Nobody Listens to My Brain Waves Anymore.

***Preface*** In the comment section of a recent post, a question of the integrity of my blog’s content was implied: Do I make this stuff up?  It’s not the first time I’ve been asked—someone once even accused me of commenting anonymously on my own posts, just to stir the pot.  No.  It is not true.  I’ve never done either.  Though good, dramatic writing sometimes merits a few embellished details, like rounding up the number of stairs I climb each day from 107 to an even 110, the the stories on this blog are founded in truth.  This kind of stuff really does happen to me, and here’s how you can know:  My imagination is not all that great.  I couldn’t make up these stories.***

So there I am, all gussied up in my Sunday best…

Image from here.

…Poor Kyle’s on the pew next to me, and I’m laughing at the fact that we’re sitting on a “pew.”  [Okay, not really.  I got over that childishness a long time ago.]  A nice lady is at the pulpit giving a spiritual talk, because that’s how we roll in the Mormon church—everyone gets to have a go at preaching.  [Not really.  But sort of.  It’s actually kind of complicated.  Feel free to drop me a line if you have questions about how it works.]

Anyway, Poor Kyle and I are sitting there reverently, listening to the speaker, when suddenly, amidst the congregation, I hear a distinct “Snip.” High-pitched and tinny, it sounded strangely like…well…like fingernail clippers at work.

“It couldn’t be,” I thought, “Who in their right mind would clip their nails at church?  Surely it’s just a random noise.”


“Snip…  Snip.” And just like that, all sense of reverence I might have been feeling flies out the proverbial window, and my mind becomes consumed with the desire to make sense of the situation.  Who is doing this?  Is it seriously for real?  Why do they think that is appropriate behaviour? {Note: I, myself, have been called out on my INAPPROPRIATE, DISTRACTING, AND ABOMINABLY WHORISH BEHAVIOUR before at church, so I consider myself an expert on “how to act while sitting through a sermon.”}

I elbow Poor Kyle in the poor ribs and whisper, “Did you hear that?”

He furrows his bushy eyebrows at me, giving me one of “The Looks” that implies I’m not acting my age when I should be.

“Hear what?” he demands quietly.


“That!  That snip!”  I’m trying to whisper, but it’s hard to remember to use my inside voice when my brain is screaming STOP SNIPPING YOUR FINGERNAILS IN CHURCH! at the anonymous clipper sitting somewhere behind me.

“Someone is clipping her nails at church!”

Poor Kyle looks at me like I’m embarrassing him—another expression I’ve learned to interpret over the past 16 months of marriage to a man who doesn’t like any attention on him whatsoever.

“Just listen,” I whisper, “she’ll do it again.”


“See?!  Did you hear it?” It is blatantly obvious; I am elated to have proof, so Poor Kyle will stop looking at me like I’m growing antennae from my eyeballs.


He hears it, and nods his head.  It is the sound of fingernails being clipped.

I am smug, but at the same time completely perplexed on so many levels.

I, of all people, understand the value of a short set of nails—but mercy!  There’s a time and a place for everything.  At least, that’s what I was taught.

By this time, I have pinpointed the culprit (and none too stealthily, either—I’m pretty sure I’ve been staring), and I believe it’s a teenage girl sitting with her parents.  I am baffled:  Why does her mother not put an end to the persistent snipping?  Why has the lass chosen now to clip her nails?  Why does she even have clippers with her?  {I can’t find my nail clippers on a good day, let alone carry them with me at all times.}  What kind of person is she?


Furthermore, it seems she is giving herself a full-on manicure, right here in the middle of the church meeting.  I suppose I could understand clipping a wayward broken nail—those buggers snag on clothes and are certainly irritating—but she’s been snipping for five minutes straight.  How many nails does she have, anyway?  Last I checked, people have ten fingers (give or take a few), and even at two snips—maybe three—per nail, the entire process should take 60 seconds.  But no; this girl is a chronic clipper.  She’s clearly obsessive-compulsive/anal retentive when it comes to her nail clippings, because this process seems to be never-ending.

I’m compelled to send her mental messages, in the hopes that she will catch one and get the hint that she should stop her incessant snipping:  “For heaven’s sake, child,” I think loudly, “Pack around a file, too, if you’re going to bring your clippers; don’t do all your fine-tuning with such blatant ‘snips.’  It’s unbecoming!”

She continues, “…Snip…  Snip…”

What a pity.  Nobody listens to my brain-waves anymore…

***Post face*** I know the sound of nail-clipping drives some people bonkers; it’s not one of my pet peeves, but I can only imagine how some members of the congregation might have been getting annoyed with the situation.  I, myself, was more fascinated than anything else.  I couldn’t believe such a thing was happening.***

Is it just me, or is this situation really bizarre?

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
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27 Responses to Nobody Listens to My Brain Waves Anymore.

  1. Whitney says:

    She was clipping her finger nails at church? That is bizarre. How distracting not only for you but Im sure the speaker wanted to drop kick her across the room. Teenage girls… need I say more?

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  3. Anonymous says:


    I’m sure you know how I feel about this. I might have had to get out and go sit in the mothers’ lounge. Clipping finger nails is akin to popping gum. Ugh. I physically shuddered just thinking of the two.

  4. Granamama says:

    One time a certain dear aunt of yours painted her fingernails at church. It made so-and-so SO sick ( because he is allergic to everything) that he had to go home from the smell of the fumes. Strange things do happen at the Mormon Church.

