Rachel Heath

Intentional Living: learning to be fully present

I am Probably Ridiculous

I’ve been a little busy. You know, homemaking and the like. I could talk about the social differences between Colorado and south Carolina. I could talk about our house, or about the weather here, or about all the things I’ve been doing. I could talk about how I’m coping. I could talk about our church search. But I’m not going to, that stuff can wait. So what’s so important that it supersedes all the aforementioned topics? What’s the most important thing I’ve learned since I moved here, that deserves its VERY OWN POST?

Spiders, ladies and gentlemen. Arachnids. Satan’s little 8-legged minions. I have always been petrified of them.

When my sister and dad were still here, we spent a day in Charleston. On the College of Charleston campus, we saw a spider bigger than my palm. Amy and my dad were taking pictures of it and saying it was “cool” and “pretty” (that’s what they want you to think!).
The first day in our new house, my dad came in from the garage and cheerfully announced, “You’ve got a garage spider!”.  Sure enough, there was a big sucker sitting right on the lid of our trash can.

The next day we took a walk in Harbison State Forest, and my dad nearly walked through a web several layers deep which was home to TWO large spiders. He did not think they were so “cool” this time.
Stephen went out of town later that week, and I was left alone. Our backyard is kind of wooded, and there’s a cute little bench nestled between two trees. One night, around 11:30, I took Moses outside before bed (with my trusty flashlight), and thought “I’ll sit in that bench while Moses does his thing”. As I ambled towards the bench, I noticed the faintest gleam of light reflected in a single line of spider web, a little to my right. I swung the flashlight up and followed the line down, which connected to another line which formed a web about two feet wide. Dead Center sat a big fat spider, not 6 inches from my face. It would be a small understatement to say that my mental state dissolved rapidly into a fit of terror.
I’d like to take a moment to apologize to my new neighbors for the loud screaming they heard at nearly midnight.

Amy and I have a name for the foolishness that follows: Spider-Poking. It’s that morbid fascination in us that wants to provoke the thing we’re frightened of. In scary movies, something like Spider-Poking is what makes the stupid, pretty girl go towards the strange noise even though the creepy music is playing. Spider-Poking is was made me blow on the spider (after I had mostly gotten done panicking). He tightened up but didn’t move. I was not satisfied, so I got a stick and snapped a line of his web, which caused him to scuttle to a different location on his web and caused me to scream again, this time jumping up and down.
I said to myself,
“Self, this is madness! This has got to stop. I’m afraid!”
To which I replied… to myself,
“I’m afraid, too. But I’m afraid of what will happen if we DON’T stop!”

So I poked again. After that he moved so fast that I screamed three or four times successively, threw the branch away from me, and made a break for the back porch.

My theory here is that the spiders are patiently plotting my demise. They are systematically eliminating the places I can go (the garage, the backyard) and thereby eliminating my escape routes. This theory was confirmed a few days ago when Stephen found a spider on the door to the back porch. It’s only a matter of time till they cut off the front door route, and then I’ll be trapped in the house. Then, I believe, they’ll trap me in a small room by the same process of elimination.
Everyone tells me that they’re harmless, or that I’m bigger than them. But they have all the advantages! 4 times as many legs, ability to see in the dark, ability to hide unnoticed in corners and crevices, and sheer creepiness. I’m trying to think of a defense strategy. So far my main tactics have been unsuccessful (screaming, running away, screaming some more) but calling for Stephen usually works. My plans call for further development.


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13 thoughts on “I am Probably Ridiculous

  1. Big, honkin’ aerosol can of hairspay. One Bic lighter. Instant flamethrower. Poof, spider-be-gone. Webs, too.

  2. Despite already knowing these stories and helping to develop the theory of spider-poking it’s still hilarious. And hilarious things aren’t good right now ’cause I’ve got a bit of a caugh, so I laugh and then I cough (though that is entirely beside the point). I agree with the hairspray/lighter idea. then you can sneak around your house like a secret agent with your makeshift flamethrower ready to eliminate any of Satan’s 8-legged minions that get in the way. oh and your not that ridiculous, at least not more than other people. My freind Katie flails and jumps about five feet at the sight of a bee, all while screeming “Oh, God, Oh, God!”. And the other evening I did the whole sneeking-around like-a-secret-agent thing only it was night, I had just gotten home to descover no one else there, I was feeling ridiculously paranoid, and I was holding a small cannister of pepperspray rather than a makeshift flamethrower. So see, the rest of us are ridiculous too!

  3. Thomg: This is a fabulous strategy (which sounds like a LOT of fun), though I’m unsure of the level of support I’ll receive from the home owners association. Having a house is awesome but being an adult sucks.Amy: You. Are. Amazing! Also, Stephen would like to suggest you “not encourage me”. Did someone say delusional?? Silly Stephen.

  4. Umm the irish appraoch would be milk bottle full of petrol, rag and a lighter….problem is that’s by by fence, trees, possible neighbours fence, probable police arrest. Other than that a tennis racket works slightly better than a stick. The strings give a larger surface area to wack it with…possible down side if you do this against a hard fence you may have to get Stephen to take out the squidgey grated spider from between your strings.Great to have you back….although I now have coffee smudges all over my lap top screen whilst laughing at the idea of you in the dark poking spiders.Beth

  5. Yeah, I’m 44 and am still having problems with that whole adult thingy. But aerosol flamethrowers are just so awesome. I love it that my mom once sported a beehive – and had copious amounts of Aqua Net that she never, ever, missed.

  6. Yay, Rachel’s back!!! I can totally relate to the spider stuff. I was going to venture into our backyard one day when I noticed a spider had spun a huge web between a tree and all the flowers in the garden. In the middle of this web was a bright red spider… *shudder* I just went back inside. Can’t wait to hear what else is going on! 🙂

  7. ahhh! Spiders are horrid little beasties. I agree with you on that!

  8. Just thought I’d say “hi!” Hope y’all are doing well. 🙂

  9. Hello from Wales…..

  10. Will she ever blog again? Will she? Where in the world is R&R?

  11. Merry Christmas Rachel and family! Hope your doing well!

  12. Merry Christmas, Rachel!

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