September 12 07

there are certain things about me that are, well, they are decidedly Ali.

for example, when i drive my beast of a civic, i talk to him. we have conversations, he and i. well, mostly i’m all “what the fuck, why don’t you go into reserve when i tell you to??!” or “why do you insist on playing phantom music when my ipod isn’t even plugged in?” He’s getting creepy in his old age…

i always, always have an elastic hair tie around my wrist, for emergency purposes. because, really, you never know when something like this will strike…and i always like to be prepared.

i also always have an emergency jaw clip. this, friends, is a jaw clip:

but the thing is, for me, i don’t actually use them in my hair. occasionally, but really, the jaw clip spends most of its time clasped to one of my fingers. i guess its a (nervous?) habit. and i have them everywhere. attached to my keys. attached to my purse. attached to my steering wheel. and, of course, attached to my fingers. it’s weird, i know.

but do you want to know something even weirder about me? (since we are already talking about nervous habits) this is something i’ve never told ANYONE. i can talk about it now because i don’t do it anymore. haven’t in years. (and no, it has nothing to do with rabbits and batteries…because you all know i still partake in that. bwah!)

i, along with this man,

(he’s hot…but, really, i haven’t been able to look at him the same since i saw the Nicole Narain sex tape….)

used to be a “hair-puller-outer” It has an actual name…Trichotillomania. i know, doesn’t it sound terribly exciting??! I’ll be honest, i’m really even sure that i suffered from it enough to be labelled as such…i’ve heard of people pulling out so much hair that they had bald patches.

um, yeah, not me. but i did get satisfaction out of how it feels when i pulled the hair from the root. see, you’re wincing now. but, to me, it didn’t hurt. it felt, erm, good somehow. soothing, almost. I haven’t pulled a hair out in years, and even when it was as its worst, i was maybe pulling 10 hairs a day, not the hundreds that you might read about when you google to find out just how crazy Ali actually is.

have i scared you away yet? what about you…any nervous habits??

i’m making an extra-special appearance at urbanmoms today. usually, i do a hot topic friday, but today i bring you a very special Hot Topic Wednesday on Fabulous. come on over and say hi!

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  1. I used to tug at my ear a lot when I was nervous. i think it’s because I needed something to do with my hands. I stopped because I was afraid that soon, my earlobe would be so droopy, I could use a dinner plate as an earring.

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    Comment by hello insomnia on September 12, 2007
  2. I yawn a lot when I’m nervous. Like..purposely yawn, not the naturally induced kind. I make myself yawn. Which is obviously strange. I too have jaw clips everywhere. I love them. They are particularly fun to put on your finger. My daughter found one in the floor the other day and attatched it to the loop on her jeans and said, “Now I look like mommy!” Jaw clips are just awesome.

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    Comment by manda on September 12, 2007
  3. Wow, you’re like angelina jolie and (was it) Lindsay Lohan — cutting themselves to feel the pain….. I love it! So chic!

    I wear my nervous habits for the world to see — when I’m nervous, I ask ridiculous questions, as you WELL know, Ali! ;)

    And, yeah, Colin will NEVER be the same for me either after that gnarly sex tape (of which I only saw like 5 seconds, and that was enough for me to close my macbook!

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    Comment by haley-o on September 12, 2007
  4. My nervous habit is I talk way too much and way too quickly. The other day I did a presentation for our ceo and I was nervous. I spoke so quickly it was hilarious. But, he’s a fast talker too so then he responded really quickly. My colleague said it was like listening to a Chipmunks record.(and, oddly, when I normally talk to him I’m fine – but this was a big deal).
    Oh and I chew my thumbnail.

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    Comment by Laural on September 12, 2007
  5. My husband has a cousin who has to wear wigs because of this! And I always have a scrunchie around my wrist, and have been known to keep a jaw clip or two on my fingers.

    I tend to pick at my lips in the winter when they are dry and easily chapped. Annoying, and sometimes painful. I also talk too fast (and perhaps too much!) when nervous.

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    Comment by Naomi (Urban Mummy) on September 12, 2007
  6. can relate completely with the hair tie AND jaw clip thing… With the hair thing, I sort of can. I love tweezing… a lot… and when I am nervous i start to notice all of the hairs i need to tweeze because i FEEL them…

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    Comment by misty on September 12, 2007
  7. Generally don’t have any per say, but only around some women…but by that time, I’ve already told them, that I’m nervous and that it’s their beauty that making me nervous.
    Works well lol.

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    Comment by Frank on September 12, 2007
  8. I used to do the hair pulling thing, too! Never to the point of going bald or anything, but still. I’m always surprised by how common it is!

