Thursday, October 9, 2008

Braver Than I Wanna Be

Although I don't like spiders (in any way, shape, or form) I have a bit of a morbid fascination with them, as long as I know they can't get me. When I was younger I'd spray them with hairspray (perhaps a bit mean-spirited?) or drown them in shampoo so that I wouldn't have to get close to them or try to squish them with a Kleenex. Over the years I've tried to be better and just suck it up and get them quickly, but I still shudder when I think about spiders and I avoid going after them whenever I can. Except for the time my friend Jill called me to come kill a gigantic scary one at her house so I faked being brave then too... and we ended up sucking it up with the vacuum so we didn't have to get anywhere near it. Anyway...

Today as I was working to clean out our garden I spotted a shiny black spider crawling on the garbage can. It's well known around here that I generally overreact when I see spiders, but I was pretty sure this was a black widow. My first instinct was to run away screaming with my hands in the air, but since my kids and two neighbor friends were very close by, I didn't think that was the wisest course of action. I didn't really want to try to kill it either, because it would likely drop into the grass and get away and then mate and then eat it's mate and then we'd have up to 900 black widow babies... or more likely than that it would jump at me and bite me and kill me and then go after the children... so instead I did something that went against every grain of common sense that I have and hold dear and told Olivia to run in the house and get a jar. I was SO brave (okay, I pretended to be so brave) and went right to it and captured it in the jar. It had some red marks on it's back as well as the very pronounced red hourglass shape on it's belly. I checked online and apparently juvenile black widows can have markings on their backs. Who knew?

So now we have it captured in the jar with the lid screwed on very tightly so it can't get out and it is sitting on the kitchen counter. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I am still afraid to try to kill it... and I'm still a little fascinated by it. In a twisted way I like knowing that a dangerous spider (and not just dangerous in my mind, but really dangerous) is helpless and trapped and at my mercy, instead of the other way around.
It's obvious that I'm not the photographer in the family (check out the cool new sidebar link to Ryan's photography blog) but in this photo the red hourglass is very visible. She seems to have found a comfortable resting spot mid-air. I wonder how long she'll survive without food in there. Maybe we should name her so that our kids can stop saying we won't let them have any pets.

**Are you afraid of spiders too?
**What do you think I should do with it (name suggestions welcome)?

10 comments:

Christy P. said...

I'm always buoyed up a bit when your blog has a new post - thanks so much for keeping up better than many of us manage to do.

I don't like spiders either, but I have managed not to be too pathological about it. I try to follow the rule of ok in the basement, not so much in the rest of the house. Their fate depends on the location and how easy it might be to capture and release.

On a similar note, we have had a lot of moths in the house recently (much to the dismay of my husband's suit coat that now has holes!) and have been using a fly swatter to get them since we have pretty high ceilings. The other day there was another moth, and Z announced that she would go get the fishing pole so that we could get the moth!

the harpers said...

You'll love knowing that we have a black widow infestation (seeing that you kids are staying over in a few weeks!!) We have several fields (aka...neighbors w/ no backyards) around us and I think they come from there. We don't have any in the house, but find them all time outside. Good to know about the juvenile ones. I found several that looked like black widows on the belly, but had the stripe down the back and were quite smaller, so I'm sure they were juvenile ones. eeeeekkkk!!

Rebecca said...

I'm so proud of you! Yuck (or should I say, eeeeeeeek!). I have embarrassed myself multiple times by screaming when neighbors were also outside. You learn to get past it.

Our family pet is a fuzzy caterpillar (named Catty... but changed to Dandi when they discovered they like to eat dandelion leaves). I can safely say that my pet is cuter than yours.

Rebecca said...

(I thought I was being cute with the "eeeek" thing, but I just noticed you used it too.) (Great minds.)

Linn said...

Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.

KatieM said...

yes. I agree with Linn. Ew ew ew ew...
I would sell the house. first off.
second, I would discard of the little bugger, driving up to Oakley, at least to let him out.

Thirdly, do not name him. You may become attached.

Victoria said...

We are really bad... we found a harmless (but still icky) spider and put it in Eva's bug jar. We taped the lid shut to ensure that she wouldn't let it out. Well life happened, and I didn't realize until almost a week later we never freed the poor guy. He was all curled up in the corner of the jar- Eva didn't seem to mind or even notice. So we kept a dead spider for several weeks! She would check on it and talk to it almost daily until I finally got around to disposing of it.

I hate spiders. If it's posionous, I'm calling the Jake or the bug guy. A friend of mine's mom has a huge HOLE in her leg from a brown recluse bite. I don't get near any spider because sometimes its so hard to tell.

Lauren said...

I think all spiders are named Charlotte. By the way, the hairspray thing started at girls camp - we would spray the ones in our tent so they couldn't crawl around anymore and freak us out - the hairspray would paralyze them (not so nice, I guess). Now I just laugh that we had hairspray at camp - we really roughed it! (However, thinking back to the big bangs/hair of the 80's, it is totally understandable that we packed a can or two!)

The Hale Family said...

Okay, just reading this gives me shivers, because I'm so deathly afraid of spiders, it's actually quite pathetic. Did you ever see arachnaphobia? My husband made me watch that movie years ago, and let me tell you, it didn't help.. ha ha...

Anyway, I think it will eventually have to die, but I'd be afraid it would find a way to escape. That's how bad my fear of spiders is. I would throw it in the trash, just to make sure it wasn't in my house..

Lula Mae said...

Kill it, kill it, kill it! Yeah, I'm not one for compassion with arachnids.

I'd just make a hole in the lid the immediately spray in spider spray then throw the whole jar away.