I had a dream last night about a spider – specifically someone teasing me with a spider, that person finding humor in my Arachnophobia. I don’t know who that person was, but they weren’t nice. I occasionally have spider dreams, usually after I’ve seen a big spider. They are often purple and hairy in my dreams, but this one was black and yellow striped.
I’m pretty sure my phobia stems from growing up in the desert and having multiple run ins with these eight legged creatures. Up my walls, across my bed, in corners, popping out of nowhere, and ultimately running up my leg. If I sat on a tuffet and ate curds and whey, I’d freak out too! You’re not alone Little Miss Muffet.
At one point, I thought maybe I could help reduce my Arachnophobia by learning more about spiders. I checked out books at the library and read lots of interesting facts. I can now tell the difference between an Orb spider and a Black Widow. I know some spiders hunt and some just build a web and wait. I know that there are actually very few TRULY poisonous spiders in the great big world. My plan didn’t work at all. My phobia didn’t improve, my dreams just became more vivid.
But I didn’t see a spider yesterday, so why the dream? Well, when I woke up, I discovered a Wolf spider on my bedroom wall. For those of you who’ve never seen a Wolf spider (I’d add a link, but then I’d have to look them up and see pictures), they’re quite large – and that’s the general definition of large, not the Arachnaphobic definition (being more liberal and prone to exaggeration.) This one was bigger than a 50 cent piece, and I’m pretty sure it was laughing at me. And because I had the dream BEFORE I saw the spider, I’m pretty sure it crawled across my face while I was sleeping before it scaled the wall to position itself for optimal taunting.
For those of you who have no fear of spiders, let me enlighten you a bit. When I find a spider in another part of the house, I will usually keep a close eye on it while I yell for my husband to come ‘deal’ with it. Those buggers are silent, so you can’t take your eyes off them or they’ll disappear on you. There’s nothing worse for an Arachnaphobe than a disappearing spider. My husband is a firm believer in ‘catch and release’ and while I’m pretty sure they just make their way back into the house, I reluctantly support his desires to not kill them. He thinks they carry a message of ‘stay away from THAT house’ with them to the other neighborhood spiders, but I don’t buy it. Even after said spider has been dealt with, I’ll be on high alert – every flicker in the corner of my eye, every smudge on the wall is a potential spider. I’m constantly scanning my surroundings for further infiltrators. I have excellent peripheral vision, so I see a LOT of flickers and smudges.
IF, however, a spider is discovered in my bedroom, I go on high alert – Code Red. I walk slower so as not to startle a lurking arachnid. I’m convinced a spider is crawling on me when a loose hair tickles my arm. I shake clothes out before I put them on. I double-check my shoes. I carefully lift my pillow, expecting the worst – a nest of little eight legged fiends. If they have the nerve to enter the sanctuary of my boudoir, they have clearly brought friends. As we all know, spiders are wicked, mean creatures (no use in trying to correct me here – you know, stuff about spiders being more scared of me, not having emotions, etc…)
As I learned in Arizona, Wolf spiders travel in pairs (feel free to look this up in the interwebs…I haven’t because I don’t want to see the pictures.) So, I will remain on high alert for some time and it’s a rare moment when I HOPE to find another spider. IF and when I do, I will guarantee that I’ll swear like a sailor in front of my children. This morning, since my husband had left for work, I texted my neighbor who came to my rescue – I thought hard about taking it out with a flip-flop, but I convinced myself I’d miss, it would disappear and seek revenge on me when I finally let my guard down. My neighbor is brave and daring and also believes in the catch and release method. Even SHE said this was a big one. She’ll deal with my spiders, I’ll deal with her snakes…if there ever are any.
In the mean time, I’m going shopping for a lizard…a big, hungry lizard. Maybe a bearded dragon. I’ll call him Fluffy and I’ll love him and he will keep the house spider free. I’m pretty sure the dog and cat will leave a spider eating, free roaming house lizard named Fluffy alone.