R-O-S-S. And I would have asked him to stop nicely too. Maybe the next time you clip your nails you could save them up in a tissue and drop them on his plate for dinner! Oh gosh. That’s not very nice either.

Ahem. Let me try again. Um, I would have told him nicely that it made him look childish and ask him to stop. And then the second time tell him I would be leaving if he didn’t. I doubt there would be a second time, though, right?

Tantigirl's avatar

autumn43 there’d better not be a second time, otherwise his chances of walking upright without being bent over would be very slim!!! Mee_ouch that’s not a bad idea, maybe I’ll try that one…

wildflower's avatar

I’d just tell him it’s gross and to stop. I bite my cuticles and some of my friends find it disgusting – if they ask me to stop, I do.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

sounds very unyummy.

Communicate with him instead of resorting to violence.

Bri_L's avatar

It does beat him biting other’s nails.

waterbearer's avatar

I’d grab his hand and say “stop, please”.

sarapnsc's avatar

I wouldn’t wollop him, and I know you didn’t actually mean it. It was just a figure of speech.

I would have ASKED him to do 3 things:
1) I would have handed him a napkin and asked him to place them on the napkin to throw away after he finished.
2) Asked him, not tell him, to go to the men’s room and spit it in the toilet and come back when he was finished.
3) Taken one of the nails he bit off and put it on his plate and ask him to imagine that is someone else’s nail, can you imagine someone flicking their nail on your plate!

For some people it is a habit, for others it may be a nervous condition of habit. I’d have to find out which, and go from there later to help my other half, to make sure it doesn’t happen again!
I’m a grown adult, I don’t like someone reprimanding me or demanding things of me, when they think I have done wrong. Talk to me and you will get me to cooperate with you much more quickly without any hassle.
I look at it this way, if you have been with some of the guys I have been with, nail biting is nothing compared to the flatulating guys I have been with! I’d take nail biting anytime, it may be irritating to me, but at least I can stay in the same room with them and it’s not near as embarassing!

Judi's avatar

It is obviously a compulsive behavior for him. The advances in treating OCD have skyrocketed in the last several years. Actually I read an article (sorry I can’t remember where to cite it) that said they are considering taking OCD out of the field of psychiatry and putting it in the field of neurology because they know so much more about how it is wired in the brain. If you ever find him at a point where he feels safe to talk about it (I know that is a hard time to find) Ask him if he would consider looking for a medical cure. There may be a simple medication that will help him stop the compulsive behavior.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

…. taking pills to stop nail biting? isn’t that a little extreme?

Judi's avatar

Depends on how bad it is, and if there are any other OCD symptoms going on. If it’s so bad that their flicking their nails onto peoples food in a restaurant, well, that’s pretty bad.

Fieryspoon's avatar

I had/have a problem with biting my nails. For years I bit my nails down to little nubs that hurt. I would do it whenever I was nervous.

I have a nail clipper with a little catch in it (so the nail clippings don’t go flying) that I now keep in my pocket. Whenever I feel the urge to bite my nails, I just clip my nails now. I can do this under the table so other people don’t notice (unless they’re looking for it). This also causes the clippings to stay in my personal space, and not flying towards other people (although, he really ought to just swallow them, since they’re already in his mouth).

I have nice nails now, but if I ever forget my clipper, or lose it, then I start biting them again after a day or two.

gailcalled's avatar

@Congratulations, Fiery. That is a hard habit to break. (What about a small nail file?)

And might swallowing bitten nail bits be akin to swallowing ground glass? Hard on the intestines?

Fieryspoon's avatar

If you’re biting your nails, the pieces aren’t usually very large, since the nail is mostly already totally bitten down anyway (there’s very little to actually bite off). I don’t know; I’ve been chewing and swallowing the clippings since I was very small, and I don’t seem to have any intestinal trouble yet :)

The nail clipper with the catch also has a file on it as well, which can help, but clipping the bits I would normally be biting was the bit that really helped.

gailcalled's avatar

TMI :-) (Have you treated yourself to a professional manicure or some pretty rings, if that is your thing? I can’t guess gender from your user name.)

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