Monday, September 7, 2009


I'll admit it: I hate spiders. Actually, hate really isn't a strong enough word, but neither is detest, abhor, loathe, or any of the other suggestions in my thesaurus. There isn't a strong enough word to encapsulate my fear and revulsion of those disgusting eight legged creepy crawlers. So I'll just have to go with hate.

Now, I know I'm not the only person on this planet to hate spiders (and certainly not the only girl). But it goes deeper than that. Spiders literally paralyze me with fear--even dead ones. I can't move, I can't think, I can barely breathe. And if I have to get near them...well...there's hysterical crying involved. And don't even bother with the whole, "You're a million times bigger than them," and "They're not going to hurt you," speeches. Doesn't matter. I never claimed this was a rational fear. It's completely irrational. So using logic or reason does nothing for me--nothing!

So how have I managed to survive with this kind of crippling phobia? Honestly, it's not easy. When I lived with my parents it was simpler: my parents killed the spiders. I didn't care if it was the middle of the night and I was a full grown teenager--they were waking up and killing the spider while I cowered in the corner and tried not to cry. But then I moved away to college and lived on my own for three years...

I'm not kidding when I say that the first time I found a spider in my apartment I seriously considered calling my manager to come kill it. The only thing that stopped me was that my manager was a six foot five three hundred pound guy with a fairly short temper, and upsetting him was even scarier than the eight legged vermin. So I found a way to do it on my own. It involved an entire can of bugspray, two pairs of rubber gloves, thick boots, a broom, and an umbrella (it was up on the ceiling), plus tons of screaming and crying and deep breathing but I finally killed that little sucker (and almost clogged my toilet when I flushed it cause I'd used so many tissues to pick up the carcass). I wish I could say it got easier after that, but it didn't. Actually, it got worse. So when I got married I made it very clear to my husband that he was taking on the responsibility of designated spider killer (I was tempted to put it in the vows). And he's been faithfully killing them ever since.

Except sometimes he's not home. The last time this happened it was a spider on the ceiling (why is it always the ceiling--why?) of our staircase, which was especially bad because I spotted it when I was upstairs and all the poison and umbrellas and rubber gloves were downstairs and there was no way I was walking underneath that thing (have you seen how fast they can repel down?). I tried calling my husband and begging him to take his lunch break early...but he refused (I still haven't entirely forgiven him) so I was on my own. After staring at it for who knows how long it finally moved over enough for me to run sobbing down the stairs to collect my spider killing supplies and wage battle with the beast. But I was shaking and crying the whole time, and a little traumatized for the rest of the day.

So imagine my dismay when right before bed last night I spotted a bright red beastie on my ceiling (seriously, WHY the ceiling?). My husband claims the look of horror on my face nearly gave him a heart attack. And he wasn't happy that he had to go get a ladder and take care of the problem after midnight after a long day. Nor was he happy that he then had to do a spider search of the rest of the bedroom, especially the bed and sheets (I'm convinced they travel in pairs and you just never see the other one). And he really wasn't happy when I still didn't feel safe and tried to talk him into looking again. What can I say? I know I'm being ridiculous--that doesn't mean I can stop.

My only defense is that I'm not afraid of much else. Snakes, rats, mice, lizards--they don't bother me at all. Maybe that isn't enough to make up for the debilitating phobia of spiders, but it still came in pretty handy when my husband found a garden snake under our trash bin outside and turned as white as a sheet. (And don't even get me started on the time there was a opossum in our garage. Honestly, who's afraid of a opossum?). Everyone's afraid of something. Even superman had a weakness. Spiders just happen to be my form of kryptonite. They haven't killed me yet...but darned if they don't keep trying.

In fact...all this spider talk is making me itchy. I think I need another search of the bedroom now, just to be safe.

"Oh honey....."

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