Friday, January 21, 2011

Flashback Friday: Afraid of spiders

It's funny how even if you're married to someone, that doesn't mean you know everything about them. I mean, sure, after over a year of marriage, Jeremy knew I was "afraid" of spiders, but who isn't?

He didn't get it. I was, and am, AFRAID OF SPIDERS. I cannot abide them. I hate them when they're inside my house and although I would like to let them be when they're minding their own business outside of my house, I hate them there, too. I can't touch them, I can't look at them, I can't think about them, and I most definitely cannot take a joke about them. Which is what Jeremy didn't know when he set up the following prank for me.

It was 2003. We were living in the basement of my great-aunt and uncle's house in American Fork, Utah. Every once in a while, we came across a spider there. Not those weak-sauce spindly little daddy long legs, but those furry black house spiders that take up residence in a corner uncomfortably near your bed and only vacate said corner when you finally build up the courage to do something about it and go looking for it so you can kill it, only to find that it has vanished. Then it shows up the next morning squashed on the carpet and you wonder how that happened and then remember that you got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and walked right there and wasn't there a vague recollection of stepping on something crunchy and uuuuuugggghhhhh that's disgusting.

ANYWAY, one evening I was sitting in the kitchen when Jeremy came out of the bathroom and said he saw a spider in there. I requested (uh, perhaps demanded) that he kill it immediately but his response was lukewarm, something like, "maybe later." This was alarming to me. I asked him again and he said, "can't you do it just this once? It wasn't very big." I'm making this exchange seem more unnatural than it was. I don't remember exactly what he said to make me do it. It doesn't matter. At the end of the discussion, I got up with a very reluctant and slightly terrified sigh and went to kill this supposedly tiny spider.

I crept into the bathroom and didn't see it anywhere. He told me to look by the bathmat. Nope, no spider there. He said, well, maybe it crawled under the bathmat. This was all getting a little too involved for me and I decided that flipping up the bathmat very quickly with the very edge of my thumb and pointer finger was as far as I would go. If the spider still wasn't there, I had done my due diligence and it was his turn to hunt it down.

I reached out slowly, grasped the edge of the bathmat with as little surface area of my fingertips as possible, and flipped it over, real fast-like, cringing away even as I did so.

Immediately, dozens of spiders swarmed out from underneath the mat and started running toward me. I bolted out of that bathroom, screaming hysterically and crying.

The next few minutes are a blur to me but I think I freaked Jeremy out enough that he cut the joke off right then and there and told me that it wasn't spiders at all - it was a pack of fake plastic ants he'd planted there on purpose ahead of time. When I lifted the bathmat up so suddenly, it scattered the ants all over in a very realistic fashion and in my fear-of-spiders frame of mind, I hadn't gotten the joke. TO SAY THE LEAST.

Yeah, so it was pretty much the worst joke ever and Jeremy never tried it or any other spider-related humor again. What can I say? He learns fast.

I leave you with this picture of a spider we once saw in the Old City in Damascus. Even though this is a personal photo that we own, I have never really looked at it. I kind of aim my eyeballs at the upper right-hand corner and squint a little bit so I can't grasp the terribly enormity of it. Now you know how much I love Syria because spotting a creature like this almost anywhere else would be a major deal-breaker for me.


Susanne said...

I don't mind spiders, but I would probably freak if I thought they were swarming! And mice/rats...they are the things I detest most. Something about some warm-blooded little creature running through my house pooping ... *shudder*

Liz Johnson said...

UGHGHHHHHHHH I'm so sorry! I would've screamed my head off. I also hate spiders. Especially the big ugly ones... eek I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. /shudder

Suzanne Bubnash said...

You girls used to describe spiders in the basement as if they were as big as dinner plates.

Susanne, rats make the best pets. We've had many over the years. They have adorable personalities and don't take up much space. Am not talking about hideous sewer rats, but the smaller rats you can get in a pet store. The down side is they only live a few years.

Sarah Rose Evans said...

Eddie and I had a very direct discussion about division of labor in our marriage after we got married that stipulated that Eddie kill ALL insects, always. Even though he hates spiders almost as much as you do. Because I just can't do it.

Merkley Jiating said...

I don't mind spiders outside. But if they touch me, I will scream and kill them. My old roommate used to freak out and it was so entertaining. I am guessing that is what Jeremy was going for. Sorry if backfired though.

I cannot believe you had read an article about the "We" thing! I guess I am not as unique as I thought. Blogging has brought that to my attention more than anything else in my life. I feel like I plagiarized it and I had never even read it!

The Harker's said...

I could have written a similar post. I am also terrified of spiders. In fact, before Dave and I got married, I made him promise to get all the spiders if he was around. And once, when we were first married, we had a hornet get into our pantry. I called him at work in tears and terror of what I could do. He ended up leaving work just to come home and kill it for me. No joke. And once I also worked for a building materials company that had LOTS of crickets around, dead and alive. All the boys I worked with thought it was so funny to put live ones on my chair and keybroard. I still have nightmares of my time working there. I totally get your fear of spiders, and all other creepy crawlies. BTW, thanks for your compliment on my hair.:)

Kathy Haynie said...

I linked to your blog on my blog today:


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