Looking at Fears

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”)

34 thoughts on “Looking at Fears

            1. I understand. We lived in a house with a corn field bordering the backyard. My mother hated mice and I recall seeing her leap vertically onto the kitchen counter in a single bound when a mouse scampered across her toes!!

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  1. Strange my sister used to pull their legs off to. I wonder if they could live then, doubt it. I didn’t like having the legless dropped on me though. At Girl Scout camp I was once held down while taunted with the spider. But if I see a spider first I’m OK. I used to like to photograph their webs.

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    1. Sorry to hear that the Scouts were so mean! If my sister had dropped the legless body of a spider on me, she had better hope I had a broken leg because if not, she’d have 2 broken legs!!

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  2. Umm… you were whimpering at more than one cache! LOL Every time we left the trail… But that’s okay, I’ll walk in front and break up the webs in our path while you walk behind and keep the flying insects away from me. Bees and wasps have no respect for Deep Woods Off!

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      1. No ticks! That’s the second time we’ve been in the woods without picking up ticks. Was there an early freeze or something? Or is it just because we remembered the DEET both times?

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    1. Any enemy of my enemy is my friend! I’m glad you complement each other so well. I’m not sure what will happen if I ever lose Sparky… good thing I have sons close by who I could call on. At least I think I could call them!

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