|an abnormal fear of spiders|
I have it. Give me a snake any old day. A roach, even. But a spider - no thank you. I have nighmares about them.
Last night, I was curled up on the sofa with Lucy, catching up on back episodes of Survivor. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw Beulah, the bulimic cat, skulking through the den. She usually doesn't appear when the dog is around. So I turned to look, and I did a double take when I saw that the cat was actually a spider. Not as big as the cat, but pretty darned big, for a spider. Enough for me to see with my peripheral vision. I launched into Fight or Flight mode. As much as I want to run and hide and get someone else to handle the crisis, I know through experience that if you don't take care of a bug or spider, you will encounter it again. And since I lived for years with an absentee husband with Jainist tendencies, I've learned to run to the roar.
When faced with this situation, I seem to follow the same pattern of attack. First, I look for a shoe. It has to have a hard, flat sole. Maybe that's why I tend to leave my shoes all over the house. If the interloper is too big or looks prone to hop (spiders are bad about that), I switch to the Vacuum Cleaner tactic. Again, I never put it away. Maybe that's a subconcious thing for me.
If the enemy retreats into a safe place, under a heavy appliance or piece of furniture, I stand as still as I can, lying in wait for it to emerge. If that doesn't happen pretty soon, I flush it out with bug spray. Fortunately, I always put that away, so I know right where to find it. I guess the mom thing cancelled out my nearly total inability to be organized - bug spray and kiddos don't mix.
The chemical warfare almost always guarantees victory for me. Unfortunately, ant and roach spray doesn't seem to bother spiders. But it flushes them out of their hiding place. Then I attack.
Last night, I was in vacuum cleaner mode and ran over the spider with my weapon, but he survived. Luckily, I realized that the housekeeper had been using the hose to suck the air out of the space bags I'd filled with comfortors and winter clothing, which was why there was no suction on the sweeper part. I tried to pull out the hose, but it was wedged into the slot. So I grabbed the suction end, and like a fencer wielding an epee, I lunged. And won. I kept the vacuum cleaner going until I retrieved a ziploc and rubber band to seal up the end of the hose. First, I squirted a good dose of bug spray into it.
I didn't dream about spiders last night, but I think that would've been better. I had one of those horrible nightmares which causes me to wake up sweating and hyperventilating. It makes me afraid to go to sleep tonight. Maybe I'll stay up.