I hate spiders with a passion that rivals my hatred of camping and the feeling of fingernails scratching denim. Also, tapered-leg pants. So we're talking intense aversion here. Seriously, if I've seen a spider in a particular spot in my house, it will take me months before I don't do a quick, heart-pounding scan of that area each and every time I enter the room after said sighting.
When I was growing up, I was terrified that there might be a spider in my bed, and that I would slip innocently under the covers someday, only to feel eight disgusting legs scampering up my arm. My dad always assured me that it was impossible for a spider to end up in my bed, and explained the physics of how it would have to scale a bed post, push it's way under the heavy blankets, etc. I had a different notion, of course - I figured it could drop from the ceiling. Sort of a Mission Impossible-type insect maneuver. Dad laughed it off, insisting that spiders have no interest in dropping. But I always suspected that there must exist some sort of spider conspiracy against me.
Fast forward several years to one of the first summers after my wedding. I happened to have the lights on one evening as I was pulling the sheets back on the bed. As I pushed the switch to turn on my alarm clock, I spotted a small but furious movement out of the corner of my eye. Horrified, I hooked one finger under the corner of the sheet, held my breath, and lifted the edge. Yes. That's right. One of those uninterested-in-dropping spiders had suddenly developed an interest in validating my fears and invading the bed. MY side of the bed, I might add.
That little incident was years ago, and I still have to check the bed every night to be certain that a new terrorist spider cell group hasn't set their next plan in motion.
Why am I thinking about this today? Because there is a large, hairy arachnid in my minivan at this very moment, and I can't stop thinking about it. My dear husband insisted on borrowing some sort of sprinkler attachment from his parents last night, and then insisted on leaving it in the back of the van for me to happen across as I searched in vain for a spot to load my grocery bags this afternoon. Not to worry, dear. I'll just lift the filthy, cumbersome, inexplicably 50-pound-ish contraption and move it to a different locale in the vehicle. Oh, and I'll be careful not to let the long metal prongs that stick out from the top (and, by the way, spin at random) scratch the interior of the van as I do so. Yeah, that was the plan until mid-move, a huge beast of a spider dropped down by my hand (yes, he was interested in dropping as well - uh huh, who's crazy now?). Before I could find a suitable smashing instrument in my bagfuls of produce, the crafty monster scuttled under the folded-down rear seat, out of reach but not out of mind. I think I actually heard a tiny chuckle as he fled.
After I reassured Maya that all was well, and dodged the "What's 'Oh SHOOT', Mama?" question, I drove home, white-knuckled, just praying that he would stay put until I could rescue me and my child from the vehicle after our safe arrival at home. We made it.
I need to leave again, in this very vehicle, in about an hour. I may need a sedative. What my sweet husband doesn't know yet is that when he get home this evening, he will not only be unloading the death-trap sprinkler thingy from the van, but he will also be spider-hunting. And I won't be satisfied until that thing is found, dead or alive. (If alive, he must be rendered dead.) After all, I sure as heck am NOT going to have Spider Spiderson dropping his clever self down on my shoulder as I'm driving along someday. Because YES DAD, it freaking happens!