For the last year or so I've had recurring nightmares about spiders. Now, I'm not really much of a dream analyzer and up to this point my 30-something years on the planet have been more or less* nightmare-free. My spider nightmares are varied but usually involve the general theme that I try to kill a spider** and either it turns into hundreds of spiders or it grows into a giant spider and attacks me. Freaky, right?
So anyway, much to my dismay last week one night, while I was watching some reality tv programming or something equally scintillating, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something run across my arm. When I glanced down, it appeared to be a spider or insect (I really feared spider), but it scurried away so quickly (and I was, of course, momentarily paralyzed with fear) that I didn't see what exactly it was. It was light brown, dime-sized and it had many legs. Once I regained the use of my arms and legs, I ran upstairs and took off all the clothing I was wearing to inspect each piece carefully, then I felt my hair and skin compulsively to make sure it wasn't still on me somewhere. Because I am a calm and rational person (Mike informed me during this freak-out process that I had screamed from downstairs; I was not aware that any noise escaped during The Trauma).
Fast forward to Saturday morning. I spent a couple of hours at my hair salon being pampered and colored and (hair)cut. My hairstylist gives the best head massages. Seriously swoon-worthy. After the hair appointment, I was walking to my car and when I pulled out my wallet to pay the parking attendant, I saw a light brown spider in my purse! Again, racked with fear, I froze and the spider hurried under the amalgamation of junk that I carry around in my purse. Crimey! My hairdresser walked out while I stood there peering into my purse, deciding what to do. He asked if I forgot something in the salon and I was forced to admit that I was looking for a spider in my purse. He wanted me to name it and make it a pet. Uh, no.
So what DID I do? Well, I got into my car with my new spider friend hanging out somewhere in my bag. Throwing the entire purse away seemed rather too extreme. That would be letting the spider win! But there was no way I ever wanted to blindly reach my hand in there again. I had enough time to consider whether it wouldn't be a good idea to just free the spider in the great out-of-doors as opposed to squishing him like the bug that he/she is(n't). In the end, I just lacked the requisite composure to free the spider. Sorry, Charlotte. So got to a nice open air spider-ridding venue and gingerly started picking items out of my purse one-by-one, inspecting them for Spider!, and placing them on the bench. Eventually I found the spider hanging out towards the bottom of the bag. It took me three attempts (with kleenex) to kill the spider, who turned out to be remarkably spry, but eventually the task was completed and I was able to continue my day feeling relatively free*** of all things creepy and crawly.
By the way, no one is more upset than I am about how girlie and shrieky I come off in The Great 2008 Spider Encounter epic story. I'm just glad it didn't spawn any additional spider nightmares as of yet. Maybe I've conquered the spiders of my dreams??? If so, pretty darned anti-climactic ending.
*Unless I've just watched The Shining by myself or taken some other equally reckless action.
**My general live-and-let-live attitude does not always extend to spiders and/or insects. They freak me out a bit with their exoskeletons and their many legs and their propensity for biting and/or stinging humans. I admit it.
***A large beetle was discovered trying to crawl into my friend's purse that very same day at lunch, but his attempts were properly thwarted.