Saturday, September 29, 2007

Open Letter to All Those Who Are Not Terrified of Spiders

To all those who read this...greetings!
There are two types of people in the world...those who can tolerate spiders and those who cannot. For all who fall into the first category...bravo. You have my respect. I however fall in the second category and I assure that you that I am not alone. A recent ASK JEEVES search informed me that over 50% of people have arachnophobia to some degree. I think that this number is probably higher since most men are not inclined to admit that they are afraid of something that is so significantly smaller than they are. My point is that the odds are that person next you to is afraid of those eight-legged freaks. I bet you never thought of it that way before...have you? The ever reliable source known to Internet junkies as Wikipedia claims that arachnophobia is among the most common of all phobias.
Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders. It is believed that its' history dates back to when Europeans thought of spiders are bringers of the plague and consequently...death. People who suffer from this phobia will often suffer from panic attacks when they see a spider, or a sign of spiders such as spider web. They tend to go to extremes to ensure a spider free environment, as well as avoid spider "hot spots" such as caves, attics, the woods, etc. Extreme suffers have reported vomiting, night terrors, and loss of consciousness after an encounter with a spider.

Some of you might be asking why have I taken a break from my usual pop culture-Yankee loving, Red Sux(not a typo) hating (I bet you can't wait for the baseball season to end so I can start bashing the Philadelphia Eagles instead of the damn Boston Red Sux), all out geeky blogging to discuss this issue? If you are asking this question it is because you found this blog by chance/mistake since just about everyone who has ever spent even a small amount of time with me knows that I suffer from an EXTREME case of arachnophobia. I can testify to the fact that this phobia is quite real. It has prompted me to do things that most rational people would see as completely insane. I have nearly wrecked my car because a spider was on the outside of the window, I have run out into traffic to avoid a spider web, I have fallen out of trees because I thought I saw a spider. No shoe is ever place on a foot without being inspected for one of those creepy crawling bastards, no bed ever crawled into without a complete turn down and sheet inspection, just to be safe. I am Millie and I am completely terrified of spiders.
I have tried to overcome my fear to no avail. I have learned to live with my fear by employing several survival tactics such as surrounding myself with people who are willing to squash the little bastards on my behalf. I have purchased a bug vacuum to protect myself from them when said mentioned people are not around. I have joined a Facebook group to discuss the most effective ways of killing spiders without getting close to them. Most days I can proudly say that I am a spider survivor. However...every now and then I have day when those damn spiders almost get the best of me. I know that this is bound to happen and usually it is not blog worthy however today was a rare exception that should be shared with all arachnophobia-free people.

Today while standing line at Petco...I was patiently waiting to purchase my kitty supplies, minding my own business. As I waited for the nice old cat lady to finish her transactions, I absentmindedly rested my left hand on the counter top. Not even two seconds after resting my hand on that counter did all hell break loose.

See...most suffers of arachnophobia have their own spidey-sense. That is...the ability to sense a spider within twenty of feet of them. (This is not hard to do considering that Wikipedia says that at no point are we ever more than 6 feet away from a spider. Fear forces me into denial regarding this fact...Believe what you will.) Millie's spidey-sense went into overdrive as I hesitantly looked down at the counter only to see my biggest fear in the entire world...a big black, utterly disgusting tarantula. Just writing about him freaks me out and pisses me off all over again.

Yes was in CLEAR plastic container so I wasn't in immediate danger. I know that now however it is damn near impossible to tell that to someone who is rapidly being overcome by terror. I reacted the only way someone in this situation can...which is let an ear-piercing scream and attempt to get away from what appears to be my immediate doom. Blocking my path to safety was my shopping cart (with Elizabeth inside) and the damn cat lady (how long does it take to pick up a bag of cat treats damn it???!!!!!)! So I pushed that cart forward, nearly colliding with crazy cat lady's leg, still screaming.

The Petco worker looked at me like I had lost my mind (which to some extent was probably an accurate observation) and continues to bullshit with crazy cat lady. Elizabeth stares at me like I am total lunatic and the incredibly rude man behind me is laughing as he asks, "Hey are you afraid of spiders?" What kind of idiotic questions is that?

I frantically respond yes and he says "Its no big thing...want to hold him?" Are you freaking kidding me? I told him no and he said that it would helpful and be really cool. Then he says that it actually tickles when they crawl up your arm. (DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT!) As he offers his words of wisdom, he lifts the damn container right into my face. (DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT!) I swear before God that the damn spider lifted one of its damn legs in a very threatening manner. I loudly said no, please get him away from me as the room continued to spin. Thank god the register next to me opened and the worker asked for the next customer. I was next in line...but couldn't not move. I couldn't do anything but stare at the thing that would certainly kill me if it ever managed to lift that lid. The man laughed and went to the newly opened register. As he put the bastard down on that counter he told me that I'll never get over my fear unless I face it. Who the fuck does this guy think he is and why does he think that he knows the first damn thing about me?

This brings me to my point...I cannot express enough to you spider lovers that I am happy for you and your bliss. I wish you no ill will although the same does not go for the eight-legged bastards you enjoy. I only ask that you consider that there are people out there who do not share your enthusiasm for the creatures. There are some people who will not be able to sleep for several nights without a light on as a result of seeing a spider. It is for these people that I write this.

Not everyone wants to hold a damn spider. In fact...there are those of us who would do just about anything to avoid doing so. Please keep this in mind the next time someone almost crashes a shopping cart into an old woman in attempt to get away from your "pet". Just because you don't have a problem with God's ugliest creatures doesn't mean that you should try to convince the rest of us to like them. There are people in the world who think that a visible spider needs to be turned into a dead spider. No amount of peer pressure, therapy, or "understanding" will ever change their position.

I close by saying that recapping this story was quite traumatic...and it was nearly impossible to add the damn pictures so enjoy the graphics. I HATE SPIDERS!


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