So my husband and I have 2 very disgusting habits. I pick at my thumbs (y'know, in that bloody cuticle sort of way). I've done this for so long that my thumbs are calloused and practically beg to be picked. When I was in high school, my BFF (who has a nasty habit of pulling her hair out at the base of her skull) and I made a mix CD after a round of particularly heart-wrenching break-ups. We called it Missing Hair and Bloody Thumbs (you cannot imagine how much worse these habits get when fueled by heartache and lonely Friday nights). When I started massage school, though, the idea of rubbing my open-wound-and-bleeding thumbs on someone else's germ-infested dermis was enough to make me stop. If nothing else, I am a girl who's misplaced her bubble. So, the thumbs healed and I had to find other ways to occupy myself at long stoplights and while waiting for others to finish the test. The Blackberry came in very handy that way. I quit working as a massage therapist, I started working from home, I was the girl with bloody thumbs again. It didn't particularly bother me, but I began to notice that no one shook my hand or ate my food. And my husband didn't much care for it, either.
As for my husband, he's...well, let's say that he's approaching middle age (he's not Amtracking it there, more like tramming it...but there it is in the distance, all lit up at night and home to a losing NFL team). With that stage of life comes certain unmentionable realities...like needing that full 8 hours of sleep and replacing the "p" word with the other "p" word, "prostate." And hair starts to grow in odd places. Like from the nose, outward. It wasn't so bad when we first met, but now it's the first thing to greet me in the morning before his lips ever land on my forehead. I've tried to pluck it while he wasn't paying attention, but that only results in near traffic accidents and lots of cursing. I've begged him to trim it - I'm too young to have a husband with visible nose hair. What's next? Tweed coats with elbow patches and a bowtie? (And side note: I'm reading David Sedaris' When You're Engulfed in Flames right now and he makes the very valid point that the only thing wearing a bowtie says about the wearer is "I can no longer get an erection." True story.) The thing about my husband is, he does not care. Your opinion of him bares NO weight on his own self-confidence. He quit wearing deodorant while in Iraq and somehow just never picked it back up again. He doesn't notice the aromatic cloud around him at the gym, nor does he care about the other patrons and their smelling comfort. His theory is "I shower everyday. That's enough." And it is, unless that shower was yesterday morning and we're at the gym the following afternoon. So. Not. Enough. But, don't get me wrong, he's married to Mrs. Virgo Germ-a-Phobe, so he's very clean...he just doesn't always smell like a bottle of Polo. And he lets his nose hair grow too long.
So, this brings us to last week. I was, again, begging for him to clean up the bush when he made me a proposal. "I will trim my nose hair when your thumbs are healed." Knowing that this is truly a nasty habit of mine that needs to cease and desist immediately, I agreed. Well, the day of healthy skin is almost here. I've slathered so much lotion on my hands that I haven't been able to open a jar or even a granola bar wrapper for days. But it has all paid off. And not a moment too soon. A few more days and people would begin commenting on much they like Neal's new mustache.