My nails are in a sorry state. You'd think it has been a long time since I've gotten lucky by how long they are. But they grow so fast, and the quick runs right up to the very tip of my finger, so even if I cut them to the quick they're still capable of drawing blood too easily. They're strong and sharp. Excellent tools or weapons. I've used my nails to open letters, scrape up old stickers, pry open staples, make fancy patterns of moon-shaped indents on flesh (when I'm really bored), peel citrus fruit, score cardstock (I am NOT kidding on this), get gum out of hair, delouse children, scratch backs, open cd cases, cut thread, and gouge out my enemies' eyes. On more than one occasion they have served as emergency (or I'm-too-lazy-to-walk-to-the-other-room-to-get-the-real-ones) flat head screwdrivers. I do try to keep them trimmed, but often their length is determined by wear -- they just sort of wear down like a bird's beak around cuttlebone. When they do break, they break down low, and I bleed and throb. But since they grow so fast I'm only without a nail for a day or so.
When I was 21 my mom had a hysterectomy. To occupy her one afternoon I agreed to let her paint little designs on my nails (I kept them painted and manicured at the time -- I hadn't yet realized that long, manicured nails were scaring other dykes away). It took her 2 hours, but at the end I had little tropical fish and other exotic sea creatures on each of my nails. They lasted for 2 weeks. I really wish I had taken a picture. As a side note, my mother was so amused by painting with nail polish, and I had such wild colors, that she painted a porcelain dragon figurine with my nail polishes the next day. Best use of purple, blue, and green nail polish I've ever seen.
I've learned to be careful with my nails so that I don't injure others accidentally. But, I'm afraid Kristin could tell you some stories...