Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

C: Little Spindly Legs—Eight of Them

I know that the book of Genesis has dubbed the serpent/snake as our “anathema,” but for me it’s always been spiders. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to load up on boa constrictors as pets or anything, but snakes do not send me into screaming meemies, just respectful avoidance. Spiders, on the other hand, just freak me completely out. Really, it makes no sense…look how much bigger I am, and not one spider has ever actually hurt anyone I know. What gives on this? But, as much as I dread them, I cannot bear the thought of stomping on them. Basically, I just choose to give them the right-of-way.

Last Sunday I was sitting in church when I had a spider moment. The church has concrete floors scored into sections. They are a rich brown color, smooth as glass and shiny. I was sitting there on the aisle during the sermon (yes, I was listening, I swear!), when my spider radar went off. My eyes shifted to the aisle floor, where a small spider (less than dime size) was making his way toward me. Yes, directly toward me!

He was about three feet away. My mother-in-law, sitting beside me, noticed my focus on something other than the preacher. She spied the spider and leaned over. “Put your foot over and squash it,” she said. This is something I could not do. I scooted my feet to try to change his course. It worked, and he began traveling toward my purse! I could NOT have him taking refuge there (the horrors of that began to swirl in my mind). I reached over and grabbed my purse off the floor.

He changed course once again and began to move away from me out in the aisle. As I watched him wander up the aisle, I thought about how small he was. Why, I was a giant next to him! What, on earth, was I doing, shrinking from someone so much smaller than me? And why would I want to kill him, anyway? He was not bothering me…I mean to say, he was bothering me, but he did not intend to bother me.

And, of course, my mind moved on to other inane things: How conscious of us was he? Was he frightened, or did he not realize the danger he was fixing to be in as we paraded down that aisle to receive communion? And, furthermore, what was God’s view of this creature? And should we even contemplate taking a life in God’s house? Isn’t God all about life????

Oh, my mind was racing. Just as it reached a philosophical crescendo, the guy in front of me noticed the little spider and reached his foot out. Squish!! He was gone. Not so much as a smear remain (probably all on the guy's shoe). Really, I was rather stunned. After mentally waxing eloquent in my mind about this spider, this all seemed rather brutal and unnecessary.

I still don’t really want to cozy up to spiders, mind you. But by the end of the service, I had moved my perception of spiders from something like this frighening image:

To this (having worked myself up into empathy for the spider):

And I realize that neither perception is particularly realistic. And I realize, too, that my next encounter with one will likely repeat the same insane fright response as always...some things never change.

Y'all reckon I overthink things??? C


KathyB. said...

Well, you may over think things but in regards to spiders...well, YES! I have to admit spiders are my one big fear, with all those eyes and their desire to trap and suck the life-blood out of their victims, well, they get little to no sympathy from me. Only fear and horror....my first instinct when spiders present themselves is to scream and run! If the spiders are tiny enough the next instinct is to squish them, and squish them I do. If I don't I just KNOW they'll end up in my bed and walk across me in the middle of the night...true horror for sure!

A Good Moroccan said...

Charlotte's Web ! What a great story...

Anonymous said...

Hello, It is your overthinking of things that provides us with great stories. Keep Overthinking! Snakes do not bother me but, Spiders and Roaches freak me out. I have overthought this on occasion and think it is all the legs that freak me out. I have made friends with the spiders and do not kill them. They are great for natural pest control. Gotta say, I have not made friends with roaches and gotta squish one if I see it.

Sassy Granny ... said...

Well ... I don't much like snakes, or spiders, but my real arch enemy is the scorpion! We have all three here in Arizona, which means my eye is forever scoping them out. The good news is that I haven't yet bundled in a Hazmat-like suit in order to feel safe in their company.

Overthink? Why not!


carla said...

Spiders don't scare me but I can't even look at the it-shall-be-unnamed-by-me- creature at the top of your post.


Thanks for encouraging you mother-in-law to start her blog. I love it!

Both C and V: May I tag you to each name 10 random things about yourselves?

kimmcl said...

