many people have some sort of extraordinary dislike for a certain type of creature. do you have one? snakes, frogs, bees, scorpions, ants, earthworms... there's usually something.
my something is spiders. my dislike is severe. it borders on phobia. i have improved over the last few years. these days, my bloodcurdling shriek for help has been replaced with a double backward step of avoidance, followed by realization that i have to manage the encounter in a way that ensures first, the safety and security of my children, and second, that the blessed creature is not at liberty to encounter me again. that doesn't always mean certain death for mr. spider. sometimes i feel generous. usually not.
two nights ago, my family decided that they wanted to eat dinner outside. unless i'm at some patio restaurant, i don't particularly prefer eating outside. i live in colorado. it's hard to find a day that's warm enough, yet not too breezy by the front range, to eat outdoors. yet, there we were. it was pleasant enough. until abi spied a daddy long leg on the porch beneath the table.
mind you, i kept my cool. daddy long legs are still spiders, yet among the least offensive to me. they're just tiny basketballs with thread legs, after all. so i told abi to get her bug box and try to catch the spider (she has developed a fear of any bug-like creature that takes in nourishment through anything other than a proboscis. well, besides ladybugs. the bug box is my way of trying to help her. she doesn't mind them so much when they're safely enclosed). she, of course, was too frightened. she set her dad on task.
at first, he seemed pleased to help. then he realized there were wet, rotting leaves in the bottom of the box. he became grossed out. instead of clearing out the box and scooping the spider inside, he opened the 'door' and set the box down in front of the spider.
"there you go, abi," he said. "now he can just walk in."
"SURE!" i said, "we'll just tell him we put on the coffee pot, put on some gentle jazz, and lit a few candles for some nice ambiance, and he'll feel so welcomed that he'll just step right inside!"
"well, go ahead," todd said to me, "you speak spider. you tell him."
sure, i know what you're thinking... well, harry potter could talk to snakes, and that was kind of cool . this is SO not as cool as harry potter speaking parseltongue to snakes. as far as i could tell, though harry detested the house of slytherin, and so likely their snake bedecked crest, he was indifferent to actual snakes.
the thought of communicating with a spider is probably more horrific to me than simply having to cast my eyes upon a spider.
does this fall under the category of 'know thine enemy'? is that how it is that i came to be the family english-arachnid translator? excellent. no point in hiding my impetus for gaining a cursory knowledge of American Sign Language any longer. guess you all know how i really feel about deaf people now.