DEAR HARRIETTE: I am very proud of my nails. I take good care of them, and they have grown to be long and strong. I also make sure to cut and file them if they are getting too long and crossing over into unkempt territory. I enjoy getting complimented on my nails, but some people have decided it's their duty to try to rip off my nails as though they are fake. It seems like a backhanded compliment to me, but I do not like hearing, "they're so long they can't be real!" as someone tries to bend my nails. I have awkwardly laughed this comment off and withdrawn my hand, but I find it incredibly strange. Both men and women have done this, and I try to explain that these are my real nails and I take good care of them, but the comments don't stop. Should I peg this as jealousy or assume this is a hint to make my nails shorter? -- Not Nailing It, Syracuse, New York
DEAR NOT NAILING IT: Whether you have artificial nails or natural nails, it is incredibly rude for someone to try to pull your nail off. Given how much you tend to your nails, I'm wondering if you ever brag about the health of your nails. Whether you do so consciously or not, if you do, you may want to tone that down. Drawing attention to your beautifully tended nails may be backfiring on you right now.
That said, the people who are grabbing at you do not need an explanation. If somebody reaches out to pull at your nails, immediately and sharply ask them not to touch them.