Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Spiderman

It is well-known to my family and friends my hatred of spiders. It all began inutero when a large, black spider with long front-legs, ran over the foot of my mother, then 9 ½ months pregnant with my twin brother and I. The scream she let out peeled paint, froze ice cubes and permeated the walls of her swollen womb and into the psyche of...me. Ever since then, all 8-legged creepers I encounter must be destroyed.

One of my prerequisites for a suitor/husband was in his successful ability to command bug defense. Fred seemed up to the task, but didn’t realize the scope of my phobia until one day, pre-engagement, when his parents visited my house. At Fred’s prodding, I pulled out my portfolio in the basement to show them some of my work, when I reached in and felt something soft. I opened the zipper wider and realized I’d touched a live, quarter-sized Wolf Spider.

“AHHHHHAHHHAHHAHHAHHAHAHHHAHA” I squirmed, hopped and ran straight up in the air. Blood curdled, rafters shuttered and my now father-in-law said, rattled,

“How do you put up with that?” to Fred, who was looking for a shoe to smash it with.

Fred killed that spider...so I married him.

Because Fred has to live with an arachnophobe, he has to do things a little carefully. Once, there was a spider on my shirt and as he and I were talking, I noticed he was making eye-contact with my shoulder.

“Now, don’t freak out,” he said, leaning forward.

Who doesn’t freak out when someone says, “Don’t freak out?”

“WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?”

That emergency was well handled. The latest one was not.

While driving in our car this past weekend, listening to my daughter Krista read out-loud facts from the “Guinness Book,” I saw, peripherally, Fred’s hand shudder, then flick-swipe something towards...me.

What did you just do?”

“I felt a tickle,” Fred said.

“And you flicked it at ME?” I immediately and frantically started brushing my pants off, wrists waving in a frenzy.

“What was it? What WAS it?”

“A.... spi...der.” Fred squeaked out, teary, red-faced now, laughing.

Presently Krista screamed, “It’s on the steering wheel right above the cancel button!!”

Fred hit at it and it dropped to the floor.

“It’s dead now,” he offered.

“Bring me it's head.”

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