By Kori Miller
For as far back as I can remember, I’ve been terrified of spiders. Not simply scared – terrified. I have my mother to thank for this. One night, she and I were in the kitchen hanging out. I sat at the table; she was near the counter. She screamed! I bolted out of my chair.
“What?” I said.
It was a spider. It was heading behind our very large, not so easy to move unless you’re terrified by a spider, microwave. My mom disappeared. She returned with a large can of hairspray. We plotted our attack. After all, there were two of us, and only one big spider. My 5’1” mother began moving the microwave as I maneuvered into place, hairspray in hand. It’s amazing how well hairspray can annihilate a spider. Oh, and leave a really sticky mess. We left that for my dad to clean up.
Once, while I lay quietly on my bed contemplating nothing in particular, my gaze went to my ceiling. There was a black spot. I couldn’t recall that black spot being there before. Slowly, I reached for my glasses. I wasn’t convinced that putting them on was a good idea. At this moment, it was just a black spot.
I looked at the ceiling. Wait, a minute! Did the spot move? Panic surged through my body beginning in my feet. I put on my glasses. AH! (You know how sometimes when you’re really scared, you scream, but it’s only in your head?) I had to get out of the room! What if it fell on me? I carefully removed the covers from my body. I didn’t want to startle the nasty thing. Realizing I couldn’t simply sit up (that would put me closer to the spider); I scooted to the edge and rolled off the bed with a soft “thud.”
“Dad! There’s a spider on my ceiling!”
I retreated from my room. The spider could have it.
Now, I live in the country with my husband and children. The spiders vary and out-number us. I decided I couldn’t allow my children to learn this fear from me. When I see one in the house, I force myself not to panic (scream). I trapped and released one — once (I didn’t even break the glass it was in when I did it!) When my husband is around, I’ll calmly say something like, “You need to go take care of something in ______.” I don’t usually have to say “spider” since it’s the only hairy, creepy, crawly thing in our house that terrifies me.
I garden. As you can probably imagine, this poses a bit of a challenge. I have to admit that the spiders serve a purpose. They shouldn’t all die. There’s a spider that kills wasps. I appreciate that since I’m allergic to bees and wasps. They obviously help with the “beneficial bug thing” in my garden. But, when I’m weeding and the spiders bite me, I tend to get a little annoyed. Spider bites itch a lot more than mosquito bites.
I noticed a black and yellow spider likes hanging out in our shrubs. Its front legs are long and its body is narrow. I pointed it out to our children. I like yellow. It’s still a ghoulish spider, but the color makes it look a bit cheerier somehow.
Over time, I’ve sort of come to terms with my irrational fear of spiders. I still hate it when they sneak up on me. Damn things. Don’t they know how creepy they are?