    By the way—the lady who had her DOG bear its testimony in Brent’s ward died—-the lady that is, not the dog. WHo knows where the testimony-bearing dog is now. Rumor has it that Ginger Montague is the benificiary of the canine.

    p.s Some dorky 18 month old tried to beat up Preston at church on SUnday. He looked so surprised that someone would hit and kick him. Preston promptly fell on the deviant toddler and Mr. Menace fell and bumped his head. Justice was served without adult intervention. Moral—Don’t mess with PDA or he’ll fall on you.

  5. Camille says:

    Whitney– I’m glad you agree. I was wondering if maybe I was the crazy one, for noticing it.

    anonymous My Sister– Thanks for the validation. I knew you would agree.

    Grananamamama– Goodness. I suppose I would have noticed that, too. Though at least it wouldn’t have been noisy. GO PRES!! He’s a winner, that boy.

  6. anna says:

    I was constantly getting “the look” for picking my split ends during church (which, as you might know, creates NO noise). I can’t imagine the trouble I’d be in for clipping my nails.

    Besides it being bizarre, it’s gross. That’s not even anything I’d do in public, let alone during church. For example: I type during Church for a deaf man and I keep my nails long. But on the Sunday I type, I cut my nails so I can type quicker and more accurately. One Sunday, I was running late to a meeting before church so I took my clippers and file with me. After my meeting, I went into the mother’s lounge to clip, or snip as some say, so no one would have to hear/see it.

  7. Niki says:

    I’m still thinking about the horrid mess she left behind…

  8. Geneva says:

    weird. One of my young women likes to play One Republic songs on the piano for prelude. Every sunday.

    “It’s too late to apologize. Too late”

  9. HeatherPride says:

    It’s kind of gross!! I used to have a cubicle next to this dude who clipped his fingernails at his desk and it made me gag every time he did it!! EWW!

  10. Camille says:

    anna– Split ends? Who even cares whether you do that? At least it’s not noisy!! Thank you for being polite with your nail clipping.

    Niki– I know, gross. In the Lord’s house, too. Shame.

    Geneva– I didn’t think anything could be weirder than mine, but yours actually IS weirder. I didn’t know One Republic made copies of their music for Organ. Or does she just make it up?

    HeatherPride– Thanks for seeing my way. It IS gross to do in public.

  11. raygon says:

    geesh! that is inappropriate for church. And I dont know what is funnier…this post or your moms comment about the testimony bearing dog! sometimes church is just entertaining huh?

  12. anonymous says:

    Thanks for the reminder of all the mean comments i made on that post you linked back to, i really enjoy reliving the guilt and shame. I will not bother you again.

  13. Katie says:

    Yes. It is rude and GROSS, too!!! EW!

  14. Holly Decker says:

    *sigh*… i somehow KNEW i would make a wave for that confession :)

    i agree… snipping nails in church is a bit obnoxious… i mean, REALLY? can you not do that at home? if i was the speaker that day and looked down to see her clipping her nails… i probably wouldve lost all train of thought and faith in the congregation wouldve been extinct.
    i am glad you sit reverenly and listen.

    AND, i also love how you and Adell both say the word ‘mercy’ as an expression. its catchy… and i kinda want to adopt it.

    anyways, the story is well told… and glad you took the time to share it… once again, amazed at your adventures :)

  15. jami says:

    I can’t imagain even having the time to sit and clip my finger nails durning church???
    What if she was clipping her TOES??? That would be even more gross.
    I will admitt to biting my nails durning church…is that the same thing?

  16. EverybodyNose says:

    That’s FANTASTIC!!!!!!

  17. sarah says:

    Lol.. you are a good storyteller. That is hilarious!

  18. EverybodyNose says:

    I wish funny stuff happened in my ward…

  19. Cristin says:

    Weird. Maybe this happens at church all the time and I’m just attentive enough to hear it over my noisy kids.

  20. Lucky says:

    Does anyone here ever not agree with Camille? Is it just me? Am i crazy?

    I never noticed stuff like that when i sat in pews. Sister Michelman, who was typically 5 something pews behind, could be heard singing beautifully, and well above the congregation. A beautiful, powerful, voice. Also my babysitter at one time. Thank heaven for her, cause i heard no nail clipping there. Or maybe it’s just me.

  21. Tisha says:

    Now I’m insanely curious to know who. That is insane! Sadly, my little moster was making too much noise to hear any snipping. Oh well!

  22. Kyle's Granny says:

    Aha! you slipped me the cue! Sister Michelman was a very German lady who had a powerful, Wagnerish voice that was absolutely gorgeous to listen to. And she also did a little cooking for my kids when she babysat for me. She was very thrifty, having coming through the war under very stringent circumstances, so she made like a barrel of applesauce, mixed it liberally with cooked rice, and tried to make my chilluns eat it. No way, you stubborn little devils…..”you can’t make me! I’ll tell my mother, and she’ll fire you” type-thing. AAAGGGHHH! Poor Sis M. I liked her but she was very set in her ways.

  23. anonymous says:

    haha how bizzare. oh well, it’s things like this that make things interesting

  24. anon10 says:

    Well, that must have been annoying! Seriously, who clips their nails in church. And, what parents would allow that? Oh well…

  25. april says:

    I’ve actually been witness to the nail trimming in church before. Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

  26. jacque says:

    ahh i have to admit that i have been an annoying fingernail clipper… kinda. one sunday the babies nails were scratching us like little knives so i grabbed out the baby clippers and snipped them. it was all i could do to keep from yelping with pain each time they dug their little nails into mine & my husbands arms. eek!

  27. fahrrad says:

    Dies ist ein gro

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