I recently read an article about a man in Nebraska who was ‘rooming’ with about forty rare, deadly brown recluse spiders. To make sure he doesn’t ‘get bit’, he carefully ‘shakes his clothing out when he steps out of the shower’, as opposed to my more technical approach of screaming my fool head off and running around in circles until I hyperventilate and crumple to the floor in a quivering heap.
If there was even a remote possibility, the slightest chance that a single spider was shacking up in my space, I wouldn’t hesitate to sleep in my car until the little guy was found, scooped up in my gentle hands and released back out into the wild. Or squashed underneath my husband’s slipper. My sense of mercy really depends on my mood that day.
I am so fearful of spiders, if there is one within 300 yards of me, the hairs on the back of my neck will stand up. I’ll drop whatever it is I’m doing and my eyes will start to dart around the room. “There! There it is!” I’ll yell and point to a tiny speck up in the corner of the ceiling. My husband is continually amazed at my spidar. It’s a technique that was honed over many years of close encounters with the 8-legged kind.
My arachnophobia goes way back. When I was young I lived in a bedroom that was really part of the attic, in an old drafty house full of spiders. They’d descend from the ceiling, crawl down the walls. I could never bear to kill one, so I’d scream until someone else would do it for me. Once I managed to scoop up a giant spider and pushed him out onto the ledge next to my bedroom window. I went to sleep, feeling smug about my good deed. When I woke up the next morning, the same spider was not only back inside, but he was sitting on the wall with a couple of his cronies. Glaring at me. Yes, I am here to tell you, spiders can glare. I swear they were plotting their revenge.
I think spiders know I hate them, so they’ve made it their mission to harass me. I attract them like a magnet. Sort of like when a dog can sense if you don’t like them, they’ll be sure to jump all over you. Oh, but spiders are crafty lil’ buggers.
When I was in junior high, I was taking recorder lessons at school. One fine morning, I grabbed my recorder and started to practice. But there was no sound. Huh, that’s weird, I thought as I gave it a shake. Then I tried it again. Nothing. I started to take it apart. I unscrewed the middle piece and peered inside. It looked like it was stuffed with cotton. I poked my finger in there and leaned down to press my eye up against it, when a giant spider decided to come out of hiding. He jumped (jumped!) onto my finger and started to race up my arm. I swear I could see gnashing teeth and blazing eyes on his little spidey face, but it was all a blur. I guess he was a little ticked I ruined his house?
Imagine the world’s loudest scream. Now multiply that by a million. Imagine someone who is freaking out, flailing their arms all over the place, while having massive tremors in their entire body. Imagine my brothers and dad all running upstairs to see why I was on the floor foaming at the mouth and twitching.
Now that I’m older, I still hate spiders. I still hyperventilate just thinking about one. Last week I was sitting by myself on the couch, late at night watching TV. In slow motion, this giant spider appears, dangling right in front of my face. He had descended from the ceiling and was just hovering there in mid-air. Glaring at me. Taunting me. Daring me to do something about it.
I did. I screamed.
What are some of your fears? Would you live with 40 brown recluse (possibly deadly) spiders on purpose? Will you come over and kill a spider for me? He’s underneath a cup on the floor and I’m scared to look to see if he’s still there. Thanks.