31-Day Blog Challenge, Blogging for the Hell of It, Writing Life

31-Day Blog Challenge – Day 17: What Am I Afraid Of?

Spiders.

I hate them. They are ugly. They are creepy. And there’s just NO need to have eight eyes and eight legs. I mean, really…

Whenever I tell someone I’m afraid of spiders, I get the SAME responses:

“But they are so great! They kill bugs and mosquitoes…”

Yeah, they’re great. They can also kill humans, and birds…

“They are such beautiful creatures. They make webs from silk!”

They’re beautiful? Really? Have you looked at one?

“They are more afraid of you than you are of them.”

Completely false.

And, I saved my favorite for last:

“Did you know that you swallow eight spiders a year in your sleep?”

Thanks. As if they don’t haunt my nightmares enough…

Spider Psychoanalysis

You may have read the blog about me when I was a child, playing with my younger brother and my two older boy cousins. I was about six or seven, and I was outside “playing” with them, or getting beat up, which was basically the same thing, and I remember being outside my grandmother’s house, and my boy cousins were picking Daddy-long-legs off the foundation of the house, and throwing them at me. I remember them crawling on me, their creepy legs stuck in my hair…

And I haven’t been the same since.

Presidential Spider Sweep

I always said that if I ever became the first woman president of the United States, one of the first things I would do in office would be to exterminate all the spiders from the earth.

I know, it sounds ridiculous because I would have the EPA and every wildlife protection program after me for being “cruel” or “inhumane”, but the fact that there are spiders on this earth dangerous and venomous enough to kill human beings, and that there is actually a species called the “bird-eating” spider, THAT is inhumane…

A Never-ending Nightmare

From my brother leaving me rubber, toy spiders in my bed, countless Halloween pranks, a horrible Smithsonian museum “tarantula feeding” experience, my college roommate and best friend leaving me written “operation find spider” notes on our dorm room door, tearing down a clothesline, and even quarantining my own bedroom, they always seem to find me…

Seriously. Think about it. You are an innocent creature. You might be a caterpillar, a butterfly, a ladybug or even an ant. You’re flying or crawling along, just minding your own business; maybe you’re looking for some food or a mate. Suddenly, you’re stuck in something sticky. You can’t move, and you start to panic. The more you panic, the more you seem to be wrapped up in the sticky string.

Then, all of a sudden, the shadow of this looming, dark creature appears out of the darkness. You feel the vibration in the silk wrapped around your body, choking you… and then it appears. A big, black creature appears with eight eyes, eight legs, and fangs like you’ve never seen, and it is headed right for you. You are paralyzed with terror and fear. The last thing you remember is the creature wrapping its legs around you, sinking its fangs deep into your body, sucking the life out of you, until all you see is black…

Now, what is beautiful about that?

A Fear Can Be Forever

I know what you are thinking. “You can just get over your fears.” Oh yeah, just like that. The next time I go to a zoo, I’ll be sure to ask the zookeeper to pet a tarantula. That ought to cure me…or kill me.

But the truth is, everyone is afraid of something. Maybe it’s snakes, mice or rats, bees, dogs, heights or death, but we all have one…

I will play in the dirt. I will mow the lawn. I will change the oil in my car. I will pick up a snake. I will hold a lizard. I will save a frog or a turtle from the middle of the road. I will pick up a severed mouse head that my cats left for me on my porch. But spiders? That’s where I draw the line…

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