Thursday, February 24, 2011


I have an irrational fear of spiders. A phobia. But a crazy, irrational phobia. It's better now, since I'm trying to be brave for my daughter, and try not to TEACH her to fear things that aren't hazardous. But I was once so scared of spiders, that no amount of rational thought could convince me that a spider wasn't going to jump across the room just to land on me. Seriously. If there was a spider in the bathroom, I would not enter. Period. If I knew one was there, because it had been sighted earlier, but was in hiding, I would not go in.
Funny Pictures
In High School, I dated a guy who had a pet tarantula. He was rooting through his closet for something and handed me a shoebox, but was still looking through his closet for whatever it was. I foolishly opened the shoebox and was attacked by an army of tarantulas. Or, apparently, shed tarantula skins, set afloat by the air whooshing through when I opened the box. I just about peed myself was understandably very traumatized. He of course, thought it was hilarious, but hadn't known about my phobia, and hadn't been trying to trick me. He just thought I might enjoy seeing the shed skins. Gaaaah.
I once lived in a house infested with gigantic wolf spiders. We [and by "we" I mean my roommates. No way was I getting that close!] would adjust disposable lighters to make higher flames, and run them along under the electric baseboard heaters. Literally dozens of dead, crispy wolf spiders would come falling out. *shudder* One of my roommates was cruel, and would place them like trophies, atop the baseboard heaters. If you walked past fast enough, the breeze in your wake would make them move. Out of the corner of your eye, you'd see an army of spiders come to attack you. This roommate also enjoyed putting plastic Halloween spiders on my pillow and in my laundry. Hilarity ensues.
When I met my husband, I told him that if he didn't respect my fear of spiders, irrational is it may be, that it would be a deal-breaker. While it might be funny to watch me scream and freak out when I find a plastic spider in my underwear drawer, it should be equally funny to watch me scream when confronted by a real spider. So just be patient.

I can't even kill them. First off, if I get close enough to slay one, it would jump on me, and secondly, I don't like feeling their little crunchy bodies in the tissue or whatever between my fingers. I don't want to have to scrape them off my shoe. And I'm no medical examiner. They might not really be dead. And I'm certainly not going to bother with a glass and paper to try and shoo them outside. They know where I live! Plus, did I mention? They all want to jump on me!
And even if I can get someone else to kill the spider for me, instead of their bleeding-heart "I'll just put it outside" nonsense, they have to kill it right. You can't just scoop it up in a tissue and flush it. It's still alive, and will thus come crawling back up through the toilet, bent on revenge. Naturally, it will bide its time until I need to use the toilet, and then it will pounce! But you can't just squish it either. It might be faking, just waiting for me to lower my guard. The proper procedure is to squish it (preferably into several pieces) and then flush it.

Well, one night, at the wolf spider house, all my spider-slayers roommates happened to be out. I was slobbing around not cleaning minding my own business when a monstrously large spider ran across my hand (which was on the floor, for some reason. As I recall, I sat on the floor often to watch TV.) Spider. Ran. Across. My. Hand. What to do? I was frozen with fear and indecision. I certainly couldn't co-exist with it peaceably for hours until someone got home to save me. I had no shoes on. And I didn't want spider squish on my shoe anyway. I finally found one of my roommates' shoes and whomped that spider into a bajillion pieces. Then I ran upstairs and was found by my roommates hours later, curled up in a ball in one of the chairs, almost catatonic. Someone scraped the spider off the shoe and flushed it for me. The moral of the story is that I was able to control my fear long enough to deal with the problem before completely losing it. Thereby qualifying me for motherhood. If I can handle that, I can handle anything!

Now, of course, I have a little minion to eradicate spiderdom. She not only likes spiders, but wants to hold them. And she's not exactly gentle. The down side is that I cannot shriek like a little girl or gibber in fear as they crawl all over her hands and up her arms. The up side is that they inevitably get squished.

This post was inspired by one of  Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop Generic Writing Prompts, "What are you afraid of?"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Go ahead! Tell me how awesome I am. Or ask a question. Whatever.

(Please note that I had to disable Anonymous comments. Too many spam comments coming through the filters.)