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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Phobias: Spiders - or - It's a Good Thing I Live in Canada.

Daddy, my brother and me.
No spiders were harmed in the taking of this picture.
But the area was scrutinized closely . . .
Spiders and I have always gotten along.
Provided they are on the opposite side of the room and in plain view so escape-age is entirely possible.
Or better yet, in an entirely different country.
Or planet.
Okay. Spiders and I don't get along.
It all started when I became conscious (ie. born) and lasted until . . . well . . . now.
As I grew, my persnickety-ness became more and more pronounced.
And pro-active.
I would carefully shake out each shoe before I put it on. (I had heard that people in scorpion-infested parts of the world do this regularly. I thought it a good idea.)
Check clothes and coat pockets with a flashlight.
All the usual things one could do while getting dressed.
Because you never knew just where those little beggers would be hiding.
Once, when I was sitting, minding my own business in seventh grade English, I saw a spider climbing down the wall next to me.
I kept a wary eye on it.
You never know – with spiders.
They're tricky.
It climbed slowly down.
Down.
And then scurried across the floor towards the person seated in front of me.
All senses were immediately put on alert.
A few minutes later, when something touched my leg, I leaped nearly seven feet into the air.
Truly.
It's a school record.
You can look it up.
And so it continues to this day.
I do put on a brave face for my children and grand children.
Unfortunately, it looks like the one I wear all of the time, just a little more . . . tense.
Teeth firmly clamped around bottom lip.
Knitted brows.
Sheen of sweat. Glowing slightly.
That sort of thing.
Evil world-destruction plotting spider is approached cautiously and swatted firmly with a fly swatter.
Then beaten unrecognizable with whatever is at hand.
Shoe.
Baseball bat.
I admit it.
Humane disposal and me and spiders don't fit into the same sentence.
Oh. Wait . . .
It's probably a good thing I live where I do, spiders here are teensy.
In Greece, they have been know to carry off pets and small animals and the occasional tourist.
True story. 
Remind me to tell you about it.

8 comments:

  1. As long as a spider is beyond my reach it is free to live in harmony and peace..once it comes within swatting range..well..

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Persnickety-ness" lol. Except for the cob webs they leave behind, I actually like spiders in my house - they eat all those really nasty bugs like dust mites and creepy-crawlers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok, this was cute! I too hate spiders and do not like to see movies or pictures of them. I met one really big Black Widow at eye level one day when taking out the laundry to our wash room. I screamed so loud that I scared it and then my poor husband had to try and find out where to spray.
    Thanks for the chuckle; I think. Just so it didn't cause a dream of spiders.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I once leaned over and plucked a green spider off my sister's bare leg. She was driving. On an interstate in heavy traffic. In the mountains. "What was that about?" she asked. I told her I'd taken a spider off her leg. "You just saved the lives of the passengers in this car." I knew I had.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You should see the ones in Iraq They are huge lobster sized lol
    I thought Daddy long legs was a nice spider but I read they bite too. I have never been bit by one but they are my favorite spider. They don't look scary at all.
    I loved playing with spiders I'd give them two live flies on different sides of the web and watched their behavior. They clearly want to catch the both of them and the flies want to get away. lol

    ReplyDelete
  6. Diane, can your father look any more dapper! What a lovely photo! And that brother of yours looks like pure mischief! Would you believe the Significant Other is the one who gets queasy when he sees a spider? I always tell him to "man up" and carry it outside. No need to kill one of God's living creatures when it can be set free! He turns pale but usually complies! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. WELL ... you may just have to re-think that trip downunder where we've got some big AND deadly spiders!! That's if you can see them for the snakes ...

    Only kidding, but the Redback IS an Aussie icon!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am SO the same way about spiders! I have been as long as I can remember. My husband even forced me to watch the movie Arachnophobia once while we were dating, all the while telling me "it's not real, it's just a movie..." Nothing gets my adrenaline pounding like a spider crawling across the floor towards me... Thanks for linking up to NOBH :)

    ReplyDelete

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