On the weekend of Gwen’s actual birthday, Chris was out of town for a martial arts seminar. I actually didn’t mind at all, having my girl all to myself and enjoying a low-key weekend before the madness of the birthday party planning truly kicked into high gear. However, there was a moment on Saturday night when I minded very, very much that my husband was 450 kilometres away.
I walked into the downstairs half-bath to put something away, only to be stopped dead in my tracks by a medium-sized spider, staring at me from the opposite wall.
You might not know this, but spiders live for one purpose and one purpose only. The web-spinning and fly-catching business is merely a distraction from their true mission, which is: to jump on my face. Their every skitter move, their every spidery thought, their every single molecule is focused, at all times, on achieving this goal. Sure, a moment ago that spider was just hanging out on the bathroom wall. But now it has seen my face and so the primal imperative has kicked into action: it wants to jump on my face. RIGHT NOW.
(I don’t know how I know this. But I do. I also recognize in the spider’s single-mindedness an aspect of myself. No matter what I am doing, who I am with, or what is going on around me, at my core, there is one thought that never really leaves my mind: Why aren’t I eating chocolate right now?)
Well, I am not okay with a spider jumping on my face, so I quickly backed out of the room. I stood far enough away to be out of jumping distance, but close enough that I could keep a sideways eye on the ugly thing. And I pondered my options.
My first instinct was to close the door, walk away, and pretend I hadn’t seen it. I could go about my evening’s plans, which included a movie and some bonding with my new lappy, submerged in happy denial. Naturally, I would stay out of that room the entire next day as well, until Chris arrived home to resolve the issue. The flaw in this plan, of course, was that the spider was unlikely to stay in one place, especially now that it knew my face was nearby. It could easily crawl out from under the closed door, searching the house until it found me, planning its attack. Expert arachnophobes know that letting the spider out of your sight, even for a second, is a critical mistake. Those who, for some bizarre reason, are NOT terrified of spiders, would look back at the spot where the spider no longer resided and say, “Oh. Problem solved. Spider’s gone!” But in fact, that spider is not GONE. It is now EVERYWHERE, because it could be ANYWHERE. So no, I could not walk away.
Option two was to pack up Gwen and a few essentials, pile into the car, and go find a cheap hotel for the night, returning only once Chris had arrived home, performed a complete and thorough extermination, and ascertained that our home was once again safe. This was an appealing option, but it would be pricey. And furthermore, Gwen had just gone to sleep. I was loathe to wake her. No, I could not leave for a hotel.
There was only one option left. Kill the spider. This is, incidentally, the only course of action that ensures the spider will not jump on my face. However – how to perform the killing of the spider, without it jumping on my face during the procedure? This is why I usually leave the spider-killing up to other people. The spider doesn’t want to jump on Chris’s face, I am absolutely sure of it.
“I can’t do it!” my emotional mind shrieked, and my rational mind insisted, “Look, we’ve gone through all the options. This is the only one left. You HAVE to do it!” “NOOOOOOOOOooooooooo!” my emotional mind howled, and my rational mind said, “Look. You are a strong, amazing woman. You have done a lot of things that you thought you couldn’t do. And you’re getting stronger and more amazing all the time! YOU CAN TOTALLY DO THIS.” And my emotional mind went into the corner to pout and my rational mind, aided by adrenaline and anger, grabbed my husband’s shoe and slammed it against the wall, killing the spider. Then I flung the shoe on the floor, slammed the bathroom door, and ran away flapping my arms and making extremely girly noises.
Oh, but first I took a picture of it for Facebook.