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    Comment by Rebecca on September 12, 2007
  9. i keep jaw clips in every purse i own, aslo in the bag that i take to school with me. (i’m a university student.) also, i totally talk to my car, but mine was a girl who i used to have to make speed before coming to a hill so that i would be able to make it up all the way. haha.

    when i’m nervous i start to talk a lot faster, but that’s normal i guess. i also keep an elastic around my wrist and when i’m nervous i twirl it around my hands, or just on two fingers, depending on how much i’ve stretched it. also, for some reason when i get embarassed or think about things that have previously made me embarassed or nervous i say “i’m tired”. not actually tired, it’s just what i do. no idea why i told you that. haha.

    by the way, i’m new. i’ve been reading your site for a while now. i got here through becca (yeah, dasbecca) one day while scanning her comments for interesting new sites to make my dailies and i just loved that your headline was cheaper than therapy. and! i was also overjoyed to finally find a canadian whose blog is interesting. just a canadian in general, that talks about things that i actually know about, like tim hortons. hahha.

    and now i’m babbling. i’m sorry, i just thought i would let you know that my name is shannon and i’m reading. (:

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    Comment by Shannon on September 12, 2007
  10. Yo, Ali! My DH has had the bald patches before. But now the bowling lanes are catching up to the spot where he pulls his hair so it looks natural, LOL. As for me, I pick at the hair on my eyebrows…pretty much mostly the left eyebrow. I have one or two hairs that grows out about twice as long as the normal eyebrow hair, and I like to sorta snag it under my fingernail. WEIRD.

    Oh, and I chew my nails a bit but really chew at the skin AROUND my nails. Ugly. But compulsive. And when I go too far and it hurts, I kinda like the pain, too. I’ll pick at it on purpose, or use THAT finger to pick at my eyebrow, occasionally getting that little jolt. OKAY SO I AM OFFICIALLY CRAZY!

    But I HATE jaw clips…never knew they were called that until now, but I am slowly getting rid of them through vacuuming and the garbage. They fall out of my hair and my kids’ hair, but they still love ‘em. Must be the sparkles & flowers on ‘em.

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    Comment by kath on September 12, 2007
  11. Awesome pic, that top one. Also, that one of Colin. Mmmm.

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    Comment by Her Bad Mother on September 12, 2007
  12. I had a good laugh about your bad habit. Mine, chewing the inside of my cheeks, or my lips. During times of heavy stress, my mouth looks like a wreck. I’m sloooowly trying to wean myself off the habit. I think I picked it up many years ago when I was a preteen kicking the biting nails habit. Grr. Replacing one bad habit with another.

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    Comment by b*babbler on September 12, 2007
  13. Okay, I’ll be the big party pooper and bring everyone down. :)

    Trichotillomania is actually a very serious disorder, and since my son is a sufferer, I just can’t laugh about it. You have no idea what he’s been through, what we’ve all been through, trying to deal with it.

    Imagine an 11-year-old boy trying to explain to his friends why he has no eyelashes. :( Imagine him growing them back in for months, only to pull them all back out again when his grandfather dies, then he comes crying to you about how much of a “bad person” he is for doing it.

    “I suck. I’m such a loser.” Stuff like that. He’s so ashamed that he can’t control it.

    Thankfully, right now, it seems to be in remission. His lashes have all grown back again, but when school started, he got the urge to pull again. It’s mostly at night, so he sleeps on our bedroom floor for comfort and so that I can keep an eye on him as he falls asleep to make sure he doesn’t pick.

    I actually never talk about this on my blog because it’s embarrasing to admit (I worry all the time that I’m at fault somehow), but since I saw this, I just had to say something.

    Sorry to be such a downer, but I felt it was important to bring about some awareness so to speak. Thanks for letting me vent!

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    Comment by BlondeBlogger on September 12, 2007
  14. A few weeks ago, my four-year-old started the hair pulling thing. She doesn’t even know she’s doing it, and what I found concerning was that when I asked her why she was doing it, she said, “I just feel like I HAVE to.” She pulls a hair out (always an individual strand) and then plays with it. I’ve started putting her hair up in pigtails, a ponytail or braids every day. It makes it harder to pull the hair, and I’m hoping it will break the habit. So far it seems to be working.

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    Comment by JMC on September 13, 2007
  15. JMC, there are so many good books out there and websites dedicated to this, with message boards and forums filled with tips.

    I found that those squishy balls (the ones with all of the “hairs” coming out of them), are really good at distracting them and giving them something else to “fidget” with. Others have used, when it’s really bad, gloves or bandaids on the fingers (just at times when they seem to be mindlessly picking, which for my son is at night), etc.

    Saying that she feels like she has to pull is definitely a huge sign of the disorder. I wish you and your daughter well!

    (Does it seem like I’m hijacking your comments, Ali? I hope it doesn’t, and I apologize if it does!)

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    Comment by BlondeBlogger on September 13, 2007
  16. I just wanted to clarify that I LOVE Ali to death and wasn’t the least bit offended by what she wrote. I truly apologize if I came off that way. Just wanted to share my experience with this and how serious it is to me.

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    Comment by BlondeBlogger on September 13, 2007
  17. A couple of months ago a girlfriend of mine mentioned her little girl (7 year old) was pulling her eyelashes and eyebrows out. I did some research and concluded it sounded like this disorder. She mentioned it to her GP – but I am not sure they took it too seriously. She is now keeping a very close eye on it to see if it gets worse – seems to only happen in very stressful times (which in itself is sad that a kid that age can get so stressed).

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    Comment by theotherbear on September 17, 2007
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