I Finally Know I’m Not Alone

For years, I’ve tried to find a way to describe how much I hate spiders.

Screaming works somewhat. Turning the color of pureed peas and dashing from the room works sometimes, too. And there has been a time or two when beating said arachnid to a bloody pulp with whatever I have nearby that’s handy (a shoe, a catalog, a chair, a hammer, a cleaver) helps alleviate my fears somewhat.

But when it comes to creating clear and coherent sentences to describe my feelings while I’m occupying the same room as an 8-legged creature of doom, I just can’t do it. Everything just comes out sounding like


So when I found Allie’s account of her own terror of spiders on her blog Hyperbole and a Half, I finally felt like there were other people in the world who might hate spiders as much as I do. (Please, oh please, oh PLEASE go read Allie’s blog before you read mine. Because truly, it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever read. WAY funnier than what I’m about to write. Oh wait….maybe  you shouldn’t go read her blog after all….)

I read Allie’s post on the same day as my Most Recent Terror-Inducing Encounter with A Spider This Month. So…in the spirit of sharing…here it goes.

I was sitting on my adorable green sofa, minding my own business, watching an episode of the Gilmore Girls. It was an ordinary Friday evening, and I was in junk food, Netflix heaven. Suddenly, after a particularly humorous Lorelei pun, I happened to notice that my cat, Harry, was sitting on the floor in front of me, staring at a spot somewhere between the ceiling and the floor.

I didn’t think anything of it, because cats often do the “Stare At One Spot For Awhile Because It Seems Intriguing” thing.

A few moments later I noticed that my other cat, Scooter, had joined him in the staring.

Before I even SAW the little monster, I knew exactly what they were staring at.

Trying to calm my breathing and keep my dinner in my stomach as opposed to all over the rug, I sat perfectly still and attempted to focus my eyes on the same spot they were staring at.

And then, there it was—-The Spider—sliding down its icky sticky web like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.

To my credit, I did not scream.

Because screaming only works if there’s someone to hear your screams and then rush to your rescue.

I was home alone.

Except for the cats but they don’t think “OMG SPIDER OF DEATH KILL IT,” they think, “Oh yea, a new friend! Let’s bat him around until all his legs fall off then eat him!”

In what feels like a ten-year time span, but what in reality was probably 10 seconds, I come up with The Most Brilliant Plan Known To Man. Except that plan was to beat the ever-loving crap out of that spider with my shoe.

I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more.

And the damn thing never continued its disgusting trip down its web. It just stayed there, dangling from the ceiling, as if taunting me with its hairy little self.


So, I decided to stop waiting, and took matters into my own hands. It went something like this:

I did it! It’s dead! Hooray for me!


Oh, snap. What if it’s NOT dead? What if it’s just waiting for me to move these shoes just slightly so it can jump out and eat my face??????

I stood there, frozen, for eleven years, and wondered what my fate would be if I just dropped the shoes and ran for the hills.

Eventually, I started breathing again, and my mind started working enough to begin thinking “Where the hell is that wonderful husband of mine when I really need him?” That’s when I devised Phase Two of my Not So Brilliant Plan Afterall.

After careful planning (as much as I could without drawing a diagram and calling in reinforcements. Because let’s face it, those shoes weren’t budging) I took a deep breath and launched Phase Two. Which went something like this:

Grip shoes, with *hopefully* dead spider carcass with one hand while…
…opening the front door with the other hand so I could…
…launch shoes out front door, with *hopefully* dead carcass still smooshed between Loafers 1 and 2…
…and breathe. And don’t pass out or throw up…

Because my husband knows me so well, he didn’t even question the sprawled loafers in the front yard when he got home from work later that night. He just checked for bodies, picked them up and brought them in.

And I *know* illustrations would’ve been funnier….but unlike Allie, I can’t even draw spiders.

Even cartoons of spiders creep me out.

So….maybe I am alone.

4 thoughts on “I Finally Know I’m Not Alone

  1. Jenna

    You are not alone…
    There was a clearly dead spider in the bathtub on morning when I needed to take a shower and go to work.
    But I thought he might be faking.
    So I threw the cat at it (this is not an exaggeration). The bathtub assassin didn’t move, so the cat lost interest and left it in the tub (useless flea bag). Naturally, I still thought it could be faking, but now I was going to be late for work and real panic set in.
    It’s like there were two people in my brain; one was huddled in the corner screaming every time I moved near the supposed corpse, the other was beyond incredulous that I was standing frozen in the middle of my bathroom, risking being late for work, because there was an obviously dead bug in the tub.
    Eventually the latter part of my brain took the former, slapped her, duct tapped her mouth, and locked her in a closet. I took about half a roll of toilet paper (so I wouldn’t have to feel the body and/or so it couldn’t get to me if it was still alive), screamed, picked it up and threw it in the toilet. I flushed the toilet and when the giant wad of toilet paper was out of sight, I stopped screaming.
    Then the logical part of my brain, opened the closet door, removed the duct tape, and held the other part of my brain until she stopped shaking.
    True story.

  2. Abby

    One day, I’m going to have to figure out how to do a reenactment of you panicking over the giant spider in the apartment while both Brian and I are at work.

    Again, drawing would be SO handy, because that post could win me a Bloggie.

    I’m just sayin’…

    Would you be willing to take self-portraits of yourself standing on a chair shrieking with terror?

  3. Walt

    Rosie (the Elder) was DEATHLY afraid of spiders. She was sitting at the dining room table when little Brian came in for his Ni Night Hug.

    He was wearing his Spiderman Jammies.

    Rosie gasped so hard it sucked the air out of the room and she sprang to her feet and ran for the bedroom gurgling and screaming all the way down the hallway.

    She came out in the morning when the coast was clear. Needless to say we switched jammies.

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