Thank you for your ever-so-sweet words on my blog. It meant alot and you may have even given me the courage to open up. I enjoyed reading your profile, but, as I am petrified of spiders, I had to quickly scroll down to the comments section. I honestly get scared of even their pictures. Ha! Looking forward to having you as a friend.

Protege said...

I so enjoyed this! I feel the absolutely same about spiders. I have tons of them in my house and I also can not imagine killing them. I throw them out of windows and carry them onto the grass, I just can not step on them at all. Yet I find them very scary.;)
I love Charlotte's Web, one of my favorites.;)
Loved this post.;)

Amongst The Oaks said...

I rather like spiders. They eat lots of nasty bugs and their webs are marvels of beauty and engineering. But we don't really like them in the house, so my family often calls me to pick them up and put them outside.
And I agree - killing one of God's creatures in church just doesn't seem right.

kath001 said...

For the majority of my life I felt the same about spiders. I mean, hey, my daddy was afraid of them, and if he was afraid of them they must be something to be afraid of!

And you haven't lived (in the twilight zone or the brush country of south Texas) until you've seen a mass exodus of hundreds, if not thousands, of tarantulas across a dark country road right before a weather line moves through.

But I've gotten a lot better now that I'm a true country girl. In fact that is one of the marks by which I measure my true country girlitude.

joolzmac said...

Hi C

I absolutely abhor spiders. During our summer, we get a few huntsmen spiders (very similar in size and shape to dear Charlotte - if only they were that sweet!). They tend to creep up and just be where you least expect them to be. Thankfully, usually on the outside of our house.
In Australia, we also have the Sydney funnel web spider (not near me thankfully)- our most venomous and deadly spider.
I can't pinpoint the time in my life that gave me my fear of spiders but for as long as I can remember, I have hated them and I call myself an arachnaphobic. I have been known to call hubby to come home from work (8kms away) to kill a spider. I get goosebumps and break out in a sweat and CANNOT squish anything bigger than say, your US quarter (25c). I need to see a dead carcass and all evidence of it has to be destroyed and put in the bin outside. Ick!
*goosebumps rising just thinking about it!*

Cheers - Joolz

jan said...

Overthinking? - yes, probably, but better to overthink than not think at all, which is what the spider stomper did! I don't mind spiders outside, but not in the house!

audrey y said...

My favorite horse/girls. There is a lot to like about you my dears...mostly your bravery at letting it all hang out...so to speak

I'm not with you on the spider issue however, but I do un derstand it sort of...one of my daughters,(she's 39). has the obsession. I was forever being called to dispose of one for her. HmmmI wonder who does that for her now

Fascinating post

Vickie said...

holy bejabbers C gawd I will have nightmares with just flash reading that story and them pictures arghhh,you should write a bok yep you,cheers Vickie

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of bugs either, and because of my dislike of them I probably will never move further south. The first time I saw a palmetto bug I about died of fright! I swear he was big enough he was looking me eye to eye!

Anonymous said...

Oh I have a good sized scar on my left thigh where a spider bit me while sitting on the school steps in the summer in shorts. It became infected and then necrotic and had to be removed eventually. I'm not to fond of spiders.Imaginative post.

Sumandebray said...

I liked reading the story very much. There was a very deep rooted philosophy in your narration and I appreciate that very much. For me I cannot kill any creature too easily.... My tapping of legs to shoo cockroaches away irritates my wife a lot. But incidentally when any such being comes close to my daughter I get some alien strength to eliminate then. Animal instinct I believe.
I have my doubt if I would have killed anything inside a church or a temple... a house of God. Call it respect or double standards!!
Thanks for visiting my blog. You both are welcome here. Do come back whenever you can

Melissa said...


I always have to scoop bugs up in a papre towel and place them safely outside. I cannot bring myself to hurting them.

I am proud of you for overcoming your fears.


Melissa said...

Dear C and V,

The comments you both left me, touched my heart.

Thank you for your kindness.

Love Melissa

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