From a very young age I have been afraid of spiders. Perhaps afraid is not the right word. I’m terrified in a cartoonish crawl out of my skin and run screaming into the next century way. My first memories of spiders were of the neighbor boy pulling the legs off a daddy long-legs. I was angry that he was hurting it. I vaguely remember picking it up (minus a leg or two) and relocating it away from where he was sitting. The next memory was when I was in kindergarten. I woke up one morning and slowly opened my eyes. There on my pillow, a fraction of an inch from my eyes was a spider. I could see all of its eyes and very clearly its mouth parts moving. I leapt up and screamed. From that point on I wanted nothing to do with the 8-leggers. My mother tells a story from when I was 8 or 9 years old. I was in bed when I spotted a spider on the wall next to me. I bellowed for my father. He came in and wanted to know what was wrong. I pointed to the wall and shouted “spider”! He looked, finally noticing the tiny black dot, and pointing said to me “This?” I affirmed that that was it. He then smashed it on the wall with his index finger. It was no bigger than a period from a newspaper. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a slightly greater tolerance for them. As long as they stay out of my way and don’t enter the bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen they can live. If they come into my space they must die.
Which brings me to my latest encounter. I went geocaching in the woods with saintvi. For some unholy reason this particular woods was home for every species of spider known in lower southwest Michigan. No sooner had we started than we began encountering fiendishly positioned webs. They were strung between trees at face level. There were some that were spun with metal cable that could easily withstand a human walking into it. I envisioned a giant mutant spider able to devour an adult. I won’t lie, I made a high pitched scream. Yes it was a true “girly” scream. Then there were the hellish webs that were strung canopy-like over head with large active 8-leggers scampering to and fro. As we trudged to one cache, I admit to whimpering. There were webs everywhere! I am not prone to panic. However at one point I had my hand over my mouth to stifle my shrieks as I saw a score of little spiders riding silk threads on the slight breeze. I didn’t kill any of them as I was on their turf. Nevertheless I was very happy to exit that particular area.
To top it off Sparky decided we needed to watch the movie “Spider-Man: Homecoming” as if I hadn’t had enough arachnid exposure for awhile!! At least Spider-Man only has 2 arms and 2 legs!! (and I did enjoy the film but I know that it was just a refresher as a prelude to the newest installment “Spider-Man: Far from Home”)