And then I see this!

Article headline:  Goliath Encounter: Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Scientist in Rainforest

Let’s take just a moment here to re-read that headline.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  Uh huh, you saw it too, right? “Puppy-sized SPIDER”!!!!!  As if I wasn’t having enough problems going to sleep, LOL.  I didn’t bother reading the article as I knew from the thumbnail size picture of a man’s hand next to what my thankfully deteriorating eyesight fuzzily warned me was an eight legged freak the size of which would send my delicately balanced brain over the edge into insanity should I see it any clearer.

The title though got me to thinking about some of my encounters with arachnids.  This one time, at band camp…HA! Sorry, had to throw that in.  *ahem* As I was saying, there was this one time in college – as was usual, there were about six of us hanging out in a friend’s dorm room. He had a TV AND a VCR (don’t laugh, this was the mid 80’s, we were broke college kids so anyone possessing technology that had here-to-fore been regulated to our parents, was impressive) so we often found ourselves in various spots in his dorm room watching movies. Anyway, on this particular evening, I was seated on the bed closest to the desk. I had my right arm resting on the desk’s surface when I felt something land on it. I turn and lo and behold, there sat a rather fuzzy, plump, HUGE spider.  Granted, not puppy-sized – I wouldn’t be here to write this blog post had that been the case – but big enough to cause me some major heart palpitations. No one else saw it of course, so when I leapt from the bed with a scream, clawing at my arm, I caused quite the commotion.  By the time the rest of the crew got to me, I was huddled in the corner, begging for someone to kill it. I heard a couple of shoes pounding the desk and bed, then a triumphant, “I got it.”  At that point, they coaxed me out of the corner. I asked to be held, thankful that there were a couple of accommodating guy friends who understood my need for security after such a traumatic experience.  It would be years later when this same friend quietly informed me that no one else had seen the spider, they only went through the motions because they all knew it was the only way to get me out of the corner and stop me from needing a trip to the campus psychiatrist.

Another incident – this would be a few years later. I was married by then, with a small child. The hubby and I were sitting on the couch enjoying a rare evening without the baby.  We were eating dinner in the living room, watching TV of course when once again, I feel something land on me.  This time, the parachuting monster landed on my upper arm and began crawling toward my shoulder. Well of course, there could be none of that. I’m not sure how I did it, and to this day the now ex-husband can’t explain it either, but somehow I ended up on the other side of the coffee table, shirt off and plate of food intact but on the floor next to the couch.

I don’t know why spiders (and clowns in full make-up or the characters you see around amusement parks…yeah, those freak me out so you can imagine what taking my daughter to Disneyland was like) affect me so. I remember an incident when I was maybe three that might have triggered it. We lived in Lakenheath, on the Air Force base. There were two Daddy Long Leg spiders on the wall below the main window in the living room. I don’t remember much else other than when my parents got home, both my sister and I were sitting on the front stoop.  Not all that traumatic but that’s my earliest spider memory.  Perhaps my mind has blocked out the truly terrifying events of that evening.  Hmmmm, could be why I’m just blindly afraid of all things multi-legged, eh?

Anyway, “puppy size”….that right there is the stuff that my nightmares are made of.  Hmph…I wasn’t sleeping that well anyway. Guess I can do without for a little while longer.

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