I’m a girl. I have a God-given right to be afraid of a lot of things. Mice, snakes, bugs, etc.
Those things, however, do not scare me at all. I mean, I’m not crazy about them and I certainly don’t want them on me, but I’m not really all that scared of them.
I am, however, terrified beyond belief, of spiders.
I don’t care if they are big or small. As a matter of fact, there is no such thing as a spider that is “small”. They are ALL enormous.
Every hair on my body will stand on end when I see one.
I think it all started when we would spend summers at my grandmother’s house. My cousin, Brian, who is four years younger than me, would throw granddaddy long-legs at me. My hair was really long at the time, so they would get stuck in my hair. Sometimes I didn’t realize he had thrown them in my hair until hours later, when they would get untangled and would scoot across my face, causing me to scream in terror until the culprit was found and destroyed. Although I love him now, I was not Brian’s biggest fan back then.
As an adult my fear of spiders has not faded. If anything, it’s gotten worse.
My ex-husband and I were visiting my great-uncle in Alabama on his farm. We had to drive through a wooded road to get to the farm and I saw him out in the field on his tractor. I rolled down the window to wave at him, when suddenly a huge gray and black spider with equally huge hairy legs appeared out of nowhere and began crawling through the open window into the car.
And disappeared inside.
Did I mention I was in the driver’s seat?
And the car was still moving?
And I jumped out of the moving car on the passenger side?
While somehow my seat belt remained buckled?
My ex-husband and my uncle searched the car high and low until they found it. Which was very smart of them because otherwise I would have just sold the car as is to the highest bidder.
After my divorce, and until my son got older, it was my job to be the spider killer in the house. I was prepared. I kept cans of raid within an arms reach.
Spiders in my house should know upon arrival that they are in serious danger if I see them. You know that old saying “They’re probably just as scared of you as you are of them?” Well that’s just a bunch of malarkey. Even armed with a can of Raid, old shoes and a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bodies, I still break out into a cold sweat at just the sight of them.
One morning I woke up all sleepy and snuggly in my bed. I laid there listening to the bird chirp outside my window and allowed my eyes to adjust to the light.
What a wonderful morning.
That’s when I saw it.
Dead center above my head, on the ceiling, was the enemy.
And he was big. Actually he wasn’t big-big, but as I said earlier, there is no such thing as a small spider.
And he was looking down at me.
I stealth-rolled out of bed, smooth like a Navy Seal. I slowly pulled the pillows off the bed and then the sheets. (After I counter-attacked, I didn’t want spider guts or the occasional severed leg to end up on sheets! Or even worse, God forbid that it should get LOST in my sheets, so I put them in the bathroom. Just in case.)
My son, Matthew walked in the room as I was standing on top of the mattress, shoe in hand, armed and ready to kill. However, I was startled and started to lose my balance when I heard his voice saying “WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING. MOM?”
At that moment, the spider jumped like he was kung-fu fighting.
Or so I thought.
I threw the shoe at the ceiling and somehow hit my target. I fell on the bed and bounced onto the floor
as if I had hit the trampoline safety netting of a trapeze artist.
I looked around.
Where the heck was it?
Matthew was laughing hysterically.
I tried to calm myself. I mean, good grief – I was almost ambushed by my nemesis WHILE I WAS SLEEPING. He was going to get me while all of my defenses were down. What kind of fair fight is that?
I looked around and found it’s crumpled dead body right where my pillow would have been. And his leg was still hanging from my ceiling.
Thankfully his family never came after me for revenge.
Because otherwise I would have just sold the house.