It is long standing policy in our house hold to let spiders be. Large Wolf spiders scurrying across the kitchen floor are relocated outside. Adorable little jumping spiders are admired and cute crab like spiders left alone. Outside the huge barn and garden spiders are named and watched in awe as they consume flies and wasps and other pests. The only exceptions to these rules are scary looking spiders that look like they might be brown recluses and anything shiny and black no matter the size. I am terrified of Black Widows.
I threw away a perfectly good vacuum once after sucking up a Black Widow. I have nearly died of heart attacks after coming into entirely to close of proximity to them. I hate them. Maybe worse than Brow Recluse but only because they are more easily recognizable and I have recognized them way too often.
The other night we were making a final sweep of kids rooms making sure everything was put away and down for the night. The lights were off, with only the faint glow of nightlights to see by. I saw, very clearly against the white of the door, the outline of a large spider. Interesting I thought, the outline had to be of barn spider type, it certainly wasn’t our usual house pet. I walked over, to the other side of the kitchen, and turned on the light.
Back across the kitchen again I took a closer look. I didn’t need to get very close to recognize the huge, shiny, bulbous back end of a black widow. Now, I kill spiders. I am perfectly capable. I don’t run in fear or scream like a girl, very often. I took off running through the house screaming, somewhat quietly, even more than I wanted the spider gone I didn’t want to wake children.
My big, strong and, most importantly, male husband, who had just taken out his contacts, popped his head out of the bathroom to see what the commotion was about. Or maybe see is the wrong word here. He wanted to know what he was supposed to do about it, he was dressed for bed and could hardly see. I told him tough, he’s the man he gets to kill spiders. I should get to play the girl card once in awhile.
He, very willingly all things considered, went to rid our house of this scourge. I coward at the edge of the kitchen as he inspected it once more then smashed it to bits. After the joyous slaughter we ventured closer to inspect it. We couldn’t see a red marking but there wasn’t much left of it either.
He spent the rest of the night trying to get me settled. I was in tears, that horrid spider had been close to my babies. Who knew how long it had been in our house, close to us. I was completely freaked out. Have I mentioned I hate Black Widows? This one had been huge, bigger around than a quarter and that was just her body.
Possibly the thing that bothered me the most in the long term, because I have stepped foot back into the kitchen, was hearing my mom’s voice coming out of my mouth as I ran screaming. Not that I don’t like my mom. I’m happy to acknowledge our many similarities. But screaming with her voice as I ran from a spider was a little too glaring a reminder that in the end, no matter what we do, we all turn into our mothers.