Nit treatments are like a children’s variant of the diet market, a nursery slope introduction to the fact that, the less likely something is to work, the more it will wang on about how fast it works. The truth is, nothing works, you’re just stuck in a nit yo-yo between having them and not having them, until the passage of time intercedes and the many-legged charabanc either moves on, on its own, or you learn to accept it. I guess it’s not a bad life lesson, like having a guinea pig die or discovering that your parents can’t do fractions.
For the mothers of these vermin-factories, it’s like wearing your psyche on the outside, walking around popping with visible embarrassing thought bubbles. I’ve had them so often that even writing the word “nit” makes my head itch, but so does everything else. Being bored, or around people who make me uncomfortable, or in traffic, or asked a question that I don’t know the answer to, or wearing a T-shirt that is too hot, or remembering a phone call I didn’t return, it all makes me scratch so melodramatically that I look like a German advert for a nit treatment, which is ironic since all I want to do is shout their inefficacy from the rooftops, for ever.
Men never get them, which you might assume is because they are bald, until you marry again, one with hair, and realise the mystery runs deeper. That gender imbalance makes my head itch. I’ve had to stop biting my nails, because I just don’t have the time. Yes, before you make the accusation, I am writing this in the hope that someone will send me their genius, life-changing folk suggestion. I don’t care what it is – vinegar and hydraulic acid, the ground-up bones of massacred headlice. I’m at my nits’ end.
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