Monday, April 28, 2008

Attack of the Killer Spiders

This post could also be called, "Overcoming Arachnophobia in Minutes."

I have always had an unreasonable fear, terror of spiders. I have gotten better the past few years, due mainly to the fact I had to either learn to deal with them on my own, or vacate the house, car or whatever had been invaded and find someone willing to help me deal with them. I remember being terrified by them as a child. My mom and I were cherry pickers when I was very young and later graduated to picking beans, strawberries, raspberries, black raspberries and pretty much any fruit available to pick for pay in the Willamette Valley. As a small child watching my mom climb ladders and such in search of the biggest and best cherries, of course having to pick everything ripe on the trees she had been assigned to for the day, I was delegated to the lowest branches. Those branches were weighted down with fruit, and easy for a five year old child to reach. My assignment each day was to fill half a bushel box, and I knew at the end of the summer it would mean $$ for me. I think my first year netted a whole $5. I was so proud of having actually earned it myself. It taught me early on how important it was to have a good work ethic. It also scared me silly, because of course there were spiders and snakes and all sorts of "wicked" creatures around. My mom would have had heart failure rather than have me anywhere near snakes, but she knew the worst we had in the area where we lived were of the harmless garter snake variety. She didn't have my fear of spiders, or I know she would never have been up in those trees amongst the most horrifying beasts on earth. Well, they seemed that way to me. She however was horrified by so much as a photo of a snake, which didn't scare me in the least bit. Odd how things like that stick in your mind years later.

Back to the spiders. I became accustomed to daddy long legs spiders during those days among the cherry trees, they were pretty much everywhere, and unavoidable. I wouldn't let them walk across me like my mom did, but at least I got over the screaming when I saw one. The big garden and house spiders were an entirely different story. I remember screaming many times only to have my mom rush in and squish some horror between her fingers and think nothing of it. My dad however, big 6'1" larger than life man that he is, was as horrified as I was. I just never knew it until much later. He would grab a bit of tissue and take care of the horrible beasties in a hurry. It wasn't until I was in my 20s that I learned he was as afraid, unreasonably so, as I was. How something so small can paralyze a person is just beyond comprehension.

Anyway back to the ten minute story. I work part-time in an antique mall, and a customer came up to me yesterday and said: you might want to take care of this problem before it gets out of hand. I asked her what problem. She said SPIDERS. I followed her around the aisles to a friend’s display case which had a rather large web filled with tiny baby spiders strung between it and another case. Don’t know where they had hatched from (probably the ceiling or attic), and sorry Tess (my daughter), but I was not going to try to round up at least 30-50 baby spiders to take outside. I sprayed with a minty fresh natural ant treatment (hoping it worked on spiders, too) and then gathered up the ones I could collect and “disposed” of them. I hate doing it, but I also freak out over spiders. My arachnophobia is not so bad as it once was, but it took all my composure away, I kept feeling like I had them crawling on me for several hours afterwards. They had been hanging off the bottom of the paper towel I used, and I kept trying to shake them off, all the while fearing they were attaching to my clothing. AAAAHH!!! Well, I guess I didn't "Overcome" the arachnophobia, but at least I am not paralyzed by it anymore. Well, maybe that isn't true. After all these weren't the gigantic garden spiders we get here that make moths and hornets their morning snack.

My Tess has an obsession with spiders, she had a pet one as a child. Not the fuzzy, cute? tarantula variety, the burrowing wolf spider type. Odd child that she was I always figured it was something she would outgrow. No such luck. Now she wants a spider tattoo. As a teen she tried to convince her brother and me to change our last names to Spyder. She wears all sorts of spider jewelry, many pieces due to me buying them for her when I find them. She has Swarovski encrusted pendants, sterling silver spiders, and all sorts of spider earrings. She even bought a creepy spider web covered tree after Halloween last year and it was the focal point on her Thanksgiving day spread, surrounded by black bowl and platter. Yes, she is a little on the dark side, but she has a heart of gold, and radiates love and warmth to her family and friends. She has a wicked sense of humor, and is one of the best friends I have ever had.

1 comment:

Maggie said...

For me it's rats. Been scared of them since I was a kid. Guess what the cabin has creeping around? Rats! Maybe I will learn to deal.

Daddy Long Legs are kind of sweet for some reason.