Broken nails, super glue, and tea bags

The title really says it all, but when has that ever been enough for me?

A couple of months ago I was taking apart some shelving at the Santas Anonymous workshop, and pinched the tip of a finger badly when I lost my grip on a heavy shelf board and it slammed back down into the frame. The pinch happened right at the cuticle, which really sucked, and for a few days I actually thought that I might have fractured the bone. But then it stopped hurting and all was good. Or so I thought.

Yesterday, I noticed that the nail has started to separate midway up the nail, right about where the pinch happened. I can see where a new nail is growing underneath, and when I press anything with my finger the old part wants to pull away. It’s more annoying than painful, but clearly there will come a point when the nail just pops right off, and that’s gonna suck.

But, as the title implies, the world appears to have provided a solution.

I assumed that there would be some kind of special glue for fingernails, but it turns out that regular ol’ super glue will do the job just fine. Kudos to my sister for telling me that (which she learned from someone at a salon). A quick Internet search revealed a number of articles and how-tos, and I’ll point to this one, because they provided easy, step-by-step instructions with oh-so-valuable pictures.

Side note: I have no patience for instruction videos, because I’ll probably just have to rewind and watch them again and again to actually follow the instructions. Just because we can make videos doesn’t mean that they’re better than words and pictures…they usually aren’t. The exception is anything that involves making a sound, such as videos on how to play/sing a song or, I dunno, bird calls. And even then, I’d rather have the videos along with words and pictures.

The tea bag is used just for its paper, which means sacrificing a future cup of tea (gasp!). But don’t worry, it’s worth it. I was hesitant at first—I really, really like drinking tea—and thought that the super glue might be enough on its own, but also figured that there had to be a reason. I think it’s about the strength of the filter paper, which can maintain its integrity even when saturated by boiling water. In effect, it’s like creating a small cast on the fingernail. But more than that, the particularly thin filter paper used for tea bags becomes completely transparent when saturated with super glue and bonded to the nail, so you wouldn’t even know it’s there.

I assume that second part is why the articles I saw all recommend tea bags, and not coffee filters (which are thicker). Either that, or the writers love coffee even more than I love tea, to the extent that they are unwilling to sacrifice coffee filters.

Or, they’ve all switched to pod-style coffee machines, and no longer have coffee filters laying around.

Or, they don’t drink coffee (like me) and have never had a reason to buy coffee filters (like me).

But I’m pretty sure it’s the thickness thing.

Side note: it’s interesting that the opposite of “thickness” would be “thinness”, but the latter word is just as likely to be pronounced “thinn-ess” as it is “thin-ness”, if not more. Even though it might be grammatically correct, I wouldn’t say, “the thinness of the paper”, because it sounds all sorts of wrong. Thus, “thickness” is used to represent widths whether they are thin or thick, even though thinness is more appropriate for widths that you wouldn’t normally refer to as thick, in a relative sense.

Anyway, one sacrificed tea bag later (sigh), I have a perfectly functional fingernail, and you’ve wasted a lot of time reading this when the title pretty much gave it all away.

Not bad. Not bad at all.



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