Friday, October 30, 2009

Spiders? I'm not Afraid of Spiders

Today being Halloween Eve, if Halloween is important enough to have an Eve, I thought I would have some fun with spiders... er, I mean about spiders. I'm not nearly as terrified of them as I used to be, but still, there are limits.

I thought about doing this blog the other day when I took this picture. This spider has lived outside one of my kitchen windows -- outside being the operative word here -- since early spring. I have watched it since it was a tiny thing as it grew, caught bugs, repaired its web, and laid a jillion eggs.

I had no idea one spider could make so many little spider egg bags. I counted at least twenty on the eave above the web.

Since moving out to the country, I have had to become much more tolerant of insects and other creatures than I used to be, but it took a while before I could become comfortable letting a spider keep its home in my garden or around my house. I grew up with a father who was terrified of spiders and I learned his lesson well.

Once, when I first moved to Texas and knew I was going to die from having a huge tarantula bite me one day, I had to call my neighbor - a native Texan - to help me with this spider I saw on the room divider by my front entry. Mind you, I was a good 25 feet away in the entry to my kitchen, frozen in fear.

I kept trying to be brave enough to cross that line between my kitchen and my living room so I could face this monster alone, but my feet wouldn't move from tile to carpeting. So I had no recourse but to call my neighbor to save me. A few minutes later, she came in the back door and asked me where the spider was.

"Up there," I said pointing to the divider. "At the top of that post."

She walked over, looked around, then reached up. "You mean this?" she asked, pulling down a piece of tinsel left from Christmas decorations the month before.


I am proud to say that I am not nearly as phobic now, but I do draw the line on the spiders invading my house. As I write this, my husband is vacuuming two spiders out of the bathtub for me.

What about you? Are you afraid of spiders? Have any funny stories to share?


Helen Ginger said...

Uh, Maryann, you do realize that vacuuming up a spider does not kill it, don't you? You should empty the bag or container after your vacuum.

Straight From Hel

Anj said...

I am also terrified of spiders. In the fantasy novel I'm working on right now, one of my characters battles some giant spiders. I did that in an attempt to face my fears. However, now I'm having second thoughts. What if I got this book published, and it became popular enough to be made into a movie? (Yeah, that's a colossal if.) I wouldn't be able to watch the movie because it would have giant spiders in it. So I'm thinking of going back and having my heroine fight some other kind of monster. But I can't think of anything scarier than spiders.

In real life, I have no one to fight spiders for me. So whenever there's a spider in my apartment, I freak out for a few minutes, then force myself to calm down and find some way to kill it from as great a distance as possible. Anything to keep my hand from having to come within a foot of it. I've been known to use various sprays, sticks, and once even a hammer.

I still vividly remember a nightmare I had as a very small child. A giant green spider with leaf-like legs was attacking my cat, and my cat was fighting back heroically. I think I must have heard someone say the words "spider plant" and it scared me, although the spider's legs looked more like aloe vera leaves than an actual spider plant. I forget most dreams within minutes of waking, but that one remains sharper than most of my real childhood memories.